MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – ALEX RUSH-FEAR
Assistants – Calum McFarlane + Keyson Colebrook
Following the annihilation by Portchester in the mid week League Cup match Sports welcomed bottom of the table Petersfield Town to Westwood Park for this League fixture. Surely just what they would want!!!
The Island side welcomed back Craig Insley, Gareth Bricknell, Max Draper and Aidan Bryan to the starting line up along with Harry Dye on the bench. Samuel Sanders also replaced Ed Hatt in between the sticks. The visitors made two changes to their line up, Luke Walker and Grant Powell replacing Max Elward and Oliver Kershaw from their excellent scoreless draw against Lymington.
Prior to kick off both teams gathered around the centre circle as Westwood Park fell silent for a minute in memory of Vice President and former player Derek Bradford who had passed away earlier in the week. Derek played for the Yachtsmen for three seasons – 45/46, 46/47 and 48/49 during which he is known to have scored one goal in thirty six appearances(probably more as not all records are available). He was a member of the Hampshire Cup winning side in 45/46 where Cowes beat Bournemouth Gasworks 2 – 1 after extra time a match that was played at the Dell home of Southampton FC. Over the past few seasons Derek was a visitor to the ground on several occasions to enjoy watching the current generation. He will be sorely missed by all at Cowes Sports FC and all send their heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. R I P DEREK BRADFORD.
The home side were looking to secure another three points to help create a gap between themselves and the bottom six or seven, however the visitors had not read the script as with just six minutes on the clock a long clearance from defence saw LUKE WALKER outpace home skipper Craig Insley before sending a low shot past Sam Sanders’ right and into the right corner of the Cowes goal to stun the Yachtsmen. Plenty of time for the home side to recover and go on to claim the points. However the lads struggled to get too grips with the strong wind blowing across the pitch and only created a couple of chances to equalise. Jimmy Wykes saw his volley deflected for a corner before, having just been booked, he was replaced by Callum Chase in the 32nd minute. A tactical change as Cowes switched to three at the back. Max Draper found himself at the far post in the 44th minute but could not get enough of a touch on the ball to score and the ball was cleared.
H-t 0 – 1
Ed Hatt replaced Sam Sanders for the second half as Sam had sustained a leg injury shortly before the interval. Almost immediately John McKie nearly equalised when he cut in from the left and sent a curling shot goal wards, but unfortunately the ball cannoned off the top of the crossbar for a goal kick. The Cowes forward was proving to be a thorn in the Petersfield side as five minutes after the break he again caused problems but this time a combination of their keeper and a defender kept the ball out of the goal. Seven minute and a short corner from John McKie to George Carter-Knight on the left who sent the ball into the box where Callum Chase should have levelled the game, but his header flew just over the bar as the home side became more and more frustrated. Last throw of the dice as with 25 minutes to go Darren Williams came on for Conor White, but despite seeing a lot of possession clear cut chances were not forthcoming, Mid way through the half. After several warnings from the near side Assistant the visitors Manager was sent off for continuing use of foul and abusive language, then with five minutes left a coming together between Cowes substitute Darren Williams and Petersfield left back Jordan Geddes in the box saw the Petersfield player catch the head of the Cowes forward, certainly not intentional, but after consulting his Assistant and on his advice the left back was sent off supposedly for violent conduct. Many thought a bit harsh. Cowes were left claiming a penalty but as the ball had gone out for a throw nothing was given.
Probably the most disappointing result and overall performance from the team despite being almost at full strength.
COWES SPORTS – Samuel Sanders (replaced by Ed Hatt 46), Max Draper, George Carter- Knight, Aidan Bryan, Craig Insley (c) Bkd, Oliver McArthur, Conor White(replaced by Darren Williams 64) , Gareth Bricknell, Connor Furmidge, James Wykes Bkd (replaced by Callum Chase 32), Subs not used; Harry Dye + Jack Broomfield
PETERSFIELD TOWN– Luke Eaton, Josh Gilbert, Jordan Geddes S/O, Harry Tremlett, Ed Packett, Sean Evans, Gavin Keogh, Josh Wycherley (c), Luke Walker, Grant Powell, Will Essai(replaced by Joseph Boxall70) Subs not used; Indy Thomas, Jon Small, Mark Summerhill