MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – ROBERT WALCZAK
Assistants – Andrew Brown + Justin Leynord
Cowes returned to Westwood park looking for a much improved performance from that shown at Bournemouth the previous Saturday.
Cowes welcomed back Conor White, John McKie and Callum Chase as Manager Steve Hunt decided to use three at the back along with wing backs.
Upon the Referee’s whistle the whole of Westwood stood for a minutes silence in memory of all that had sacrificed their lives in times of war in order that we may live in a better world. It was impeccably observed.
The match started quite slowly as both teams seemed to be checking each other out. The game burst into life in the 24th minute when a ball from defence found John McKie sprinting down the right before crossing to CONNOR FURMIDGE who held his nerve to roll the ball past Shane Cooper in the Hamworthy goal to give the home side the lead much to the joy of the 100 plus crowd. A blow for the Yachtsmen as Charlie Allen picked up a leg injury that forced him off in the 32nd minute being replaced by Max Draper. It was the Cowes substitute that was deemed to have fouled a Hamworthy forward in the box on 39 minutes with the Referee giving a penalty and a yellow card to Max. Virtually everyone in the ground thought that Max’s tackle was hard but perfectly fair as he played the ball. Justice was done as Ed Hatt, diving to his left, saved the penalty pushing the ball away for a corner. The ‘Hammers’ captain, Nathan Walker was the driving force behind his teams effort to find a way back into the game, but the Yachtsmen held onto their one goal advantage until the break.
H-t 1 – 0
It did not take the visitors long in the second half to level the scores. Five minutes in and STEVE SMITH cut in from the Cowes right before curling the ball past Ed Hatt into the left corner of the goal. However their joy was short lived as just four minutes later the Islanders were back ahead. George Carter-Knight sent a free kick from the right into the area which bounced up onto the crossbar before the loose ball was forced over the line by CALLUM CHASE, his first goal for the Yachtsmen. More joy for the home crowd in the 59th minute as number three was added when Connor Furmidge played a lovely ball into the path of JOHN MCKIE who slotted it past Shane Cooper into the right corner of his goal. In the 63rd minute John McKie outpaced their skipper, Nathan Walker, but sent his shot over the bar before a minute later Garet6h Bricknell fired over the bar when it looked easier to score a fourth for the home side. A spate of changes for both teams as Edgar Zanin replaced Connor Jevan for the visitors (65) before Darren Williams came on for the excellent John McKie and Steve Smith was replaced by Brandon Randall (75). Hamworthy tried to find a way back but were hampered five minute from time when substitute Edgar Zanin dislocated his shoulder and had to be replaced by Louis Brassington. The visitors did have the last say in the game when skipper NATHAN WALKER netted a free kick fro 22 yards, but despite the Referee playing seven minutes injury time Cowes held on for another valuable three points that sees them up to 15th in the table.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Conor White(replaced by Ben Holdsworth 86), George Carter-Knight, Callum Chase, Craig Insley (c), Charlie Allen(replaced by Max Draper 32 Bkd), John McKie(replaced by Darren Williams 75), Harry Dye, Connor Furmidge, Gareth Bricknell, Leigh Mackenzie, Subs not used; James Wykes + Dave Thurman g/k
HAMWORTHY UNITED – Shane Cooper, Dan O’Sullivan, Carl Preston, Billy Walker, Nathan Walker (c) Bkd, Sam Carr, Jamie Gleeson, Max Buckler, Steve Smith(replaced by Brandon Randall 75), Connor Jevan(replaced by Edgar Zanin 68(replaced by Louis Brassington 85) ), Shaun Stewart,