MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – ANDREW BAILEY
Assistants – Western Mufiri + Simon Weston
Another away day for Cowes Sports saw them travel to the Portway Stadium, home of league leaders Andover Town who had lost just one game so far this season and had taken the points earlier when they visited Westwood Park (3 – 5), but too our credit we had certainly given them a scare in the second half of that match.
Andover took an early lead as MICHAEL HALLAHAN scored a 30 yard screamer in the 9th minute following a corner which was cleared by the Cowes defence. It was a lead that lasted just three minutes as the Islanders responded to going behind. A cross from Conor White saw centre half AIDAN BRYAN power a header past home stopper Luke Cairney into the goal to pull Cowes back to level terms, much to the surprise of the home support. However the visitors joy was also short lived as in the 14th minute ZACH GLASSPOOL restored the home sides lead from a corner. The home side piled on the pressure looking for a third goal, but Cowes stood firm with Max Draper clearing off the line the closest they came to scoring. Cowes suffered a bit of a blow in the 35th minute when Charlie Allen had to be replaced by Leigh Mackenzie. Andover were playing some neat one touch football, but not really threatening Ed Hatt’s goal, whilst Cowes were slowly becoming more confident and comfortable. They nearly pulled level for a second time shortly before the break when John McKie chipped the home keeper, but the effort drifted just wide of the goal as the home side held on to their one goal advantage at half time.
H-t 2 – 1
Cowes again showed their belief that they could get a result from the game early in the second half when a free kick from defence found John McKie in their box, he turned his marker but shot straight at the keeper. Ed Hatt then kept his side in the game with a point blank save before in the 70th minute another chance fell to John McKie, but his free header was deflected wide for a corner from which having seen his corner cleared by the home defence Jimmy Wykes fired a effort from 25yards just over the bar. Connor Furmidge replaced John McKie as Cowes threw everything at their hosts in search of that equaliser and despite being the better side throughout the second period they could not find the finish they deserved.
Again a disappointing result for the Yachtsmen as they search for their first point away from Westwood, but a very encouraging performance which one hopes they can produce on a more regular basis.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Conor White, Gareth Bricknell, Aidan Bryan Bkd, Craig Insley (c), Charlie Allen (replaced by Leigh Mackenzie 35), Max Draper, Harry Dye, John McKie Bkd (replaced by Connor Furmidge 72), George Carter-Knight, James Wykes, Subs not Used; Callum Capon + Dave Thurman g/k
ANDOVER TOWN – Luke Cairney, Liam Hibberd (c), Joe Wright, Alex Dockree, Connor Cocklin, Luke Dempsey, Reece Rusher, Michael Hubbard, Zach Glasspool, George Hallahan, Mike Gosney, Subs Used:- Joseph Chamberlain, Ben Cook + Immanuel Soetan Not Used; Jason Silver, McAulie Stubbs