MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – DEREK PRATT
Assistants – Steve Currie + Ben Orton
Cowes Sports 14th home game of the season saw Wiltshire outfit Bemerton Heath Harlequins travel across the Solent to visit Westwood Park.
The Islanders welcomed back Callum Chase who started along with Leigh Mackenzie and Connor Furmidge as Charlie Allen(injured), Aidan Bryan(suspended) and George Carter-Knight (unavailable) missed out. The visitors made just one change from the side that had beaten Bournemouth in their previous game, Sebastian Dawes being replaced by Jordan Matthews.
Prior to kick off both sets of players gathered around the centre circle for a minutes silence in memory of long time Cowes supporter MICK KNIGHT who passed away during the previous week. Our condolences to his family and friends. R I P Mick.
Cowes Sports started the match on the front foot and looked the better side. Leigh Mackenzie fired over the bar after a poor clearance by George Plank before the home side took the lead in the 22nd minute when CONNOR FURMIDGE picked the ball up some 25 yards out, flicked the ball over a defender before sending a left foot volley into the bottom left corner of the Bemerton goal. The Wiltshire side responded well and twice could have levelled as both Robbie Matthews and Jack Slade sent volleys over Ed Hatt’s crossbar. Scott Hassell then sent a header straight at Ed Hatt as Cowes just about remained ahead. Then on 35 minutes the game changed for the visitors when Joe Rawkins sent Jimmy Wykes flying in front of the stand as he sped down the Cowes left. Referee Derek Pratt immediately showed a yellow card, followed by a red as the defender had already been shown yellow for an earlier infringement. So Bemerton, a goal down were now also a man down. Visiting skipper Jake Burgess was then shown a yellow card following a tussle with Harry Dye whilst they were lucky not to be reduced to nine men as the Officials missed Robbie Matthews spitting into the face of skipper Craig Insley late in the half.
H-t 1 – 0
Ten minutes into the second half Jimmy Wykes played in John McKie but unfortunately he could not find the power in his shot too trouble Rob Crossley in the Bemerton goal. The Wiltshire side then replaced Jordan Matthews with Elliott Cross shortly before the hour mark. A minute later Cowes failed to clear a corner and were thankful to Max Draper who cleared a shot off the line to keep them ahead. Cowes finally got the second goal they were craving in the 61st minute. A ball down the Cowes right found had the Bemerton defence calling for offside as Jimmy Wykes was, but he was in the middle no where near the ball. JOHN McKIE ran onto the pass before sending the ball towards the goal, somehow Rob Crossley in the Bemerton goal managed to dive under the ball as it bounced over him and into the net, surely a contender for Cowes Sports “Goal of the Season”??? Who cares how they go in as long as they get over the line!! Bemerton’ s Alex Haynes was replaced by Kelvin Robinson before Connor Furmidge came off for the home side, 16 year old prospect Callum Watkins coming on for his first team debut. Just a minute later a free kick was sent in towards the far post, their keeper came out to collect but was challenged by Harry Dye who was fouled by the keeper, penalty was awarded and JOHN McKIE stepped up to send the ball high into the left side of the goal for a comfortable three goal lead. A couple of late changes for the home side saw another 16 year old, Ben Holdsworth and experienced Ashley Brett replace John McKie an Max Draper respectively.
This match marked skipper Craig Insley ‘s 400th appearance for Cowes Sports FC, 332 1st XI, 59 Reserves and 9 ‘A’ team appearances with a total of 12 goals scored – 10 1st XI and 2 Reserves.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Conor White, Gareth Bricknell, Max Draper(replaced by Ashley Brett 90), Craig Insley (c), Callum Chase, John McKie(replaced by Ben Holdsworth 88), Harry Dye, Connor Furmidge(replaced by Callum Watkins 76), Gareth Bricknell Bkd, Leigh Mackenzie, James Wykes, Subs not used; Tom Dye + Dave Thurman g/k
BEMERTON H H– Rob Crossley, Danny Field, George Plank, Alex Haynes(replaced by Kelvin Robinson 73), Joe Rawkins S/O, Scott Hassell, Jordan Matthews(replaced by Elliott Cross 59), Jake Burgess (c) Bkd, Jack Slade, Robbie Matthews, Jake Rawkins