MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – TOM MOISEY
Assistants – Declan Skehan + Gary Cash
Cowes Sports travelled to The Kendall Stadium to take on Baffins Milton Rovers on a wet afternoon. With both sides close to the bottom three this was another important game.
Cowes were missing top scorer John McKie(illness), but were boosted by the return of Aidan Bryan. Ewan Cranwell and Conor White both stepped up from the bench with James Wykes and Connor Furmidge dropping to the bench for this tough away day.
The Yachtsmen were on the back foot from kick off as the home side came out of the traps quickly. Callum Dart was put through in just the third minute only to be denied by a last ditch Ewan Cranwell tackle. However only two minutes later and the home side were ahead when a corner from the Cowes left was headed home by CHAZ GARDENER unchallenged. Then in the 7th minute a free kick from the half way line was headed towards goal, not sure whose head it came off though. Cowes stopper Ed Hatt pushed the ball up onto the bar before being fouled trying to get the rebound. Cowes then had a penalty shout turned down by the Referee when Gareth Bricknell,s ball into the box found Michael McEnery who was challenged by both keeper and defender, a corner resulted despite the Islanders appeals. Twenty six minutes in and home defender Connor Saunders slipped out wide allowing the ball to find Harry Dye wide on the right, he spotted home keeper off his line and sent the ball over only for it to drift just wide of the far post. Baffins doubled their lead in the 34th minute when a long clearance from defence caught Aidan Bryan and Craig Insley cold as both missed the ball leaving JORDAN NEIL with only Ed Hatt to beat, although the Cowes keeper got a hand to the shot it was not enough to stop the ball rolling into the left corner of the goal. The Islanders responded with a Max Draper shot that was deflected for a corner before Owen Claydon sent a free kick inches wide of the keepers right hand post. A couple of minutes before the break Callum Dart sent a early cross into the area where JORDAN NEIL slid in at the back post to net from close range and give the Portsmouth side a comfortable 3 – 0 half time lead.
H-t 3 – 0
Just eight minutes into the second period any thoughts of a come back were extinguished when a through ball sent JORDAN NEIL through to complete his hat trick. On 57 minutes hat trick hero Jordan Neil was replaced by Max Davis. Cowes then made changes, Connor Furmidge and Jimmy Wykes replaced Harry Dye and Conor White(59 mins) then Fin Phillips came on for Michael McEnery(62 min). Baffins replaced Lewis Stockford(64 min). Baffins then hit the woodwork with a header as Jamie White met a corner from the Cowes right. Final substitution for Baffins saw skipper Blu Boam replaced by Harry Wedlake. Connor Furmidge had a shot from distance, Cowes’ first on target, in the 74th minute but Tony Male saved with ease. A long ball from Freeman Williams found home substitute MAX DAVIS, who looked offside when the ball was played but no flag was raised, he calmly lobbed the advancing Cowes keeper to score the home sides fifth and final goal. Ewan Cranwell set up Connor Furmidge who again got a shot on target, but again an easy save for Tony Male. Ed Hatt then made a good save to tip over a shot from George Thomas.
Probably the worst performance of the season that sees the Yachtsmen sit just one place above the relegation places albeit with a six point gap though Amesbury do have a game in hand. Brockenhurst sit four points above us on the same number of games.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Callum Theobald, Max Draper, Aidan Bryan, Craig Insley (c), Ewan Cranwell, Conor White(replaced by James Wykes 59), Owen Claydon, Harry Dye(replaced by Connor Furmidge 59), Michael McEnery(replaced by Finnley Phillips 63), Gareth Bricknell
BAFFINS MILTON ROVERS:- Tony Male, Fadel Seibou, Freeman Williams, Lewis Stockford(replaced by George Thomas 64), Connor Saunders, Shane Cornish, Jamie White, Blu Boam (c)(replaced by Harry Wedlake 73), Jordan Neil(replaced by Max Davies 57), Callum Dart, Chaz Gardener