MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – DEREK PRATT
Assistants – Liam White + Keyson Colebrook
Due to the late postponement of the big Island ‘Derby’ on Boxing Day the match was re-arranged for this mid week in March as The Yachtsmen made the short trip to St Georges Park to take on Newport in what was seen as a six pointer. The team that lost this match would be seen as one of the favourites to be relegated at the end of the season.
With Aidan Bryan having joined Blackfield + Langley for the remainder of the season and Craig Insley missing through injury along with Harry Dye and Max Draper, Steve Hunt was forced into changes. Nathan Lewis travelled down from London whilst Joshua Appell was drafted in to add a bit of bite to the midfield. Newport were missing Aidan Sainsbury for this final League ‘derby’ to be played at St Georges Park.
The first chance of the game was gifted to the home side in the third minute as skipper Gareth Bricknell gave the ball away in midfield, Liam Newbold pounced but could not find the target with his shot. Connor Furmidge then tried his luck from 25 yards but Gary Streeter made a comfortable save. A Newport free kick found Spike Pearce in the Cowes area but again he could only send his header wide of the goal. Cowes were next to show as John McKie sped down the Cowes right but his tempting cross into the box just evaded the on rushing Connor Furmidge. The important breakthrough came mid way through the half as JOHN MCKIE twisted and turned before sending a shot towards goal, Spike Pearce stuck out a leg to divert the ball past the stranded Newport custodian to send the travelling fans into delirium at the thought of a first away win of the season for the boys in red. Although not a dirty game the home side managed to earn themselves four yellow cards in the first half an hour, Liam Newbold, Emerson Tattersall, Mark Taylor and Spike Pearce the unfortunate players who would be joined in the second half by Connor Kelly. The best chance for the remainder of the first half came in the 37th minute when a superb Connor Furmidge cross from the right found Gareth Bricknell at the back post but the chance went a begging as his header did not trouble the Newport goal. Jez Conway then picked a yellow card as the visitors ended the half one up.
H-t 0 – 1
Five minutes into the second half a Gareth Bricknell corner from the Cowes right was met at the near post by Connor Furmidge whose header flew a few feet wide of the goal. Would Cowes regret that miss?? Well just a minute later Lewis Wright played a free kick into Charlie Urry just inside the area, he was held by Callum Chase and Referee Derek Pratt blew and pointed to the spot. Charlie Urry picked himself up but smashed his shot against the crossbar, Cowes struggled to clear the danger, a couple of shots were blocked before the ball was eventually knocked out for a corner. Cowes responded as Josh Appell shot from 20 odd yards, but Gary Streeter saved easily. The all action start to the second half continued and a fine through ball by Connor Furmidge sent JOHN MCKIE towards goal one on one with Gary Streeter. The sort of chance that Cowes had missed on several occasions throughout the season, but not this time – the ball was rolled past the Newport keeper to give Cowes a two goal lead away from home for at least the third time this season – we lost the previous two at Bashley and AFC Portchester. Eight minutes later and the worst fears were heightened as Newport’s danger man CONNOR KELLY was allowed to run at the backline before slotting the ball past Ed Hatt into the bottom left corner of the goal. Here we go again were the groans from the Cowes support and with Jared Wetherick replacing Emerson Tattersall the nerves began for the visitors. Tom Dye was replaced by Leigh Mackenzie. In the 68th minute the excellent Conor White halted a Newport attack before sending a brilliant long ball up-field which evaded the home defence and left JOHN MCKIE again in on goal with the same result as earlier and Cowes had restored their two goal lead. Gareth Bricknell went close to adding a fourth goal from a free kick from wide on the right, but Gary Streeter pushed the ball away for a corner. Connor Furmidge then was shown a yellow card for a late challenge and Newport made their second change, Aurela Beya coming on for Lewis Wright(76 min). Within a minute Newport were back in the game as first substitute JARED WETHERICK netted from 14 yards to send them nerves into overdrive. Cowes then finally killed off the home side in the 82nd minute when the impressive Josh Appell released CONNOR FURMIDGE who scored with ease a fourth goal for the Yachtsmen to seal their first ever Wessex League win at St Georges and their first three points on their travels for the season. During the final moments Gareth Bricknell and Connor Furmidge were replaced by Jason Ince and Callum Watkins respectively as Cowes held on for a famous victory. News soon followed that Amesbury had also lost, despite leading three times – 3 – 5 at home too Horndean.
The result leaves the Yachtsmen 12 points clear of Newport, 2 games in hand and Amesbury Town , 3 games in hand whilst Cowes are now only six points behind Bournemouth with three games in hand of them. Can we catch them??
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Conor White, James Wykes, Callum Chase Bkd, Jez Conway Bkd, Nathan Lewis, John McKie, Tom Dye(replaced by Leigh Mackenzie 64), Connor Furmidge Bkd(replaced by Callum Watkins 88), Joshua Appell, Gareth Bricknell (c)(replaced by Jason Ince 82) Sub not used; Ben Holdsworth + Samuel Sanders g/k
NEWPORT IW– Gary Streeter, Liam Newbold Bkd, Keelan Sainsbury, Mark Taylor Bkd, Spike Pearce Bkd, Martin McDonough (c), Lewis Wright(replaced by Aurela Beya 76), Liam Triggs, Charlie Urry, Connor Kelly Bkd, Emerson Tattersall Bkd(replaced by Jared Wetherick 62), Subs nut used; Darren Powell + Aidan Radford