MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – JOHN HOPKINSON
Assistants – Ian Smith + Keyson Colebrook
The Wessex League took second place as Cowes Sports finally got to play their Isle of Wight Gold Cup Quarter Final where they welcomed Island League side Shanklin FC to Westwood Park who included five former Yachtsmen in their squad.
The Wessex Premier side were gifted the chance of an early score when Jez Conway piled forward in the second minute. His ball into the Shanklin area was handled by defender Wayne Newnham and Referee John Hopkinson pointed straight to the spot. With regular penalty taker John McKie only fit enough for a place on the bench, CONNOR FURMIDGE was given the responsibility and he duly netted from 12 yards to give Cowes the start they wanted to settle any nerves they may have had. Iain Seabrooke sent a low shot at goal but Cowes custodian Ed Hatt saved with ease on 4 minutes. Cowes’ Elliott Dawes then crossed for Jimmy Wykes whose volleyed straight at Chris Page in the Shanklin goal. Another Iain Seabrooke free kick was again straight at Ed Hatt before Shanklins’ Peter Wilson was booked for a foul on the edge of the box on Jimmy Wykes. GARETH BRICKNELL curled the free kick around the wall and past the diving keeper and into the goal to double the home sides lead. Elliott Dawes picked up a yellow card for a foul on former Cowes favourite Phil McDonald. Shanklin had penalty appeals turned down when a cross from the right hit a defender two yards away, Iain Seabrooke spent the next five minutes complaining to the Referee. Connor Furmidge then set up Conor White but his 36th minute effort flew over the crossbar. Shanklin were forced into a change in the 40th minute as the injured Dylan Lehman was replaced by Sam Hart, another former Cowes favourite. It did not take him long to pick up a yellow card for a foul a minute after coming on. In the 4th minute of injury time young Callum Watkins saw his shot blocked but CONOR WHITE was on hand to fire home from ten yards to extend the Yachtsmen’s advantage and effectively finish the game as a contest.
H-t 3 – 0
The second half began as the first had finished as just six minutes in poor defending from Shanklin led to CONOR WHITE smashing a volley from 17 yards past the helpless Shanklin No1. Jez Conway picked up a yellow card before on the hour Craig Insley was replaced by Ashley Brett at the heart of the Cowes defence. Nineteen minutes into the second half and Shanklin threatened the Cowes goal, good work from Tom Dawson ended with Phil McDonald curling an effort just wide of the left post. Connor Furmidge responded for the Yachtsmen sending a chip inches over the bar before Conor White set up the Cowes striker for another chance which Chris Page saved at his near post with his feet. Shanklin then made a double substitution as Wayne Newnham and Iain Seabrooke were replaced in the 76th minute by Tom Procter and Frank Coter. In the 81st minute the home side added their fifth goal when GARETH BRICKNELL fired home a free kick from the right side of the area from around 25 yards out. Phil McDonald sent in a shot that Ed Hatt had to tip over the bar before Connor Furmidge tested Chris Page which the keeper parried away. Jack Broomfield replaced Gareth Bricknell five minutes from time. Callum Watkins then ran at Oliver Fleming before the Shanklin defender brought him down in the box and CONOR WHITE stepped up and confidently netted the spot kick too complete his hat trick and Cowes’ sixth goal of the night comfortably seeing the Wessex side into the Semi Final and a tie against East Cowes Vics to be played at Newport on Wednesday May 2nd KO 19-30.
Although obviously concentrating on the task in hand a few were keeping an eye on what was happening in two Wessex League games of importance. Eventually the results came through- Newport IW had lost 0 – 3 at home to Brockenhurst which confirms their relegation, while Amesbury were beaten 0 – 4 at home to leaders Andover Town.
Two days later Amesbury were back in action again as they were defeated 3 – 4 at home to Hamworthy United that leaves the bottom of the table as below:-
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Elliott Dawes Bkd, Jez Conway Bkd, Callum Chase, Craig Insley (c)(replaced by Ashley Brett 60), Myles Taylor, Conor White, Gareth Bricknell Bkd(replaced by Jack Broomfield 85), Connor Furmidge, Callum Watkins, James Wykes, Unused Subs; John McKie, Charlie Allen + Samuel Sanders g/k
SHANKLIN – Christopher Page, Peter Wilson Bkd, Matthew Rolle, Ryan Gregory, Oliver Fleming, Wayne Newnham(replaced by Tom Procter 76), Josh Craig, Iain Seabrook (c) Bkd(replaced by Frank Coter 76), Tom Dawson, Phillip McDonald, Dylan Lehman(replaced by Samuel Hart 40 Bkd), Unused Subs; Ryan Hill + Simon Hayward g/k