MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – TOM BERRY Assistants Liam White + Ali Taylor. Shaun Phillips 4th
Saturday May 12th finally arrived. A date eagerly awaited by all at Cowes Sports FC, their presentation evening to be held in the evening, but more important the ISLE of WIGHT SENIOR GOLD CUP FINAL sponsored by Harwoods Dacia to be played at St Georges Park, Newport. However unexpected opponents as Island League side WEST WIGHT had battled their way through to this showdown beating Newport IW 1 – 0 at Camp Road in the Quarter Final before overcoming league Champions W + B 1 – 0 in a feisty Semi Final at Westwood Park.
On a wet day a marvellous crowd of 440 turned out to watch the game. Cowes, defending the Asda end first half kicked off and were first to create as a 4th minute cross from John McKie picked out Connor Furmidge whose header was straight at Joe McCormack in the West Wight goal. Six minutes in and the Wessex Premier side took the lead when Jimmy Wykes crossed for top scorer JOHN MCKIE to slot the ball past the helpless keeper. Just the start The Yachtsmen required to settle any nerves that may have been lingering. The lead was doubled in the 12th minute when Ewan Cranwell split the West Wight defence with a ball into the box for FINLEY PHILLIPS to run onto and pass it into the goal. Although Cowes continued to dominate, West Wight did force keeper Ed Hatt into a save just as a reminder that there were two sides playing. Charlie Smeeton then headed goal wards in the 35th minute but Cowes custodian Ed Hatt made the save look easy. Seconds before the interval and Cowes settled the game with a third goal, John McKie and Joe McCormack challenged for the ball just outside of the box, the loose ball fell to Conor White on the right who sent the ball into the box for JOHN MCKIE to net his 30th goal of the season.
H-t 3 – 0
About ten minutes into the second half Steve Hunt made the first change for Cowes, Leigh Mackenzie replacing Gareth Bricknell. Cowes’ intensity dropped as West Wight came back into the game but initially failed too trouble Ed Hatt. In the 65th minute the Cowes stopper was forced into a one handed save to keep his side three up. Tom Dye replaced Finley Phillips before West Wight again came close. Cowes needed another goal just to kill off their opponents and a fourth goal came in the 79th minute. Ed Hatt punched a West Wight free kick clear picking out Jez Conway, he played in Jimmy Wykes down the line his pace took him up to the West Wight area before he passed to JOHN MCKIE for a simple tap in thus completing his hat trick. Callum Watkins got a taste of the game when he replaced Jez Conway before West Wight scored with an injury time header to complete the scoring for the day.
Jubilant scenes for the Yachtsmen and their fans at the final whistle as JOHN MCKIE picked up the Alan Reed “Man of the Match” trophy then last in line captain CRAIG INSLEY held aloft the GOLD CUP.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Conor White, Jez Conway(replaced by Callum Watkins 80), Callum Chase, Craig Insley (c), Ewan Cranwell, John McKie, Gareth Bricknell(replaced by Leigh Mackenzie 55), Connor Furmidge, Finnley Phillips(replaced by Tom Dye 70) , James Wykes, Unused Subs: Charlie Allen + Owen Stevens g/k
WEST WIGHT – Joe McCormack, Nathaniel Ridett, Dom Sexton, Alex Harmer, Darren Burgess, Cameron Barnes, George Saunders, Adam Millar (c), Jack Butler, Charlie Smeeton, Zakery Harris, Subs: Borja Marjhssal, Maca Barnes, Josh Hibberd, Gavin Armiger, Kevin Sampson