Attendance – 114
Following defeat in the Extra Preliminary Round of the F A Cup a re-arranged league fixture was scheduled in pitting the Yachtsmen against the students from Team Solent. In previous encounters at Westwood honours were fairly even, both having won 3 with one draw. Team Solent came into the game having beaten AFC Portchester 3 – 2 in the Hampshire Senior Cup while Cowes had progressed 2 – 1 at Totton & Eling.
The visitors made six changes from the side that started against Portchester whilst the Islanders made three changes from their cup victory, Gareth Bricknell and Conor White were missing through injury and Ji Nash dropped to the bench, the players coming in were Connor Furmidge, Jared Cousins and Finley Phillips.
A tentative start from both teams for the first ten minutes until John McKie sped down the right, cut inside Jake Armstrong before the Solent defender pushed the Cowes skipper over in the area. Referee Nathan Cook pointed to the spot without hesitation. JOHN McKIE stepped up to send visiting keeper Ben Morella the wrong way to give the home side the lead much too the delight of the 114 crowd. A few minutes later John McKie again had the beating of their left back before shooting across the face of the goal where James Wykes could not quite stretch enough to divert the ball into the net. In the 22nd minute The Sparks skipper, Silvano Obeng hit the left hand post of Ed Hatt’s goal, the ball rebounded out to Aidan Bryan who could only chest the ball down, Julian Stahler nipped in past Aidan before falling to the ground. Assistant Referee, Rudi Burton, raised his flag for a foul which after discussion with the Referee resulted in Team Solent being awarded a penalty. SILVANO OBENG slotted the spot kick to the right of Ed Hatt’s dive to equalise for the students. Very little action for the remainder of the first half as the score remained level at the break.
A fast start to the second half saw Aidan Bryan head a corner towards goal but the effort was blocked, possibly by a defenders hand, Cowes appeals were waved away. Within a minute a through ball saw John McKie go down under challenge from their keeper, again appeals for a penalty were denied and a goal kick was given. Solent’s Ryan Penny became the first player to get a yellow card for a foul on Jez Conway. Callum, Chase then made a mistake which allowed Silvano Obeng in on goal, but Cowes stopper Ed Hatt parried his shot away too safety. Ji Nash then replaced Connor Furmidge on 68 minutes. James Wykes then screwed a shot inches wide of the right hand post as Cowes searched for a second goal. Six minutes from time and that goal came for the home side when the impressive Finley Phillips picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, weaved his way past several defenders to the bye line before crossing into the middle. Substitute JI NASH met the cross with a diving header to net what proved to be the winning goal from close range and send the crowd into raptures. In response to going behind Team Solent’s Manager James Taylor brought himself on for the final five minutes, but it was his skipper that had the chance too level but he could only find the side netting as The Yachtsmen held on to the three points which saw them leap into second place in the table.
Referee:- NATHAN COOK Assistants – Rudi Burton + Aaron Tree
Edward Hatt, Jez Conway, Dominic Sexton, Callum Chase, Aidan Bryan, Ewan Cranwell, Finley Phillips, Jared Cousins, Connor Furmidge, John McKie (c), James Wykes
Used Subs:- Ji Nash (Connor Furmidge) 68
Unused Subs- Max Draper, Aarun Ince, Corrie Stafford, Ben Gearing g/k