The Hampshire Senior Cup draw pitted the Yachtsmen away to Wessex One side Totton & Eling in the 1st round. The home team had started their League campaign with one victory and two defeats including one just two days before this tie took place.
Caretaker Manager Ian Potts brought back Aidan Bryan and James Wykes to the starting line up with Finley Phillips and Jared Cousins dropping to the bench. Totton & Eling made two changes to their starting XI fro their game two days earlier, Jake Gould and Jack Taylor dropping out with Lewis Connor and Malin Bowman coming in.
The visitors from the Island started well, Jez Conway sent in an early cross that was caught under the crossbar by the home keeper with just two minutes on the clock. Not to be outdone the home sides full back Joe Steel done the same a minute later with Ed Hatt well off his line, thankfully the ball drifted well over the Cowes crossbar. John McKie then saw his cross shot take a deflection for a corner, but the Referee gave a goal kick. A fright for Cowes when Dom Sexton headed back too keeper Ed Hatt, but Malin Bowman nipped in to lift the ball over the stranded keeper but also over the bar. Cowes took the lead in the 11th minute when Ji Nash played a ball to skipper JOHN MCKIE on the edge of their box, a nice little flick to his left saw John beat his defender before burying the ball into the bottom right corner of the Totton goal. The Millers responded straight from the restart, Lewis Connor beat Jez Conway with ease before shooting, the ball cannoned off the Cowes crossbar too safety. The Yachtsmen doubled their lead in the 16th minute when Jez Conway beat the left back, got too the bye line before crossing for JAMES WYKES to score a second from around four yards. At this point it looked as though it would be a comfortable evening for the Island side, but as the game wore on it was not to be. James Wykes then sped past the right back before crossing to Ji Nash whose near post effort went just wide of the right hand post. The home side then tested Ed Hatt when Matt Dolbear forced the Cowes keeper to save. Dylan Gain was the booked for a nasty challenge on Callum Chase near the half way line before the home side found a way back into the tie when MALIN BOWMAN beat Aidan Bryan on the edge of the Cowes area before getting a lucky bounce to beat Callum Chase then rounding keeper Ed Hatt to slot the ball into the empty net in the 41st minute and shortly before the half time whistle Lewis Connor headed inches wide of goal as the home side finished the half strongly.
Totton & Eling brought Sam Vidler on at half time for Matt Dolbear but once again it was the visitors that started brightly James Wykes saw his shot parried by home keeper Callum Ward, Ji Nash pounced on the loose ball gave it to John McKie who set up James Wykes for another shot, which was well blocked by a defender. Morgan Calloway then replaced Dylan Gain for the Millers, Michael McEnery and Finley Phillips replaced Ji Nash and Gareth Bricknell respectively for Cowes. Sam Steel became the second home player too receive a yellow card when he pulled back John McKie just inside the Totton half. Michael McEnery then tried an audacious chip from 35 yards but did not get enough elevation and Callum Ward saved comfortably. Ryan Lomax then went off being replaced by Rory Wood. Jez Conway was then the Cowes hero as he managed to clear the ball over his own crossbar from only a couple of yards out with two home players ready to tap in the equaliser. John McKie could have settled the tie five minutes from time when he outmuscled Sam Steel to go one on one with Callum Ward, the Totton keeper stood up well to make the save and keep his side in the game. Despite pressing hard the Wessex One side could not find an equaliser to take the game too penalties so Cowes Sports progressed to the 2nd round and another away game this time at fellow Premier Division side Alresford Town on a date to be arranged.
A tough encounter for the Yachtsmen as Totton & Eling battled well throughout after looking dead and buried after 15 minutes. Maybe one or two thought they had done enough once two up.
Referee:- ROB WALCZAK Assistants – Brian Francis + Andrew Walker
Edward Hatt, Jez Conway, Dominic Sexton, Callum Chase, Aidan Bryan, Ewan Cranwell, Conor White, Gareth Bricknell, Ji Nash, John McKie (c), James Wykes
Used Subs:- Michael McEnery (Ji Nash) 56, Finley Phillips (Gareth Bricknell) 58, Jared Cousins (James Wykes) 87
Unused Subs- Connor Furmidge, Ben Gearing g/k