Attendance – 47
The 2nd round of the Wessex League Cup pitted Cowes Sports away to Fareham Town whom they had beaten 2 – 1 earlier in the season in the League.
Three changes for the starting line up as Jack Broomfield(ill) and Charlie Allen(injured in warm up) were replaced by Harry Dye and making his first team debut, 16 year old Samuel Kirby whilst Gareth Bricknell returned from suspension in place of Jared Cousins who dropped to the bench with Connor Furmidge, Michael McEnery and sub keeper Dave Thurman.
One minutes silence was observed by all in the ground in memory of Ben Scott, goalkeeper coach at Hamworthy United who died earlier in the day. All at Cowes Sports FC send their condolences to the family and friends of Ben. RIP.
Manager Vic Sanders asked his players for a quick start to the game, and boy did he get it. Just two minutes into the game a cross to the edge of the home area found GARETH BRICKNELL who calmly lobbed Karl Steinborn- Busse in the home goal to give the Yachtsmen the best possible start. A minute later it was nearly two as Sam Kirby’s cross from the Cowes left saw Callum Chase volley the ball towards goal from 6 yards, but the home keeper saved well at the expense of a corner. John McKie then fired over the bar from the right edge of the box before an eighth minute ball over the top of the home defence saw James Wykes beat home defender Shawn Benjamin to the ball only to be upended in the box for which the Fareham player was shown a yellow card. Skipper JOHN MCKIE stepped up to net from the spot kick and double the visitors lead. Fareham responded with a low cross from the left that flew across the face of the Cowes goal but no home player could get a touch. Fareham midfielder Curt Robbins was the booked for a foul on Gareth Bricknell. Further joy for the Island side on 20 minutes when a excellent through ball by John McKie found Gareth Bricknell running into their area only to be brought down by Ed Plackett who was sent off and a penalty awarded. JOHN MCKIE again stepped up to send the home keeper the wrong way and score his 100th goal for the club. The home bench were incensed by the sending off but were told it was for violent conduct( apparently an elbow was used). Three minutes later and the visitors were four ahead when a cross from the left was headed back by Callum Chase for JAMES WYKES to mark his 300th appearance for the club with a stunning volley from 24 yards that gave their keeper no chance, what a worldie. 27 minutes gone and Cowes thought they had a fifth goal when a Gareth Bricknell shot was turned into the net by Callum Chase, unfortunately the Assistant’s flag was raised and the goal ruled out – a correct decision. Cowes were certainly buzzing and continued to push forward, John McKie fired a low shot straight at Karl Steinborn-Busse before James Wykes and Gareth Bricknell combined to set up John McKie whose shot hit the crossbar. Callum Chase then rolled a through ball into the path of GARETH BRICKNELL who beat their keeper to slot home Cowes’ fifth goal of the evening. Fareham finished the first half with a couple of chances Nathan Paxton’s cross caused problems in the Cowes six yard box before Harry Dye cleared his lines, then Gary Austin headed a free kick wide before the Cowes defender was shown a yellow card for a foul on Austin.
Fareham made a change at the start of the second half as Bobby Scott was replaced by Scott Hamilton. Again though it was the Island side that dominated, James Wykes nearly scored with a delicate chip over the keeper that went just wide of the right post before JOHN MCKIE completed his hat trick in the 53rd minute, rounding their keeper and a defender before rolling the ball into the net. Four minutes later and CALLUM CHASE added his name to the list of scorers when he latched onto a Sam Kirby through ball. Gary Austin was replaced by Steve Hawley for the home side. Nathan Paxton then saw his goal bound header blocked on the line, the closest they came to scoring. Skipper John McKie picked up a needless yellow card before being replaced by Jared Cousins and Connor Furmidge came on for James Wykes. More attacking play from Gareth Bricknell and Connor Furmidge ended with a Jez Conway shot being pushed away for a corner by the home stopper. Gareth Bricknell was then taken off, Michael McEnery coming on after which Fareham took Nathan Paxton off, Ashley Tattersall coming on. Seven minutes from time a quick Cowes break saw substitute JARED COUSINS see his first shot parried back too him by their keeper, he made no mistake with his second effort for an eighth Cowes goal. A couple of half chances were missed before in added time a poor clearance by their keeper fell nicely to CONNOR FURMIDGE to lob the ball over the stranded keeper for a ninth and final goal for the Yachtsmen and send the stats men looking for the last time Cowes had won by such a margin.
A remarkable result for the lads off the back of four defeats against a side unbeaten in nine games. It was a pleasure to be present at the game with even the home supporters full of praise and admiration for the way their side had been demolished.
Going back through the records I cannot find any bigger Cup away win, although some bigger defeats, 2 – 12 at AFC Portchester last season. There have been a few bigger home wins in Cup matches, the best way back in 1927/28 – 15 – 0 v Shanklin IW Challenge Cup. League wise 1930/31 12 – 0 at Thornycroft Athletic being the biggest victory although in 1925/26 Fareham Town were defeated 11 – 2 on their own patch.
Referee:- ANDREW DUNNE Assistants – Kieran Forrest + Kia Morgan
Edward Hatt, Conor White, Dominic Sexton, Aidan Bryan, Samuel Kirby, Harry Dye, Callum Chase, Jez Conway, Gareth Bricknell, John McKie (c), James Wykes.
Subs Used:- Jared Cousins(John McKie) 62, Connor Furmidge(James Wykes) 69, Michael McEnery(Gareth Bricknell) 73
Unused – Charlie Allen + Dave Thurman g/k