Following their emphatic cup victories in mid week Cowes Sports met Lymington Town at The Sports Ground in Lymington.
Manager Vic Sanders was without Harry Dye(unavailable) whilst Jared Cousins and Connor Furmidge were given game time back on the Island for the Reserves. Ashley Brett came into the starting line up with Jack Broomfield, Ji Nash(both returning from illness and injury respectively) and Daniel Pearson sat on the bench.
An early corner for the home side saw Dom Sexton slice his attempted clearance up over his own crossbar for a second corner from which a header appeared to be cleared off the line by Sam Kirby, but a goal kick was given. Fifteen minutes in and Callum Chase sent a shot wide of target before the Yachtsmen fell behind in the 19th minute. A cross from the Cowes right found CHARLIE HENNEN who controlled the ball cut back inside Dom Sexton before firing past keeper Ed Hatt from close range. The Island side responded well as skipper John McKie ran at the home defence sending a teasing cross along the edge of the six yard box, unfortunately just ahead of the onrushing James Wykes as the ball rolled away too safety. Twenty seven minutes in and a ball into James Wykes saw him enter the right corner of the box only for the Linnets skipper, Tim Stephenson, to slide in and bring James down for a penalty. JOHN MCKIE stepped up to confidently send Nick Jones the wrong way and equalise. The remainder of the first period was played in the middle of the park as neither side were able to break through the oppositions defence so the game was all square at the break at one a piece.
Shortly before the hour mark the Islanders took the lead when JAMES WYKES collected a throw in from the right, cut inside to the edge of their box before sending a left footed strike curling into the top right hand corner of Nick Jones’ goal, another stunner from the Cowes forward. Lymington made two substitutions immediately – Ross Lewis and Charlie Hennen were taken off with Jake King and Pierce McNamara coming on. in the 63rd minute James Wykes’ pace once again took him past his marker who again brought him down for what looked like a second penalty, but the Assistant stated the tackle was outside the box so a free kick was awarded which was wasted by the Yachtsmen. Gareth Bricknell then sent a little ball over the home defence which John McKie ran onto and chipped the ball over their keeper but just wide of the goal. With 15 minutes to go Cowes took Gareth Bricknell off, Ji Nash replacing him. Four minutes later and the Linnets were level when a header came back off the left post to JAKE KING to tap home. Then eight minutes from time the home side scored what proved to be the winner as CAMERON BARNES again scored from close range. In the final minute Jake King had the chance to seal the victory when through on goal with only Ed Hatt too beat, but the Cowes stopper stood up and blocked the forwards shot at goal. Cowes then put the pressure on the home goal forcing four corners in quick succession, one of which was cleared off the line. Then in the 94th minute another corner from the visitors fell to Ji Nash who stabbed the ball into the net, but controversially the Referee blew his whistle for full time, then tried too say that the Cowes player had been offside anyway despite there being two home players on the goal line. Once again Cowes’ luck was not present and a decision goes in favour of the opposition.
Referee:- LEE NOWACKI Assistants – William Jeffery + David Brindle
Edward Hatt, Conor White, Dominic Sexton, Aidan Bryan, Ashley Brett, Samuel Kirby, Callum Chase, Jez Conway, Gareth Bricknell, John McKie (c), James Wykes
Used Subs: Ji Nash(Gareth Bricknell) 75
Unused Subs; Jack Broomfield, Daniel Pearson, Dave Thurman g/k