Attendance – 138
With the Christmas festivities over Cowes Sports welcomed Baffins Milton Rovers to Westwood Park for this latest League fixture.
Only one change to the Yachtsmen’s starting line up saw Callum Chase replace Jez Conway who dropped to the bench where he was joined by Scott McFarlane, Aedan Coode, Aidan Bryan and recent signing back up keeper Cameron Farley.
Cowes could not have got off to a worse start than they did as they fell behind after just three minutes when poor defending allowed Baffins in to fire at goal, but Ed Hatt could only push the ball away into the path of ROB TAW who made no mistake from seven yards out to give the Portsmouth side the lead. Shortly after the visitors then hit the Cowes post as they dominated the early stages of the game. Cowes’ first attempt at goal came just before the half hour mark when Ashley Brett headed over the bar from a corner. Baffins then created problems for themselves 35 minutes in losing possession in midfield to Callum Chase who sent it out to John McKie on the right wing. He got past his marker before sending in a cross to the far post where Gareth Bricknell headed the wrong side of the keepers right hand post. On the stroke of half time Baffins Milton Rovers skipper, Ashton Leigh, pushed the ball into John McKie’s face over the far side of the pitch right in front of the Assistant. However, after speaking to his Assistant Referee Harry Redman only showed the skipper a yellow card, a decision that amazed the 138 crowd. On the first half performance Cowes could be likely candidates to join the other Island sides in Division One next season.
The second half started better for the Islanders though as on 50 minutes a through ball from John McKie found GARETH BRICKNELL in on goal with only the keeper to beat which he done with aplomb to bring his side level much to the delight of the 138 crowd. Aidan Bryan was brought on to replace Charlie Allen before the restart. However Cowes’ joy was to be short lived, on the hour Baffins regained the lead when a quick break following a Cowes attack saw a cross from the right found TOMMY TIERNEY who slotted the ball past Ed Hatt. Just a couple of minutes later John McKie was hauled down on just outside the box with little chance of anyone covering, should have been a red card, but again the crowd were surprised that only a yellow card was shown to the Baffins number 6, Aaron Grimshaw . From the resulting free kick John McKie made the visitors keeper work to push his effort away from the goal. Jez Conway replaced Conor White for the home side while the whinging Jason Parish was taken off for Baffins, Max Paddon replacing him up front. In the 69th minute a through ball found Gareth Bricknell who was brought down by skipper Ashton Leigh, a clear bookable offence, but for the third time the Referee’s decision not too show any card at all was questionable, had he done so he would have had to have shown a red. Fin Phillips free kick saw stopper Cameron Scott save comfortably. Ewan Cranwell then had a chance to equalise but under challenge sent his shot over the bar. Scott McFarlane replaced Ewan Cranwell for the Yachtsmen while Tommy Tierney was replaced by Carel Keyembe. As the home side pushed forward in search of the equalising goal a late clearance by the visiting keeper found TOMMY LEIGH who beat Jez Conway before firing past Ed Hatt on the angle to seal the points and leave the home side back down in 18th position in the table.
Referee:- HARRY REDMAN Assistants – Alistair Taylor + Keyson Colebrook
Edward Hatt, Conor White, Dominic Sexton, Ashley Brett, Charlie Allen, Jack Broomfield, Callum Chase, Ewan Cranwell, Gareth Bricknell, John McKie (c), Finley Phillips
Used Subs:- Aidan Bryan(Charlie Allen) 52, Jez Conway(Conor White) 66, Scott McFarlane(Ewan Cranwell) 75
Unused Subs – Aedan Coode + Cameron Farley g/k