Attendance – 57
Cowes Sports made the short journey to the New Forest to take on Brockenhurst in a very important League fixture, the home side were only six points above the Islanders so victory would make a big difference to whoever took the three points.
Interim Manager John McKie was forced to make changes as Conor White(hamstring injury) was unavailable. In came Gareth Bricknell(returning after school trip), Michael McEnery and Josh Appell for a rare appearance. Dropping to the bench were Charlie Allen and Jez Conway who were joined by Callum Watkins and new signing Nicky Vyse after a spell at Northwood St Johns.
Following heavy rain during the afternoon the pitch was very wet on top and was always going to cut upas the game progressed. Cowes were first to show as Fin Phillips played the ball to Michael McEnery in the box, he in turn laid it off to John McKie whose shot just cleared the home crossbar. Cowes had appeals for a penalty waved away by the Referee when Gareth Bricknell appeared to be fouled inside the box on 6 minutes. Ashley Brett was fouled just outside the box in the 10th minute, John McKie’s free kick went through the wall but the home keeper saved as Cowes forwards closed in. John McKie then ran at the home defence but his shot went wide of target. A couple of efforts from the home side also missed target before they took the lead in the 19th minute when Matt Sheedy broke down the right, his shot was well blocked by Ed Hatt, but the loose ball fell into the path of MO NYANG who had a simple tap in to give Brockenhurst the lead. In a surprisingly open game Both Gareth Bricknell and Michael McEnery saw their efforts saved by Matt Taylor in the home goal while Mitchell Speechley-Price should have done better when through on goal. Just a minute before the break and Brockenhurst should have doubled their lead when Mitchell Speechley-Price could only hit the right hand post with a shot.
The second half started with Cowes again on the attack, Gareth Bricknell was fouled 22 yards from goal towards the left of the area which earned the home defender a yellow card. GARETH BRICKNELL picked himself up to bend the ball around the right end of the defensive wall and into the left corner of Matt Taylor’s goal to give the Islanders a well deserved equaliser. A Fin Phillips corner was only half cleared but Josh Appell fired over he bar. A John McKie free kick saw Ashley Brett challenge a defender who done well to head the ball out for a corner. A couple changes were made by the home side but it was Cowes that continued to push forward. Then in the 72nd minute Brockenhurst broke forward, Jude Nwanchukwu’s cross from the right found Matt Sheedy who “scored”. The Referee initially gave the goal, but Cowes complained that their forward was two or three yards offside. After consulting his Assistant the “goal” was correctly ruled out and Cowes awarded a free kick. Gareth Bricknell’s 30 yard effort was straight at the home keeper who saved with ease before Fin Phillips fired wide when in a good position. In the final minute of normal time Will Tickle broke down the right, cut inside and ran into Callum Chase, a debateable free kick was given to the home side from which a goalmouth scramble ended with MATT CASEY firing home from close range to break Cowes’ hearts and snatch the three points for the home side. Cowes still had time to create one last chance when in stoppage time a shot was blocked on the line before Jez Conway fired over the bar.
Once again Cowes played out of their skins but came away with nothing. Josh Appell certainly made a big difference in midfield and it is a shame that he is not available every week. Never mind lots of positives from this game so lets hope we can carryon into the weekend game when we entertain the Badgers at Westwood Park in another important game.
Referee:- MARTIN BLOOR Assistants – David Brindle + Andre Linford
Edward Hatt, Ewan Cranwell, Dominic Sexton, Ashley Brett, Callum Chase, Jack Broomfield, Josh Appell, Finley Phillips, Michael McEnery, Gareth Bricknell (c), John McKie
Used Sub; Jez Conway(Jack Broomfield) 85
Unused Subs; Nicky Vyse, Callum Watkins, Charlie Allen, Ben Gearing g/k