Attendance – 104
Cowes Sports made their longest journey of the season to the Weyline Stadium to take on second placed Portland United who were currently on a run of seven consecutive victories.
With Conor White and Gareth Bricknell missing, Aidan Bryan and Jez Conway both stepped up from the bench to start, Callum Watkins returning to the bench.
Cowes set up with a 5-4-1 system to try and counter the home sides attacking ability, but sadly it only took seven minutes for Portland to snatch the lead. Max Buckler surged forward setting up Jamie Symes who saw his shot well saved by Cowes stopper Ed Hatt, unfortunately for the visitors MAX BUCKLER reacted quickest to fire the rebound into the Cowes net from around 12 yards. The Yachtsmen had a good chance to level the scores on the quarter of an hour when a Ewan Cranwell free kick was headed on by Ashley Brett and Callum Chase fired over the bar from 15 yards. Max Buckler then pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Sean Stewart. Minutes later and again Cowes nearly levelled when a fantastic effort from 35 yards from Callum Chase smashed off the Portland post. Callum Chase then became provider when a long ball from defence found John McKie in on goal but pull his shot wide of target. Fin Phillips then tried his luck from 20 yards which Sean Lillington in the home goal spilled, John McKie challenged for the loose ball but their keeper done just enough to prevent a Cowes goal. that proved important as the home side doubled their advantage when TOMMY RICHARDSON nodded home from a corner. Callum Chase and John McKie both picked up yellow cards during the first half as the home side led 2 – 0 at the break.
Cowes upped their performance in the second half but found it hard to break down the Portland defence and with about ten minutes to go the hosts sealed the points when SAM BUCKLER headed in a third goal. Cowes replaced Jez Conway, John McKie and Charlie Allen with Callum Watkins, Aedan Coode and Scott McFarlane respectively. Close to the end Cowes did pull one back when a free kick was headed against the crossbar CALLUM WATKINS was first to react to head home from close range for a consolation goal.
This defeat leaves the Yachtsmen in 18th place just a point ahead of Team Solent who have three games in hand, a precarious position to be in. Lets hope some points will come our way over the next few games to pull us away from the bottom and not leave it to the last few games.
Referee – DEREK PRATT Assistants – Ray Cody + Tim Paul
Edward Hatt, Ewan Cranwell, Dominic Sexton, Aidan Bryan, Ashley Brett, Charlie Allen, Callum Chase, Jack Broomfield, Jez Conway, John McKie, Finley Phillips
Used Subs:- Callum Watkins(Jez Conway), Aedan Coode(John McKie), Scott McFarlane(Charlie Allen)
Unused Sub:- Dave Thurman g/k