Cowes Sports Reserves 2 – 6 Shanklin
Attendance – 25ish
Darren Arnolds team was decimated for this League fixture against Shanklin, the side they will do battle with in the IW Challenge Cup Semi Final.
With Ben Gearing unavailable and Arthur Balchin and Aedan Coode called up for the 1st XI match at Team Solent Ryan Whitewood, Owen Stevens and Sam Perryman were called into the squad with the latter the only substitute on the bench.
Shanklin started the match on the front foot, putting Cowes’ second string under pressure from the kick off. Their centre forward had the first chance at goal in the 6th minute but pushed his shot wide of Owen Stevens’ goal. Iain Seabrook’s free kick found their left winger but his shot cannoned off the post before being half cleared only for the ball to be knocked back into the box where a header was well blocked by Owen Stevens before grabbing the ball at the second attempt. Poor defending led too Shanklin taking the lead in the tenth minute when after clearing the initial danger Cowes left three players unmarked on the six yard line and IAIN SEABROOK took full advantage to score the opening goal. From the restart Cowes broke forward and DANIEL PEARSON’S shot from the edge of the area bounced in front then over the Shanklin keeper for a fortunate equaliser. For a while the game was fairly even, but then two goals in the space of a couple of minutes, first in the 26th minute their winger saw his shot take a slight deflection which was enough to beat Owen Stevens then their centre forward struck from close range to net number three for the visitors. Five minutes before half time and IAN SEABROOK headed in number four although the Cowes keeper should have done better. So 1 – 4 down at the break meant that Cowes had a lot of work to do in the second half if they were to get anything out of the game.
Eight minutes into the second half and Dan Pearson was man handled in the Shanklin area, but no penalty was given as the Ref probably unsighted from his position in the centre circle. Just past the hour and Shanklin added a fifth goal when their centre forward was set free before clipping the ball over Owen Stevens. To their credit the Cowes youngsters never stopped trying to play football. Ryan Gardner went close before being replaced by Sam Perryman, another 16 year old to add to those already on the pitch. In the 75th minute Cowes did pull one back when a mazy run from Sam Kirby top the edge of their area before sliding a pass to DANIEL PEARSON who netted from ten yards. Former Cowes stalwart, PHIL MCDONALD on as a substitute, had the final word when he netted from close range for a sixth goal for Shanklin.
Referee:- IAN SMITH
Owen Stevens, Max Coshell, Jacob Jarvis, Mitchell Ricketts, Max Draper (c), Ryan Whitewood, Samuel Kirby, Scott McFarlane, Daniel Pearson, Ryan Gardner, Zach Fever-Norton
Used Sub:- Samuel Perryman(Ryan Whitewood) 65