Attendance – 154
The Yachtsmen entertained New Forest side Bashley looking for some sort of revenge following the 7 – 1 hammering they received earlier in the season also a win that would hopefully lift them out of the bottom two in the first of a run of three home League games which could prove vital in the battle against relegation.
Only one change from the last fixture as Nicky Vyse replaced Jack Broomfield who dropped to the bench where he was joined by Aaron Ince and Scott McFarlane. Also a couple of changes to the backroom staff as Steve Rutter rejoined the club in place of Mark Randall, also Ryan Young has come in as goalkeeper coach in place of Dave Thurman.
With the home side now playing a more attacking style the large crowd(154) were hoping for a very open contest and they were not to be disappointed. With only three minutes on the clock Bashley came very close to opening the scoring when a Dan Munday header cannoned of the woodwork. However the New Forest side suffered a blow on 14 minutes when left back Lewis Aimson limped off with a knee injury, his replacement being Liam Ferrugia. In the 20th minute Cowes took the lead when a ball down the Cowes right released Player/Manager JOHN MCKIE whose cross was blocked by a defender, the loose ball came back to the Cowes forward who then saw his shot at goal blocked again, however he made no mistake with his third attempt as he blasted the ball into the goal from just inside the box giving Calum Ward no chance in the Bashley goal. Five minutes later and further joy for the home side when MICHAEL MCENERY cut in from the left before firing past Calum Ward to double the Island sides lead, leaving the supporters dreaming of a Fareham esq score(9 – 0 Cup win). This goal meant that this was just the second time in 24 games that Cowes had scored two goals in a game. Cowes were now in total control and enjoying themselves, Nicky Vyse then tried his luck with a shot that was saved comfortably by the visitors stopper. Dan Munday then had a cross shot that was deflected away for a corner, before, out of nothing, the New Forest side were gifted a way back into the game. Ed Hatt produced a great save to push an effort over the bar for a corner from which a header was deflected into his own goal by skipper GARETH BRICKNELL right on the stroke of half time.
Charlie Allen was replaced at half time by Jack Broomfield which meant Callum Chase dropping back into defence along side Ashley Brett. Within seconds of the restart Bashley thought they had equalised when Dan Munday headed home from close range, but unfortunately for the visitors the offside flag had been raised so the goal did not count, but this served as a wake up call for the home side. The impressive youngster Aedan Coode was fouled in midfield, the Referee played the advantage, Gareth Bricknell fed John McKie whose cross shot flew just wide of the right hand post much to the relief of keeper Calum Ward. Bashleys’ Harrison White was booked for persistent fouling before, in the 58th minute, a Nicky Vyse cross from the left was helped on by Michael McEnery to just outside the left edge of the six yard box where JOHN MCKIE volleyed home a third goal for the Island side. Four minutes later the visitors should of scored a second goal when the normally prolific scorer Dan Munday saw his shot cannon off of Ed Hatt’s left post across the face of goal and away to safety. Bashley then replaced Brad Strickland with Jamie Webber whilst the home side took Nicky Vyse off, bringing on Aaron Ince. In the 74th minute Bashley again brought themselves back into the game when clever work down the Cowes left by Jack Smith saw him roll the ball into DAN MUNDAY who had a simple tap in from two yards, but from the restart Cowes pushed forward, Michael McEnery held the ball up before passing to John McKie on the right, he in turn crossed for skipper GARETH BRICKNELL to volley the ball past Calum Ward for a fourth Cowes goal much to the delight of the home crowd. The tiring Aedan Coode was then replaced by Scott McFarlane in the 77th minute. Not giving up Bashley again got back into the game when in the 79th minute DAN O’SULLIVAN sent a volley into the top right corner of the Cowes goal from the right edge of the area, yet another quality finish for the crowd to enjoy, but leaving the home sides’ supporters with ten minutes of biting their nails to see if they could hold on for the victory. Bashley’s Cameron Beard and Cowes’ Jez Conway were both booked following the goal. Cowes held on for the final moments to claim a very important three points that again takes them above Bemerton HH in the table but still five points behind the three teams above them.
Referee:- CATLIN TANASE Assistants – Aaron Tree + Steve Currie
Edward Hatt, Jez Conway, Dominic Sexton, Charlie Allen, Ashley Brett, Aedan Coode, Gareth Bricknell (c), Callum Chase, John McKie, Michael McEnery, Nicholas Vyse
Used Subs:- Jack Broomfield(Charlie Allen) 46, Aaron Ince(Nicholas Vyse) 70, Scott McFarlane(Aedan Coode) 77
Unused Sub:- Conor White + Callum Watkins