COWES SPORTS RESERVES 3 – 2 BRADING TOWN
The Reserves final game of the season saw them entertain second placed Brading Town with nothing on the game as the title had already been won by W + B Sports whilst Cowes were assured of Division One football next season although they could, with a win, move up a place in the table.
Several regulars were missing from Darren Arnold’s team. Skipper Max Draper was ill, as was James Wright. Mitch Ricketts was away on holiday and both Jacob Jarvis and Sam Kirby were with the 1st XI at Horndean.
The Romans got off to the better start as a couple of early shorts at goal saw Skipper Ben Gearing parry the first away to safety and gather the second at the second attempt. The early pressure paid off for Brading in the 8th minute when some hesitant defending allowed their number 8 to score from the edge of the area into the right corner of Ben Gearing’s goal. To their credit though Cowes were not fazed by going behind and it took just three minutes for the equaliser as SCOTT McFARLANE fired a free kick past Will Hunt, in the Brading goal, into the left corner of the goal. The game was turned on its head as a minute later the Yachtsmen went ahead when SCOTT McFARLANE fired home from the edge of the box, the ball nestling in the right corner of Will Hunt’s goal. Fourteen minutes in and Zach Fever-Norton played in Connor Furmidge but his effort was saved by the Romans stopper. However he could do nothing in the 15th minute when Aarun Ince’s cross from the left was headed home by top scorer ARTHUR BALCHIN who beat two defenders in the air. With goals coming on a regular basis it was no surprise that Brading scored a second, with only 20 minutes played, a ball over the top was missed by Ryan Whitewood allowing AARON BURFORD a run on goal before he tucked the ball past Ben Gearing. Chances continued when on 27 minutes Josh Woodnutt saw his shot blocked before Aaron Burford fired the rebound at Ben Gearing. Daniel Pearson the watched his shot cannon off the angle of bar and post before a minute before the break Arthur Balchin’s shot was well blocked by Will Hunt and amazingly Dan Pearson put the rebound wide of the right upright.
I do not think anyone expected the second half to be as lively as the first, and they were right. Aarun Ince’s corner from in front of the clubhouse picked out Zach Fever-Norton but his header went inches wide of the right hand post. Just pat the hour mark life became more difficult for the home side when Ryan Whitewood was shown a second yellow card, followed by red for kicking the ball away. Scott McFarlane dropped back into defence and Connor Furmidge into midfield. Brading began to see more of the ball, but rarely threatened Ben Gearing, and when they did the Cowes stopper was in top form to save. Will Hunt was also in top form for the visitors, saving one handed from Aarun Ince who used his pace to create the chance. Sam Perryman came on in place of Connor Furmidge and the substitute nearly scored a fourth as he beat Will Hunt to a Dan Pearson cross but his header flew just over the bar. In the final ten minutes Brading pushed hard for an equaliser, but on three occasions former Cowes midfielder Oliver Wilson had shots either saved, blocked or off target. The young Yachtsmen held on to win their final game of the season with a gutsy performance on a very hot afternoon, showing the crowd that they are the future of this great club.
Referee:- AARON TREE
Ben Gearing (c), Max Coshell, Aarun Ince, Aiden White, Ryan Whitewood, Charlie Butt, Scott McFarlane, Daniel Pearson, Arthur Balchin, Connor Furmidge, Zach Fever-Norton
Used Sub:- Samuel Perryman(Connor Furmidge) 70