Saturday August 31st – BUILDBASE F A VASE 1st Qualifying Rd
COWES SPORTS 2(2) SHAFTESBURY 0(0)
TWO FIRST HALF STRIKES SEE COWES THROUGH IN VASE.
played at Westwood Park Attendance – 104
The Yachtsman embarked on their second ‘Road to Wembley’ attempt for the season with a home tie against fellow Wessex Premier side Shaftesbury a side just two places below in the table.
Manager Steve Rutter made two changes from the victorious mid week side, Conor White(hols) was replaced by Ewan Cranwell whilst skipper Gareth Bricknell returned in place of Sam Kirby. Ashley Brett also returned with a place on the bench. Visitors Shaftesbury made five changes to their squad for this game.
Unlike recent games both sides took time to settle into the game and it was not until the 18th minute that any action occurred. Then out of nothing Cowes attacked with Fin Phillips down the right, he cut inside his defender before seeing his shot well blocked by Dan Card in the Shaftesbury goal, but the loose ball fell nicely for JAMES WYKES who volleyed the ball into the goal from six yards much to the delight of the Chairman as he had the 18th minute ‘Goalden Goal’ ticket to win the Rollover. Boosted by taking the lead the Island side went in search of a second. Callum Chase sent a long pass forward to Michael McEnery who in turn laid the ball to James Wykes, but he screwed his effort well wide of goal. It took half an hour before the visitors threatened the home goal. Aidan Shepherd fired in a shot from an angle that home stopper Ed Hatt saved low down by his left hand post. In the 41st minute the home crowd were sent into dreams of a Wembley appearance(well at least a place in the next round), when MICHAEL MCENERY picked up the ball some 30yards out, turned his marker made his way into the box before again spinning round his defender then firing a shot that wrong footed the visiting keeper into the right side of the goal to double the Islanders advantage. Minutes later it was nearly three when Fin Phillips accurate pass found Michael McEnery who calmly chipped the ball over the advancing keeper only to see the ball hit the top of the crossbar and go for a goal kick. Right on half time Shaftesbury nearly pulled a goal back when another effort by Aidan Shepherd went agonisingly the wrong side of Ed Hatt’s right hand post.
The visiting side came out for the second half well pumped up to make a fight of the game. Following a 55th minute challenge on the edge of the Cowes box Morgan Perrin was forced off with a hamstring strain to be replaced by Ashley Brett. Seventeen year old Scott McFarlane, who once again was impressing in midfield, won the ball near the half way line before laying the ball to Michael McEnery whose shot was blocked by Elliott Eavis at the expense of a corner from which Scott McFarlane’ s glancing header flew inches wide of the left hand post. On the hour Jez Conway won the ball back sprayed it out to James Wykes whose cross cum shot just evaded Michael McEnery in the 6 yard box and the left hand post. Cowes were now dominating and Fin Phillips shot over the bar in the 61st minute. In the 65th minute Ryan Mitchell replaced Jack Mitchell for the visitors. Shaftesbury skipper Michael Walker sent a header straight into the safe hands of Ed Hatt. A substitution apiece saw Jez Conway replaced by sixteen year old Ben Snow for the home side and Sean Colohan replaced by Nick Pattrick for Shaftesbury. Fifteen minutes from time a blow for Cowes as Callum Chase was injured and limped off, Isaac Cruise coming on. A couple of minutes later Ben Snow was pushed into Ewan Cranwell on the edge of the Cowes area both going down with head injuries, but amazingly no action was taken by the Referee who at this point was losing control. Eight minutes from time Shaftesbury’s Malachi Benjamin had their best chance of the game with a free header from six yards, but he put the ball over the crossbar and with their chances of a cup run. Fin Phillips went close in the dying moments to adding a third but his shot flew just wide of the target before Chai Khider had a bit too much to say for himself and ended the game in the sin bin. Cowes held on with ease to book their place in the next round and another home game against either Ringwood Town or Verwood Town who played out a 1 – 1 draw after extra time on September 14th.