Wednesday September 25th – SYDENHAMS FOOTBALL LEAGUE(WESSEX) LEAGUE CUP 2nd Round
COWES SPORTS 3(1) NEWPORT IW 2(1)
played at Westwood Park Attendance – 228
Referee:- DEREK PRATT Assistants – Steve Currie + Jamie Saltzer
THREE OFF IN DERBY AS YACHTSMEN PROGRESS IN LEAGUE CUP
Cowes Sports reward for beating fellow Premier Division side Horndean in the League Cup 1st round was another home tie and a mouth watering fixture against their biggest rivals, high flying Division One side Newport IW. the game was originally scheduled for Tuesday 24th but was put back 24 hours so as to not clash with the Carabao Cup tie at Fratton Park between Portsmouth and Southampton.
Manager Steve Rutter made two changes from the side that suffered a last minute defeat at AFC Stoneham the previous Saturday. Callum Chase and Conor White came back into the starting XI whilst Max Coshell dropped to the bench and Scott McFarlane unavailable. Samuel Kirby and new signing from Newport, goalkeeper Fraser Law also joined the bench. Newport, fresh from a 3 – 0 victory at ‘home’ to Andover Town, made three changes with Gary Streeter, Neo Lamb and Connor Kelly replacing Cameron Farley, Jacob Reynolds and Liam Triggs.
A crowd of 228 expected a good competitive encounter and they certainly would not be disappointed. Prior to kick off Lee Bray presented Cowes Sports with a certificate for collecting the fewest disciplinary points for the month of August( Sydenhams League Respect Award).
Five minutes into the game the home side created the first chance when a cross from the left by Jez Conway saw the ball slightly behind Michael McEnery, but he managed to flick it goalwards straight into the arms of Newport stopper Gary Streeter. With their first attack Newport took the lead in fortunate circumstances when Ryan Hughes’ cross from in front of the clubhouse saw Cowes left back, DOMINIC SEXTON slice his attempted clearance over the head of Ed Hatt into the right corner of the Cowes goal. Just three minutes later the Yachtsmen were level. A Gareth Bricknell free kick smashed into the Newport defensive wall, the Cowes skipper retrieved the ball 28 yards from goal and clipped a cross back into the Newport area where JEZ CONWAY controlled the ball on his chest before volleying past the diving Gary Streeter into the goal, much to the delight of the Cowes faithful. Charlie Urry came close to restoring the visitors lead in the 17th minute when he attempted an audacious chip that Ed Hatt tipped over the bar for a corner. Connor Kelly became the first name in the book for a foul on Jez Conway closely followed by Cowes’ Michael McEnery again for a foul, on Mark Taylor. Newport again went close in the 23rd minute when a corner from the Cowes right saw Dominic Sexton again slice his clearance, this time young Jake Wright headed over the bar. Following a foul on the half way line a free kick to the home side was given much to the annoyance of Newport striker Charlie Urry who ended up saying a bit too much to earn himself a ten minute spell in the sin bin. From the resulting free kick the ball was played into the right side of the Newport box where Ashley Brett rose to head back across the goal to Michael McEnery who sent a volley well over the crossbar, a great chance missed. Shortly before the break Newport’s Mark Taylor was shown a yellow card for a foul as the sides went in at the break all square at 1 – 1.
The second half started with the home side pushing forward and just four minutes in James Wykes was put through on goal, but credit to Gary Streeter he made himself big to block the Cowes forward shot at the expense of a corner. A minute later and Westwood went wild as from a corner from the Cowes left ASHLEY BRETT volleyed the ball into the net from eight yards. Cowes continued to push forward and in the 53rd minute won a free kick just outside the left edge of the ‘Port box. Skipper Gareth Bricknell sent a low ball towards the near post which a rarity saw Gary Streeter fumble and a defender cleared the danger, but only to Morgan Perrin who fired over from 30 yards. An inoquious foul inside the area in the 58th minute by Michael McEnery was deemed to be bad enough for a second yellow, followed by a red card, Harsh to say the least. Minutes later and Newport’s left back Ben Trimbell picked up two yellows for silly fouls, consequently was also shown red. Lewis Wright was next into the book in the 63rd minute for a foul on Gareth Bricknell. The Cowes skipper then floated a free kick towards the far post which was met by Ashley Brett’s volley that flew wide. At this point the home side were well on top, but would they regret not taking their chances? In the 65th minute Cowes replaced the hard working Jez Conway with Ji Nash whilst Newport took off the impressive Jake Wright, bringing on Joe Craig. Mid Way through the second half and Dominic Sexton became he latest player to be booked before Newport were reduced to nine when Mark Taylor was shown a second yellow for a needless foul on James Wykes. Cowes looked to have settled the tie in the 78th minute when JAMES WYKES was released down the left before he sent a thunderbolt of a drive into the top left corner of the Newport goal leaving Gary Streeter rooted to the ground. Young Reserve team player Aiden White came on for the final eight or so minutes replacing Callum Chase. Morgan Perrin became the fourth Cowes player to see yellow in the 85th minute. The visitors set up a tense finale in the 87th minute when NEO LAMB sent a superb volley into the top left corner of the Cowes goal. However the home side played out time with although they collected their fifth booking when skipper Gareth Bricknell was yellow carded. Great jubilation at the final whistle as Cowes progressed to the 3rd round and another home tie against either Totton & Eling or Andover New Street.
The number of cards shown in the game (11 yellows with three reds) suggests that this was a dirty game, but on the contrary it was a well contested match without a nasty tackle. Maybe the referee was a bit hasty in showing his cards. The game of football will soon be a non contact sport if this carries on!!