Saturday 23rd November – SYDENHAMS WESSEX LEAGUE (WESSEX) Premier Division
AMESBURY TOWN 0(0) COWES SPORTS 2(0) played at Bonnymead Park Attendance – 42
BASEMENT BATTLE GOES YACHTSMENS WAY
Referee:- ROBERT FINN Assistants – Ian Lintell + Freddie Miah
Following the midweek change of Manager at Cowes Sports, new man Max Draper took his troops to Bonnymead Park for another vital game against bottom of the table Amesbury Town who themselves had recently changed their Management team.
Once again though changes were enforced as Ben Snow and Michael McEnery joined club Captain Gareth Bricknell and Jacob Jarvis on the injury list whilst Joe White, Ewan Cranwell and Fin Phillips were also unavailable. Morgan Perrin and Ashley Brett did return after missing the midweek game against Lymington.
Edward Hatt, Conor White, Dominic Sexton, Morgan Perrin, Aidan Bryan (c), Ashley Brett, Scott McFarlane, Aiden White, Darren Williams, Ji Nash, James Wykes
Subs – Ben Holdsworth, Tom Dye, Daniel Pearson
This fixture survived a morning pitch inspection having had standing water on the pitch the previous day. A dull damp day saw both teams start the game rather cautiously. A second minute Conor White throw was played back to him, he then thread the ball to James Wykes who cut inside along the eighteen yard line before sending a left foot shot wide of target. A couple of minutes later Amesbury’s Billy Connor ran at the Cowes defence before beating Cowes keeper Ed Hatt but his shot cannoned of the crossbar and away for a throw to the Island side. Just before the quarter of an hour mark Ji Nash saw his free kick also cannon of the woodwork and away to safety. Play then centred around the midfield area as both sides cancelled each other. On the half hour an Amesbury attack saw an offside Billy Connor broke into the Cowes box where he was tackled, he thought he should of had a penalty and voiced his opinion too much and was therefore sin binned for ten minutes. Five minutes from half time a Cowes free kick from 20 yards was bent around the wall by Ji Nash but flew just wide of the Amesbury left hand post. Two minutes later Conor White cleared the ball from his own area with a diving header, Amesbury’s attacker fell over him and the Referee awarded a penalty to the home side. James Smith stepped up to take the spot kick but never looked confident and Ed Hatt saved the penalty comfortably before the ball was cleared. So the game, although not being pretty, was goal less at the break.
Rain started falling just before half time and continued into the second half. The home side made two changes before the start of the second half, both full backs, Max Mason and Jamie Ritchie, were replaced by Matt Gilham and Dan Molyneaux. In the 46th minute Darren Williams intercepted a pass but could only send his shot into the side netting. A minute later a James Wykes raced down the Cowes right, his cross into the box hit the arm of a home defender and a penalty was given. ASHLEY BRETT took on the responsibility and although the home keeper dived the right way the spot kick was converted to give the Islanders the lead. James Wykes continued to cause their left back problems and sent in another teasing cross, but Scott McFarlane could not stretch enough to get the touch needed to score. Dominic Sexton raced down the left before sending his shot into the side netting. Darren Williams then set up James Wykes but once again the ball was sent into the side netting as Cowes pressed for a second goal. The home side were struggling to get out of their own half and when they did they never really troubled Ed Hatt in the Cowes goal. Ji Nash and Aiden White were then replaced by Daniel Pearson and Ben Holdsworth as Cowes looked to freshen their attack. In the 73rd minute an Amesbury throw from the right into the Cowes box was only cleared to James Smith whose sent his shot from 18 yards wide of the Cowes upright, the best chance the home side created throughout the second half. A minute later a superb crossfield ball found James Wykes on the right, he worked his way to the edge of the box before sending the ball across the face of the goal, Dan Pearson could not get a touch but at the far post fellow substitute BEN HOLDSWORTH was on hand to smash the ball into the goal much to the delight of the Cowes Management and the few travelling supporters. Tom Dye replaced Darren Williams for the final 15 minutes. Dan Pearson then had the ball in the Amesbury net but was harshly adjudged to have been offside. James Wykes then fired just over the bar for the Islanders as they finished the game the stronger comfortably holding out to complete the victory that lifts them back above Solent University in the table.
So the Max Draper era starts off with a vital win, lets hope more is to come.