Tuesday February 4th – SYDENHAMS FOOTBALL LEAGUE (WESSEX) Premier Division
COWES SPORTS 2(0) BAFFINS MILTON ROVERS 2(1)
played at Westwood Park Attendance – 96
Referee:- SEAN PHILLIPS Assistants – Andy Jones + Steve Currie
BRICKNELL DOUBLE RESCUES A POINT FOR YACHSTMEN
Another mid week fixture for the Yachtsmen saw them entertain Portsmouth based side, Baffins Milton Rovers who had won the return fixture 3 – 1 back in September.
Max Draper was again forced to make changes to the side that had won a hard fought point at Bournemouth a few days earlier. Ewan Cranwell(work), Aidan Bryan(injury) and Conor White(ill) were all missing, so in came Mitchell Ricketts, Aedan Coode and new signing from Brading Town, Aaron Burford for this fixture. Baffins made two changes to their squad from the one that had lost at Portchester at the weekend.
Before kick off Cowes Sports Chairman, Ian Lee, presented a silver tray to AIDAN BRYAN as the previous game at Bournemouth was his 500th appearance for the Yachtsmen of which 411 had been for the 1stXI. A remarkable feet in this day and age. Congratulations Aidan and here’s to many more.
A cagey start to the game from both sides, the first chance was created by the home side on 9 minutes when a free kick found Michael McEnery who touched the ball to Jared Wetherick, however his neat turn and shot was straight at visiting keeper Cameron Scott who saved with ease. Baffins midfielder, who had had plenty to say to the Ref in the early stages, was booked in the 14th minute for diving when under challenge from James Wykes who himself was shown a yellow card for reaction. In a slow first half with chances at a premium, it was the home side that created more, just!!! On 20 minutes Ji Nash cut in from the right touch line but again his shot lacked power and was comfortably saved. Once again the Islanders were caught by a sucker punch in the 35th minute when RUDY BLANKSON received the ball on the left of the Cowes area, he side footed the ball across the face of the Cowes goal leaving keeper Ed Hatt flat footed as the ball rolled into the bottom left corner of the goal to stun the home crowd. Five minutes from the break and the Island side nearly levelled when a throw from the left was flicked on but Ji Nash could not stretch enough to get a touch on the ball to divert it into the net. So the Yachtsmen went into the break trailing by one goal, but there was hope of turning the game round.
The second half began with the home side on the front foot. New signing Aaron Burford surged forward from centre half, gave the ball to Ji Nash who sent in a left foot cross that found Gareth Bricknell but unfortunately his header went wide of the goal. James Wykes then pushed forward from left back, cut back inside before sending his shot inches over the crossbar. That was in the 51st minute, a minute later Aedan Coode fed Jared Wetherick but his effort flew over the bar. Having missed those chances the home side were then made to pay in the 58th minute when a ball into the Cowes box caused havoc, two Baffins efforts were saved/blocked by Ed Hatt before TYLER MORET poked the ball into the net to double the advantage for Baffins and it looked like Cowes were heading for their 11th home defeat in 13 games. Tom Dye replaced Aedan Coode in the 63rd minute. Three minutes later – a lifeline for Cowes, Aaron Burford again surged forward fed Jared Wetherick whose cross from the left picked out GARETH BRICKNELL who blasted the ball into the roof of the net much to the delight of the crowd and gave the Yachtsmen something to fight for. The momentum was certainly with the home side now, Baffins were struggling to cope. In the 73rd minute a ball was sent out wide to Michael McEnery, he beat his marker before sending in a pin point cross for GARETH BRICKNELL to volley goalwards, although the visiting keeper tried to keep the ball out h could only watch as the ball nestled in the bottom left corner of his net for a stunning equaliser that was fully deserved by Cowes. Could the impossible happen and Cowes force a victory?? Well they certainly gave it a go. Ji Nash had a low shot saved before being replaced by Connor Furmidge. Aaron Burford was then booked for a foul near the touchline before goal hero Gareth Bricknell was taken off for the final five minutes with Jason Ince coming on, but neither side could create any more good chances so both side had to settle for a point apiece.