SYDENHAMS FOOTBALL LEAGUE(WESSEX)Premier Division                                   Saturday September 5th 2020


played at Meadens Skoda Arena                        Kick Off 15:00                                Attendance – 140

Referee:- Mark Millard Assistants – Craig Sandoe + Jaydon Smith

Cowes Sports first League game of the season saw them travel to the edge of the New Forest to take on Brockenhurst at the Meadens Skoda Arena. The Islanders were full of confidence following their mid week cup victory whilst The Badgers had lost at home to near neighbours Lymington Town. Max Draper was forced into one change as Aaron Burford was injured, so Ewan Cranwell dropped into the back line whilst Jared Wetherick came in up front.

Team:-                                                                                                                                                                                  Edward Hatt, Conor White, Scott McFarlane, Ewan Cranwell, Callum Chase, Finley Phillips, John McKie (c), Lewis Wright(77), Jared Wetherick(65), Alex Wright, James Wykes(77)                                                                                                                                                         Subs – Aarun Ince(65), Ben Snow(77), Jez Conway(77)

A great start to the game saw Jared Wetherick head on a Scott McFarlane throw to skipper John McKie who shot first time only to see home keeper James Mayo catch the ball on his line right under the crossbar with just two minutes on the clock. Home player Toby Bailey then sent a header wide of the Cowes goal before another John McKie shot was saved by the home keeper. The frantic start continued as, in the ninth minute, saw Mitchell Speechley-Price’s effort saved by the feet of Ed Hatt. Controversy in the 9th minute when a ball over the top saw Freddie Bullard race onto the ball , but Ed Hatt was quick off his line to beat the Brock forward to the ball and clear for a throw, but to the amazement of all Referee Mark Millard point to the spot without hesitation. Despite pleas from the Cowes players the Official would not speak to his Assistant, who was far closer to the incident and said that it was never a penalty. Justice was done for the Island side as Mitchell Speechley’s spot kick was smashed against the right post and the follow up was put wide of goal. Immediately Cowes responded with some excellent football that saw John McKie’s shot too close to their keeper who saved. With play continuing to flow from end to endFinley Phillips again plyed in John McKie who was once again foiled by James Mayo. In the 19th minute Alex Wright sent a 25 yard free kick inches over the Brockenhurst goal before Callum Chase fed John McKie whose neat lay off into the path of Alex Wright whose shot was somehow pushed up and over the bar for a corner by the excellent keeper, James Mayo. Shortly before the half hour mark and Mitchell Speechley headed straight at Ed Hatt. Scott McFarlane played the ball to Jared Wetherick who laid it to John McKie to shoot, but once again James Mayo made the save to tip the ball over the bar. The attacking play continued at a breath taking pace. Freddie Bullard had a low shot in the 39th minute that Ed Hatt was able to push away for a corner. Alex Wright fed John McKie whose flick just evaded Jared Wetherick to run out for a goalkick. James Wykes then sent an shot across the face of their goal before Brock left back Ronan Moore fired wide from distance. Two minutes into injury time and the deadlock was finally broken when RONAN MOORE curl an effort from the right edge of the Cowes box into the right corner of Ed Hatt’s goal to send the home team in at the break one goal ahead.

H-t 1 – 0 

The second half started as the first ended with both sides attacking. Jared Wetherick set up John McKie but his tame effort was easily saved before John McKie played the ball to Alex Wright whose shot was again saved by James Mayo. Harrison White then saw his shot for the home side pushed away by Ed Hatt before Brad Magookin’s cross was headed towards goal by Dylan Manufor, but Ed Hatt pulled off a great save to push it over the bar. Freddie Bullard fired wide of goal before he was replaced by Matt Vokes for the home side. Scott McFarlane cut inside but his effort was deflected wide for a corner. Aarun Ince came on in place of Jared Wetherick. In the 66th minute Cowes hassled in midfield forcing a poor back pass that John McKie pounced on, he tried to round the keeper who done well to block at the expense of a corner. On 76 minutes Lewis Wright fell in midfield which led to the home breaking forward but Ed Hatt saved well from Toby Bailey. Lewis Wright and James Wykes made way for Ben Snow and Jez Conway with 13 minutes left on the clock. Three minutes from time Scott McFarlane clattered into James Shorey just inside the left edge of the area and a second penalty was given to the home side. Ronan Moore stepped up but sent his spot kick well over the crossbar. which proved to be the final act of the game.

The Islanders played very well but maybe need to sharpen up on their finishing, though they did come up against a keeper in James Mayo who was in inspired form and it was no surprise to see he was named the home sides ‘Man of the Match’.