EMIRATES F A Cup 1st Qualifying Round             Tuesday September 22nd 2020


played at Westwood Park                              Kick Off 19:30                                                 Attendance:- 300

Referee:- Sean Phillips Assistants – Calum McFarlane + Jamie Saltzer

Cowes Sports reward for their previous round victory over Hamble Club was a plum home draw against Southern Premier South favourites Weston Super Mare who only two years ago were a National League South side. Manager Max Draper was able to name probably his strongest starting XI of the season with new signing Aidan Radford along with the returning Conor White and Scott McFalane both returning from injury


Edward Hatt, Conor White(61), Scott McFarlans(77), Ewan Cranwell, Callum Chase (c), Aaron Burford, Finley Phillips, Lewis Wright, Aidan Radford, Alex Wright(53), James Wykes, Subs – Aarun Ince(53), Brandon Couling(77), Jared Wetherick, George Holmes(61), Jimmy Mumford, Fraser Law g/k

THIS was a big ask for step 5 side Cowes against opponents who play two levels higher but had only
commenced their season last Saturday but there was a lot between the teams on the evening. The key moments came ten minutes or so either side of half-time when the Seagulls notched four of their goals. They could have scored more but for some fine keeping by Ed Hatt. Right from the outset the Somerset side played fine cohesive football but some gallant early defending by the Yachtsmen kept them at bay. Some overplaying out of the Weston defence produced a chance for Finley Phillips whose effort was blocked by a defender. Weston had a half hearted handball shout in the Cowes penalty box but all they got was a corner. Cowes continued to work hard at the back to quell the Weston tide but when they had the ball Cowes struggled to put moves together. This was contrary to Weston whose good pass and move play looked like simplicity but was, of course, well drilled. Lewis Hall almost put Weston in front when he took a crossfield pass on the volley from a wide position but Ed Hatt adjusted well to palm the ball out at his near post. Jacob Jagger-Cane and James Waite fired over and just when the home gathering wondered whether Sports could take a 0-0 situation into half-time, some good work down the left involving Dayle Grubb and Lewis Hall saw a dangerous cross into the box and the lunging CHRIS KNOWLES knocked it home from 4yards. Scott McFarlane put in a good cross for Cowes which was headed clear but, a minute before the break, Cowes were opened up and JACOB JAGGER-CANE’S header drifted home, despite the despairing attempt by a defender to clear, the referee’s assistant confirming the ball to be over the line.

HT: 0-2.

Considering the journey made by the visiting side, halftime was sensibly taken on the pitch by the teams and within ten minutes, the second half commenced. This had started in the same way as the first had finished and Weston had already caused problems to Cowes before LLOYD HUMPHRIES struck a well-controlled half-volley from 25- yards into the corner (Cowes a bit unlucky claiming a foul in the build-up). It was soon four when a corner was partially cleared and a good pass left KIERAN THOMAS to shoot home. It was suddenly looking like a long evening for the home side. CHRIS KNOWLES added his second and a fofth goal for the Seagulls, a neat volley from a Matt Jones cross and Cowes keeper Ed Hatt made a good save, touching over a Dayle Grubb shot. Finley Phillips tried a distant shot for Cowes but keeper Luke Purnell was down to save. Weston had an opportunity to score a sixth goal when Chris Knowles was tripped in the area and the same player looked for his hat-trick but Ed Hatt got a strong hand to his firm spot-kick. A great run down the right by James Wykes almost brought Cowes a consolation but Finley Phillips missed his header in the middle.

FT: 0-5 in front of a COVID restricted capacity crowd of 300. So, who remembers the days of 7.30pm kick-offs and the game finishing at ten-past nine? Yes, this was a rarity in this-day-and-age! Add to that, with the absence of the fast service late in the evening, the ‘slow boat’ from East Cowes was necessary. To do this a short stretch of the River Medina must be crossed and with the floating bridge once again out of action, an open top motor launch was taken. The sight of twelve face-masked people sat on it on the crossing in the dark was surreal … akin to a prison escape film! But remember, no more than a few months ago it would certainly have aroused suspicion. Times

report by GARY DAY