Tuesday August 24th BSA REGAL sponsored HAMPSHIRE SENIOR CUP – 1st Round
COWES SPORTS 5 (2) v 3 (1) CHRISTCHURCH
played at Westwood Park Kick Off- 19:15 Attendance – 110
Referee:- LIAM WHITE Assistants – Ben Orton + Andrew Doncaster
Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT (28), Conor WHITE, Isaac CRUISE, Jez CONWAY, Callum CHASE, Morgan PERRIN (62), Finley PHILLIPS (c), Jimmy MUMFORD (74), Connor FURMIDGE, John McKIE, Ji NASH,
Subs:- Owen DENNESS (28), Scott McFARLANE (62), Aedan COODE (74), not used – Thomas ASHLEY + Callum PYE-POULTER
Christchurch were the visitors to Westwood Park for this BSA sponsored Hampshire Saturday Senior Cup 1st round tie in what proved to be a very exciting game to earn the right to face AFC BOURNEMOUTH at home in the next round.
With Ewan Cranwell not available and Aedan Coode dropping to the bench (where he was joined by Scott McFarlane, Callum Pye-Poulter, Thomas Ashley and sub keeper Owen Denness) Connor Furmidge and Morgan Perrin came into the starting XI the two changes from the victorious side at Hythe & Dibden. The visitors also made two changes from the side narrowly beaten at Amesbury.
Just six minutes into the game and Finley Phillips was given the opportunity to repeat last weeks heroics when John McKie was fouled near the edge of the penalty area, but no repeat as his free kick cannoned into the defensive wall. Christchurch’s River Smith then showed he would be a pain for the Cowes defence when he got the wrong side of Isaac Cruise but could not get enough elevation on the ball as he tried to chip Cowes keeper Ed Hatt who saved easily. ‘Church keeper, Ryan Thorpe, then saved a low Finley Phillips effort. Then on 14 minutes the home side found themselves behind as left back Isaac Cruise failed to clear a long ball and RIVER SMITH nipped in to calmly slot the ball past Ed Hatt for the opening goal. Minutes later and the same player should have doubled the lead when he put a cross from the right back area over the the bar. Jimmy Mumford then slid a pass into the path of John McKie but his first time effort went just wide. On 24 minutes keeper Ed Hatt went down following a goal kick, after treatment he carried on for a further four minutes before being replaced by 17 year old debutant Owen Denness. I think many in the crowd thought that Cowes’ chances of winning the game had gone. How wrong they were to be. In the 35th minute a drop kick downfield from the substitute keeper was poorly defended and CONNOR FURMIDGE delicately clipped the ball into the Christchurch net to equalise, his eighth goal of the season so far for the club. From a 37th minute corner Ethan Maddocks headed the ball straight at Owen Denness before River Smith again wasted another opportunity for the visitors. Christchurch were threatening to regain the lead before the break as Ethan Maddocks hit the crossbar with a header and Ollie Davis scooped the ball over the bar from the rebound. Cowes responded by taking the lead on 42 minutes when a superbly weighted through ball by Callum Chase saw JOHN McKIE tuck the ball past the advancing keeper into the net much to the delight of the crowd. In the 45th minute Ollie Davis tried his luck with a low shot that Owen Denness got down well to save. Straight to the other end and a goal bound effort from Ji Nash hit the back of a defender and went out for a corner. The Island side led at the break although Christchurch were by no means out of the game. H-t 2 – 1
Cowes started the second half with more intent and two Connor Furmidge efforts in the first five minutes saw Ryan Thorpe save the first while he was mighty relieved to see the second go past his right hand post. A 52nd minute header from ETHAN MADDOCKS thankfully landed on the top of the net but two minutes later he made no mistake heading in from close range after Rafael Santos was allowed time and space to cross from the left to beyond the far post and the ball was headed back into the six yard box. Morgan Perrin was replaced by Scott McFarlane in midfield but the Cowes substitute was shown a yellow card within four minutes for pulling. A quick counter attack from the Islanders ended with skipper Finley Phillips shot taking either a slight deflection off a defender or keeper Ryan Thorpe getting his finger tips to deflect the ball for a corner in the 66th minute. Jez Conway then sped down the Cowes left before a lovely cross found John McKie at the opposite post but his shot went wide. Just shy of the half hour Aedan Coode replaced the hard working Jimmy Mumford. A 75th minute goal mouth scramble left the Cowes players screaming for a penalty for an apparent handball on the goal line. Referee Liam White consulted the nearside Assistant, Andrew Doncaster and confirmed the Cowes claims by awarding a penalty and sending off Christchurch substitute Daniel Hiscock for deliberate handball to deny a certain goal. JOHN McKIE stepped up to coolly send the keeper the wrong way and restore the home sides lead on 77 minutes. Further joy for the Yachtsmen in the 79th minute when the ball again found JOHN McKIE who smashed it past Ryan Thorpe into the roof of the goal and give the Yachtsmen a bit of breathing space. In the 80th minute a rare miskick from Owen Denness gave Matt Steer the chance to pull a goal back but his tame effort was easily gathered by the thankful Cowes youngster. A very tense final few minutes were set up when in the 90th minute SAM CHILMAN had the simplest of tap ins from close range for a third Christchurch goal. As the visitors searched desperately for an equaliser a poor clearance was won by Scott McFarlane in the 92nd minute and the ball ran to JOHN McKIE who sublimely clipped the ball over Ryan Thorpe into the right side netting to claim his fourth goal of the night. This set up the Yachtsmen with a glamorous 2nd round match at home to Championship side AFC Bournemouth, though they are likely to send over their Under 21 side who in fact are the current holders of the trophy.