Saturday August 21st   The WESSEX League – Premier Division    Kick Off:- 15:15

HYTHE & DIBDEN  0 (0)  v  2 (1)  COWES SPORTS

played at The Hythe Garage Stadium                                       Attendance – 74

Referee:- ANTONY SMITH              Assistants – Alan Gower + Brendon Bone

Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT, Conor WHITE, Isaac CRUISE (71), Jez CONWAY, Callum CHASE, Ewan CRANWELL (62), Finley PHILLIPS (c), Jimmy MUMFORD, Ji NASH, John McKIE, Aedan COODE (75)

Subs:- Scott McFARLANE (62), Jimmy WYKES (71), Connor FURMIDGE (75), Owen DENNESS g/k not used.

Once again the Yachtsmen were on their travels across the Solent for the fourth consecutive weekend for the short journey to Hythe & Dibden who were one of the clubs promoted on the points per game system from the previous two curtailed seasons as part of the restructuring of the football pyramid. Once again though Red Funnel’s 12:30 sailing was approximately 1/2 an hour late which , although only a short journey, meant a late arrival at the ground for the Islanders leading to kick off being put back 15 minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                Upon arrival it was also found the four Cowes regulars had made their way across the Solent to lend          their support to the Island side and three can be seen in the photo taken by Dave Draper waiting at the tea hut for their refreshments.  May be an image of 3 people, people standing and outdoors

Manager Max Draper was forced into two changes from the side that had drawn at home too Hamble Club a few days earlier as Dominic Sexton and Morgan Perrin were both unavailable for this fixture, so in came Ewan Cranwell, who travelled down from the outskirts of London in order to play, as well as Isaac Cruise who stepped up from the bench. Connor Furmidge was brought in to replace Isaac as one of the substitute following his 6 goals in two games.

Just two minutes into the game and Hythe & Dibden were first to threaten when Cowes allowed Ethan Cheshire to run at them before the home striker went for goal only to see Cowes stopper, Ed Hatt block with his feet. A minute later and it was the Yachtsmen’s turn to attack but skipper Finley Phillips was upended some 28 yards from goal, he got up to take the resulting free kick but sent the ball the wrong side of the left post from the visitors point of view. Aedan Coode then fired an effort from distance that Conor Manerson in the home goal clutched to his chest. Delight for the travelling party came in the 14th minute when Finley Phillips sent a cross in from the Cowes left that found the boot of JOHN McKIE who volleyed the ball past the keeper into the net to give the Island side the lead. Shortly after Cowes nearly doubled their advantage when a corner from the Cowes right caused panic in the home defence who only managed to clear to John McKie whose shot was gratefully deflected for another corner. This time Finley Phillips curled the ball in and some thought he had scored direct but unfortunately the ball had gone over the crossbar and slid down the back of the net. Jez Conway fired a free kick over the bar from 30 yards before Ji Nash’s effort was straight at the keeper. As Cowes continued to dominate and create chances the home side were struggling to find any sort of rhythm to their game plan. Ten minutes before half time a mistake from the home defence gave John McKie the chance to shoot but he sent his effort wide of the right hand post. Home wide man George Murage was slipped in on the stroke of half time only to be thwarted by a great tackle form Isaac Cruise. Cowes had the final chance of the half when a clever chip into the box by Callum Chase saw Lawson Bright just get enough of a head on the ball to take it out for a corner and deny Ji Nash a shot at goal. So the Island side led by just the one goal at half time when really they should have been further ahead. H-T 0 – 1

As expected the home side came out for the second half determined to show an improvement and skipper Aarone Dunne rose above all to head the ball goalwards in the 53rd minute but Cowes keeper Ed Hatt saved low down. Joel Jackson replaced George Murage for the home side on 60 minutes but just two minutes later they were down to 10 men when skipper Aarone Dunne was shown a straight red card for a nasty challenge on Ewan Cranwell near to the right touchline 15 yards or so into the Hythe half. Scott McFarlane replaced Ewan Cranwell who had studs marks on his chest from the challenge. From the resulting free kick Jez Conway headed the ball into the goal following a flick on but the goal was disallowed for offside. The home side number 10, Diego Romero, had caused the Cowes defence problems all afternoon and in the 70th minute was brought down in the box by Finley Phillips, Referee Antony Smith pointed to the spot but a magnificent save by Ed Hatt prevented Joel Jackson from equalising. Isaac Cruise(71 min) and Aedan Coode(75 min) were replaced by Jimmy Wykes and Connor Furmidge respectively, whilst Ethan Le Evre came on for Hythe in place of Dylan Edwards. Matt Doel then cleared a Cowes header off the goal line before Ji Nash saw his low shot saved by the home keeper. Five minutes from time and a senseless tackle on the half way line right in front of the home dugout saw Matt Doel shown a second yellow card followed by a red one to leave the home side with only nine on the field for the final minutes. Ji Nash again saw the home keeper block his shot and Jimmy Wykes blasted the rebound wide when really he should have scored. As the game went into stoppage time Diego Romero again ran at the Cowes defence before shooting low and Ed Hatt saving. A Conor White cross found John McKie who saw his shot pushed over the bar by Conor Manerson before in the fifth minute of injury time the result was settled when a lovely through ball by Finley Phillips gave CONOR FURMIDGE the chance to slide the ball past their keeper into the net for Cowes’ second goal to seal a valuable three points and move the Yachtsmen up to seventh in the table.

NOTE:- Alex Harvey’s Reserve team played at Westwood Park where Niton Community were the visitors and, despite conceding from a first minute free kick came back to earn a 3 – 1 victory with Darren Williams, 2 and Jake Watson scoring the goals too complete a good day for the Yachtsmen.