Tuesday September 7th              The WESSEX League – Premier Division


played at Stoneham Football Complex          Kick Off – 19:15           Attendance – 75

Another midweek game saw the Yachtsmen travel to Eastleigh to take on unbeaten in the league, AFC Stoneham, on their 4g pitch. The home side came into the game off the back of an excellent 2 – 0 win at Horndean whilst the Islander had let two points slip at home when Amesbury controversially equalised in second half injury time at the weekend.

Team:- COWES SPORTS:- Edward HATT, Conor White, Callum Pye-Poulter (46), Jez CONWAY, Callum CHASE (c), Morgan PERRIN, Aedan COODE (74), Darren WILLIAMS, Connor FURMIDGE (74), Ji NASH, James WYKES

Subs:- Isaac CRUISE (46), Lewis WRIGHT (74), Adam VOLLER (74), not used Owen DENNESS.

Having never beaten Stoneham since they were promoted and with the home side recording such a great win a few days earlier, it looked like a tough mission for the Yachtsmen.  With Saturday goal hero George Carter-Knight unavailable, veteran Darren Williams came into the starting line up whilst Jimmy Mumford and Fin Phillips were rested before the FA Vase game on September 11th.

Within two minutes Stoneham’s Callum Laycock tested Cowes keeper Ed Hatt with a low shot . Cowes then came close to taking the lead on 5 minutes when an Aedan Coode corner from the left was headed back across goal and Connor Furmidge saw his shot cannon off the upright. Within a minute Duarte Martins cut in past Callum Pye-Poulter before seeing his shot from 22 yards clip the outside of Cowes’ right post. A heart stopping moment for the Yachtsmen as on 11 minutes Jacob Gilpen went sprawling inside the Cowes box under challenge from Darren Williams but all he got was a yellow card for simulation. Jake Thomson then saw Ed Hatt save low down in the 14th minute. A minute later and for the second consecutive season the Yachtsmen took the lead when DARREN WILLIAMS netted from close in following good work. Straight from the restart DUARTE MARTINS created a bit of space for himself cutting in from the Cowes left before firing into the bottom right corner of the goal to level things up. Calum Laycock then fired a shot at Ed Hatt who saved easily. Ed Orvis was next to test Ed Hatt who parried his shot away to safety. Stoneham were threatening to score again  but on 37 minutes a long pass from Conor White saw JAMES WYKES get in behind his marker before tucking the ball past Thomas Parker-Trott in the home goal to restore the away teams lead. A couple more chances created by Stoneham that were kept out by Ed Hatt before on the stroke of half time Darren Williams received a yellow card after fouling a home player just inside the right corner of the box and Calum Laycock was gifted the chance to equalise from the spot. He apparently said he has never missed from 12 yards but this time his spot kick hit the top of the crossbar and went out for as goal kick as it was the Island side that led at half time. H-t 1 – 2 

Callum Pye-Poulter was replace at the start of the second half by Isaac Cruise whilst the home side made two changes, Jacob Gilpen and Tommy Barnes were replaced by Arthur Kerton and Diego Romero. Calum Laycock wasted a good chance on 54 minutes sending a free header wide of target. Cowes responded as Aedan Coode battled to win the ball before pulling the ball back to James Wykes who saw his shot push past the post for a corner. left back William Wiseman was next to send a header wide of goal for the home side. Connor Furmidge then tried to chip the keeper from 18 yards but Thomas Parker-Trott stretched to gather. Morgan Perrin was then harshly booked before Connor Furmidge watched as his effort was pushed away by the home keeper. Aedan Coode became the third Yachtsmen to be booked again rather harsh. Was not nice to see the home bench asking for a card to be shown and the Referee march over and only speak to them at length. Late on sub Ross Lamb saw his shot pushed onto the bar and over by Ed Hatt though the Referee gave a goal kick. final action saw. Ed Hatt then blocked well before gathering the ball at the second attempt before too much mouth earned Stoneham striker the remainder of the game in the sin bin. Cowes though held out for the seven minutes of added time to claim another fantastic three points on their travels and move them up to the heady heights of 2nd place in the League table.

Despite leaving straight away after the game, two motorway closure for roadworks meant that the 10pm sailing back to the Island was missed by about 10 minutes but the whole squad in buoyant mood went and had a burger and drinks at Five Guys which was enjoyed before catching the 11:59 boat back to Fishbourne.