Saturday October 30th             The WESSEX League – Premier Division

COWES SPORTS 0 (0)  v  9 (3)  HORNDEAN

played at Westwood Park                  Kick Off – 15:00                 Attendance:-  147

Referee:- THOMAS COPPING            Assistants – Cameron Davis + Andrew Jones

Team:- Edward HATT, Max COSHELL, Jimmy MUMFORD, Jake WATSON, Callum CHASE (c), Jez CONWAY, George HOLMES, Ashley BRETT ( 71), Gareth BRICKNELL (31),Aedan COODE (56), Ji NASH

Subs:- Jack BARSDELL (31), Chris ELLIOTT (56), Morgan PERRIN (71), unused – Jamie LININGTON g/k

The fourth out of five consecutive home games saw second placed Horndean visit Westwood Park in what was expected to be a very tough match for the home side with the visitors scoring goals for fun this season, but the efforts against Fareham Town in midweek, plus a much better man in black, gave  the home side a hope of maybe snatching another good result.

However, once again, another three injuries to starters from midweek, to go with the other TEN players out through injury and unavailability meant more changes. Darren Williams(knee), Scott McFarlane(groin) and James Wykes(hamstring) joined the casualty list with Max Coshell, Ashley Brett and George Holmes coming in to the starting XI and Chris Elliott was on the bench in place of Joe Adams.

The pattern of the match was set from kick off as Horndean passed the ball around and pressed forward towards the Cowes goal. ‘Deans Louie Martin sent in a cross from the Cowes right back area in the 3rd minute but prolific scorer Zak Willett blazed the ball over the bar. A couple of minutes later and the same player had a shot saved by Cowes number one, Ed Hatt. He was again in action on 13 minutes when a cross from Robbie Taw was fired goalwards by the Horndean wide man but the Cowes keeper pushed the ball away for a corner. The home sides first sniff at goal came on 17 minutes when Ashley Brett fired wide of goal. Within seconds the Islanders were behind when a cross from the Cowes left picked out LIAM KIMBER who fired past Ed Hatt from an angle. On 26 minutes and Horndean were two ahead as ZAK WILLETT cut inside Jimmy Mumford before smacking the ball into the right side netting of Ed Hatt’s goal. A blow for Cowes that sums up their season so far on the half hour as Gareth Bricknell limped of with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Jack Barsdell. A miskick by Jimmy Mumford in the 39th minute was pounced upon by ZAK WILLETT who buried his shot in the back of the Cowes goal to give the visitors a comfortable three goal lead at half time.   H-t 0 – 3 

Early in the second half both Max Coshell, for a foul on Liam Kimber on half way and Aedan Coode, also for a foul around half way, were shown yellow cards by Referee Thomas Copping. In the 53rd minute a poor attempted clearance from Callum Chase gifted the ball to CONNOR DUFFIN who blasted home number four for the visitors. Chris Elliott replaced Aedan Coode for Cowes in the 56th minute. The one way traffic though continued towards the Cowes goal. Louie Martin crossed from the Cowes right to the far post where ZAK WILLETT headed home a fifth goal for Horndean on the hour mark. He was immediately replaced by Harry Johnson. In the 63rd minute a rare Cowes attack saw Jack Barsdell’ s goal bound shot deflected well wide of goal by Ashley Brett. Brandon Miller then replace Louie Martin in the 64th minute and within a minute fellow sub HARRY JOHNSON ran through from close to half way unchallenged before firing past Ed Hatt. Tommy Tierney then saw his cross shot cannon off the post before a second goal for HARRY JOHNSON made it seven for Horndean. Morgan Perrin came on for Ashley Brett for the home side whilst Chad Field was replaced by Sam Emerney for the visitors in the 71st minute. Seventy seven minutes and the visitors scored an eight goal when CONNOR DUFFIN netted after a shot rebounded to him off Ed Hatt’s left hand post. Worse to follow as a couple of minutes later and BEN ANDERSON added his name to the list of goalscorers as his effort from 25 yards went in off the underside of the crossbar. Thankfully from the Yachtsmen’s point of view the scoring was completed at nine as the Referee brought the game to an end spot on 90 minutes, much to the relief of the Cowes faithful and players.

I think it would be fair to say that Horndean are by far the best Wessex side that we have come up against this season. It will take a very good side to finish above them at the end of the season. It is also hoped that we may get some of the injured players back over the next few weeks as the next two fixtures see AFC Portchester visit the Island and the lads then travel to Blackfield & Langley, two more very tough games to negotiate.