Saturday October 9th   The WESSEX League – Premier Division


played at the M. A. Hart Stadium                   Kick Off 15:00             Attendance – 68

Referee:- HARRY REDMAN              Assistants –  Nicholas Mason + Alistair Buckle

Team:- COWES SPORTS –  Edward HATT, Max COSHELL, Jimmy MUMFORD, Mitchell RICKETTS, Callum CHASE (c), Scott McFARLANE (82), Darren WILLIAMS, Aedan COODE (60), Connor FURMIDGE, Ji NASH, George HOLMES (76),

Subs:- Tommy JACKSON (60), Jaz CAMARA (76), THOMAS ASHLEY (82), unused – Jason INCE , Owen DENNESS g/k

The Yachtsmen were once again on their travels for the latest League fixture at they visited Christchurch in a very important match for the both sides.

A nightmare week for Manager Max Draper who returned following his stint of self isolating due to Covid. Although there are 51 players registered to play for the 1st XI, 28 of those were unavailable for various reasons including injury/illness, holiday, work or playing for Island League club, meaning that the scheduled Island League game at West Wight for the Reserves had to be postponed with only seven players fit to play.

A lovely sunny day at the Hurn Bridge ground saw the Yachtsmen squad containing NINE players that would normally be with the Reserves if all were fit and available, start the match a little slow. The home side had the better of the early stages as Charlie Kendall sent a shot straight at Ed Hatt in the Cowes goal on five minutes. Home skipper then sent a free kick from 30 yards which bounced nicely into the safe hands of the Cowes number one. The Islanders first chance came on ten minutes when an Aedan Coode free kick across the face of the home goal just evaded both Connor Furmidge and Callum Chase. A scare for the visitors as Ed Hatt called for a 14th minute cross but failed to get and Tobi Ajetunmobi nearly took advantage, but Max Coshell was superb in blocking the Christchurch players shot. Despite early pressure from the home side it was Cowes that had the better of the remainder of the first half. Connor Furmidge found Ji Nash on the left of the area but his shot sailed over the bar in the 18th minute. On 22 minutes an Aedan Coode free kick from wide on the right saw a home defender just manage to head the ball away for a corner. Callum Chase then played a great ball to Connor Furmidge who cut inside his marker but fired straight at Ollie King in the home goal. Just before half time George Holmes clipped a delicate ball in to Connor Furmidge who was onside despite the home sides calling for offside, but the Cowes forward sent his effort over the crossbar. So the first half remained goalless H-t 0 – 0 

Just four minutes into the second half and a cross into the box found Connor Furmidge beyond the right post, the Cowes forward headed the ball back across the goal to Darren Williams who could not get his shot on target but as he tried ‘Church’s Luke Ansell dived in two footed catching the Cowes man who went down and Referee Harry Redman immediately blew and pointed to the spot before yellow carding the Christchurch player. SCOTT McFARLANE took the responsibility to take the spot kick and sent home keeper Ollie King the wrong way to score the opening goal of the game. Charlie Kendall should really have equalised on 55 minutes when a long throw into the Cowes box found him unmarked but he sent his shot high over the crossbar. The home side mad e a change as Ethan Maddocks was replaced by Jamal Baxter on 56 minutes while on the hour Cowes took Aedan Coode off with Tommy Jackson coming on. The Cowes substitute almost immediately made an impact as he won the ball in midfield and played it to Ji Nash who ran at the home defence before poking it past the keeper only to see it glide just wide of the left hand post. Poor defending almost cost Cowes in the 66th minute but Ollie Davis guided his shot wide of the right hand post before in the 73rd minute Max Coshell was on hand to clear a header from Dan Breenon off the line. Hard working George Holmes was replaced by new signing Jaz Camara in the 76th minute. A minute later a Darren Williams free kick into the box clearly hit a defenders out stretched arm but no decision was given by Assistant who must of had a clear view of the incident. Tom Mann was replaced by Taisah Moss for Christchurch whilst Scott McFarlane came off and youngster Thomas Ashley came on for the final 13 minutes. Cowes held on to their goal advantage for the final moments to gain three valuable points and complete their fourth away victory of the season so far a feat only matched by Horndean and Bashley so far, the next visitors to Westwood Park.

All the players that travelled to this match were fantastic on the day  and gave everything they had for the cause which sees Cowes Sports sitting seventh in the League albeit others have games in hand but points in the bag bodes well for the remainder of the season and hopefully many more will be gained once everyone is fit and available again and maybe a top half finish could be on the cards for the Islanders for the first time in many years. What an achievement that would be for a club that do not pay when you think of the wage bills of some teams in this League. WELL DONE to everyone for a tremendous performance.