Saturday November 6th The WESSEX League – Premier Division
COWES SPORTS 2 (2) v 1 (1) AFC PORTCHESTER
played at Westwood Park Kick Off – 15:00 Attendance – 133
Referee:- JUSTYN LEONARD Assistants – Andrew Jones + Jamie Saltzer
Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT, Max COSHELL, Mitchell RICKETTS, Jake WATSON, Callum CHASE (c), Jez CONWAY (84), Jimmy MUMFORD, Scott McFARLANE (64), Connor FURMIDGE (61), Ji NASH, George HOLMES
Subs:- John McKIE (61), Finley PHILLIPS (64), Morgan PERRIN (84) unused; Jaz CAMARA, Jamie LININGTON g/k
The Yachtsmen’s tough run of fixtures continued as AFC Portchester were the latest visitors to Westwood Park. Cowes came into the game on the back of a 0-9 drubbing at home to Horndean last weekend whilst the visitors from Portsmouth had suffered back to back defeats at Blackfield & Langley and Baffins Milton Rovers and at the start of the game were only ahead of their hosts on goal difference and one place above, both sides on 19 points.
Manager Max Draper made three changes to the starting line up with Aedan Coode(holiday), Gareth Bricknell(injured) and Ashley Brett missing, Scott McFarlane returned as did Mitchell Ricketts and Connor Furmidge. More good news for the home side was the return after injuries of John McKie and Finley Phillips on the subs bench. The Cowes boss had his pre match team talk done for him by his opposite number as certain comments made to their local press were clearly enough to inspire the home side.
An interesting start to the game as both sides had chances early on in the game. In the first minute the visitors Joe Briggs saw his low shot cleared by Ed Hatt with his feet. A minute later and Cowes responded as Jimmy Mumford set up Ji Nash but his effort sailed over the bar. Lee Wort was next to try his luck but again Ed Hatt’s feet cleared the danger. The next twenty minutes or so passed without much incident as play was condensed into the middle third of the pitch. In the 36th minute Ji Nash made his way into the right side of the penalty area only to be fouled by Adam Tomasso. Referee Justyn Leonard pointed to the spot without hesitation. CONNOR FURMIDGE stepped up to send keeper Steve Mowthorpe the wrong way as he sent the ball into the left corner of the goal. Portchester responded well to going behind , Marley Ridge fired just wide of target in the 38th minute before just a minute later a low LEE WORT shot beat Ed Hatt in the Cowes goal to level the scores. Cowes however regained the lead on 43 minutes when SAM PEARCE out wide to the right saw his pass back wrong foot Steve Mowthorpe and the ball slowly make its way into the goal for one of the strangest Own Goals to have been seen at Westwood. So the home side went into the half time break 2 – 1 ahead and thankful for the gift. H-t 2 – 1
Cowes maybe should have scored a third in the 48th minute when a strong challenge by Max Coshell won the ball and he pushed forward before playing in Ji Nash who beat the advancing keeper but the touch took the ball too wide and the chance had gone. Having picked up a yellow card Connor Furmidge could have been shown a second one minutes later and was immediately replaced by Jon McKie in the 61st minute. He was straight into the thick of things and just two minutes later saw his low shot gathered by the visiting keeper. Finley Phillips then came on for the hard working Scott McFarlane in the 64th minute. Despite having the lion share of the ball Portchester were struggling to create any chances. In fact it was Finley Phillips for Cowes that went close to adding a third goal for the home side. In the 71st minute Portchester looked to have got themselves back on level terms but a fantastic one handed save from Ed Hatt kept the ball out of the goal. Jimmy Mumford then had the crowd cheering as his over head shot looked to be heading into the goal but agonisingly it dropped onto the top of the net. Callum Chase then was shown yellow which means he will miss the next game at Blackfield & Langley as it was his fifth of the season. Six minutes from time Morgan Perrin replaced Jez Conway in midfield as the home side looked to play out time. Marley Ridge saw his 85th minute effort pushed away by Ed Hatt but that really was the closest the visitors came to equalising and despite five minutes of added time Cowes held firm to record a brilliant victory that takes them to 22 points for the season so far and sees them in 12th place in the table.
A few strange results on the day, Hythe & Dibden picking up their first point of the season against 2nd placed Brockenhurst whilst Horndean lost at Hamble Club and Fareham went down at U S Portsmouth and next opponents playing out a goalless draw at Portland.