Saturday January 29th 2022           The WESSEX League – Premier Division


played at Cockrams                             Kick Off – 14:30                     Attendance – 94   

Referee:- Darren Cooley                              Assistants – Timothy Paul & Louis Stone

After last weeks shocking second half performance things did not get any easier for the Yachtsmen as they travelled to Shaftesbury for a game on their new 4g pitch. The hosts agreed to a 14:30 kick off in order to help the Islanders catch the 18:00 ferry back which we thank our hosts for. Once again Manager Max Draper had to make changes, four this week as Henry West came into the back line for his debut, Joe Adams, Jez Conway and Aedan Coode all started in place of John McKie(away), Ewan Cranwell, Connor Furmidge(injured) and Dominic Sexton(dropped).

Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT, Conor WHITE, Mitchell RICKETTS (82), Henry WEST, Jake WATSON, Joseph ADAMS (66), Finley PHILLIPS (c), Jimmy MUMFORD, Jez CONWAY (32), Aedan COODE, Ji NASH

Subs:- Jack BARSDELL (32), George HOLMES (66), Max COSHELL (82)

With Shaftesbury having lost one and drawn one o0f thei9r previous two games, if the visitors turned up to this game there may have been a chance of getting a result. The home sides edginess was clear to see in the early stages and in fact for most of the first half. The first effort at goal came on 12 minutes when Finley Phillips headed clearance fell to Luke Delaney on the edge of the box but his shot went wide of the goal. Brad Hill’s cross from the Cowes right on 15 minutes saw  Asa Phillips head wide of goal. The first chance actually on target came when a punt from the half way line by home skipper Gary Bowles caught in the strong wind and had Ed Hatt stretching to tip the ball over the crossbar for a corner. The visitors first chance came in the 29th minute when a Finley Phillips free kick was cleared by the home defence back to the Cowes skipper just outside the box but his shot flew over the bar.. Having caused the home defenders a few problems, Cowes were dealt a blow when Jez Conway limped off with a hamstring problem on 32 minutes to be replaced by Jack Barsdell. With the game heading towards half time goalless the home side manged to find a way through. The ball was lost in midfield by Cowes, played out to the Shaftesbury right where Ash Pope easily beat Mitch Ricketts but his shot was well palmed away by Ed Hatt but unfortunately only to around 20 yards out where CAMERON BEARD fired the ball into the back of the goal. H-t 1 – 0

Cowes started the second half well and really should have equalised within minutes when Ji Nash had a great chance which he failed to take. Once again luck was not with the Yachtsmen on 56 minutes when a great tackle by Henry West deflected into the path of ASA PHILLIPS who fired home a second goal for the home side. Again the Yachtsmen were on the end of a very dubious decision from the Referee in the 61st minute when a ball into the box saw Ed Hatt and Asa Phillips collide as they both went for the ball, but as the Shaftesbury player went down with an injury from the collision the Referee blew and pointed to the spot. Once again seeing more to an incident than there was to see!! ASH POPE scored from 12 yards and kill the game. Joe Adams who had played very well and added a bit of steel in midfield was replaced by George Holmes whilst Aiden Shepard came on for the home side in place of the injured Asa Phillips. On 71 minutes Josh Kirkham replaced Gary Bowles for Shaftesbury. A couple of minutes later and a header from Ash Pope looked as though it was heading for the top right corner but Ed Hatt produced a brilliant save to deny the home side, the ball dropped kindly for a teammate who saw his shot superbly blocked by the Cowes No. 1. Finley Phillips saw his 77th minute shot gathered at the second attempt by Jordan Brooks in the home goal before Jack Barsdell found Ji Nash on the edge of the area, he turned his marker but his shot defected off a defender and away for a corner. Cowes’ final change in the 82nd minute saw Max Coshell come on for Mitchell Ricketts. A couple of late chance s for the Yachtsmen as Jimmy Mumford’s 86th minute cross saw Jordan Brooks flapping and just managing to get the ball away for a corner. In the final minute Ji Nash broke down the left and sent in a teasing cross that George Holmes could not quite get a touch too to divert it into the goal.

Despite a 3 – 0 reverse a much better showing from the Yachtsmen with many positives to be seen in particular the performance of Henry West at centre half and for an hour Joe Adams in midfield who brought a bit of organisation to the side and talked to those around him.