Monday January 3rd              The WESSEX League – Premier Division


played at Westwood Park             Kick Off – 15:00           Attendance – 190

Referee:- NICHOLAS WHITTINGTON   Assistants – Alistair Taylor & Chris Cass

The second of four consecutive home games for the Yachtsmen saw high flying Shaftesbury visit the Island on the back of a ten game unbeaten run in the League. Although Cowes have a good record against Shaftesbury their side is much changed form that of previous seasons as their league form shows. Several changes for the home side as they try to find a bit more consistency in performances. Jez Conway, Rafferty Boyd-Kerr and Aedan Coode dropped to the bench whilst Max Coshell and Jason Malcolmson were not included. Jimmy Mumford, Scott McFarlane and Connor Furmidge stepped up from the bench and were joined by new and recent signings James Flux and Josh Appell in the starting XI. Before kick off the players from both teams gathered around the centre circle to observe a minutes applause in memory of Rob McKie, Father of John McKie, who sadly passed away last week. Our condolences and prayers go to the McKie family at this time.

Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT, Conor WHITE, Jimmy MUMFORD, Scott McFARLANE (39), Jake WATSON, James FLUX, Finley PHILLIPS, Josh APPELL (55), Connor FURMIDGE (67), John McKIE (c), Ji NASH

Subs:- Jez CONWAY (39), Jack BARSDELL (55), Aedan COODE (67), unused – Rafferty BOYD-KERR, Owen DENNESS g/k

With the Islanders looking for a vast improvement on the previous couple of games they could not have made a worse start, conceding within a minute of kick off. A poor touch by Connor Furmidge on the half way line saw possession lost and Shaftesbury work the ball to their right. With a lot of space ASH POPE raced towards goal and calmly slot the ball past Ed Hatt into the net to give the visitors the lead, leaving many in the 190 crowd thinking “here we go again”. However the Yachtsmen did not lye down and let the opposition dictate the game. They battled and fought for every ball as shown by Conor White in the 15th minute who was shown a yellow card for a tackle on the far side. On 20 minutes a corner from Finley Phillips picked out Josh Appell at the far post but his header was saved by Jordan Brooks in the visitors goal. John Mckie then saw his 26th minute shot across the face of goal take a slight deflection for a corner. A blow for the home side as Scott McFarlane was forced off with an injury on 39 minutes being replaced by Jez Conway. A minute before the break John McKie was fouled just outside their box by Ethan Maddocks who appeared to be the last man but was only shown a yellow card. Unfortunately for the Yachtsmen the resulting free kick was sent over the bar. H-t 0 – 1 

A steady start to the second half  with no real chance created. Following a strong challenge near the half way line Josh Appell was forced off with a cut above his right eye, Jack Barsdell coming on. No action was taken against the Shaftesbury player though. Ben Satterley fired a shot from distance just over the Cowes crossbar in the 62nd minute. Five minutes later a Ji Nash free kick from the Cowes right was swung into the box only for Connor Furmidge’s header to cannon off the crossbar. The Cowes forward was then replaced by Aedan Coode. Once again luck was not on the side of the home team. In the 85th minute John McKie was put through towards the left of the Shaftesbury goal and his shot appeared to be pushed away for a corner by their keeper, however the Referee gave a goal kick and it seems the ball actually went through the keeper and off the post. Cowes kept pressing for the elusive equaliser but could not find the finish needed and with three minutes left saw a shot from the edge of their box crash off the crossbar.

A disappointing result but at least the lads showed a lot of fight and passion in defeat and were unlucky to not get at least a point from the game.