Saturday January 22nd                      The WESSEX League – Premier Division


played at Victoria Park                    Kick Off – 15:00                   Attendance – 60

Referee:- LEE NOWACKI                    Assistants – Peter Carr + Maxwell Ashley

The Yachtsmen travelled to Victoria Park to take on third from bottom Bournemouth in a match they were certainly looking to pick up three points following a good performance in their previous match against Alresford.

Three changes to the starting line up saw Mitchell Ricketts, Dominic Sexton and Finley Phillips come i9n for Jason Malcolmson, James Flux and Gareth Bricknell.

Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT, Conor WHITE, Dominic SEXTON (60), Mitchell RICKETTS (74), Jake WATSON, Ewan CRANWELL, Finley PHILLIPS (c), Jimmy MUMFORD, Connor FURMIDGE (60), John McKIE, Ji NASH

Subs:- Aedan COODE (60), Jez CONWAY (60), Rafferty BOYD-KERR (74)

Cowes got off to a positive start to this league match as in the 3rd minute Ji Nash found John McKie whose first effort was blocked by the feet of the home keeper before Connor Furmidge picked out John for a second attempt which the top scorer pulled just wide of the goal. A couple of minutes later John McKie raced into the penalty area and appeared to be bundled over by a defender, but the Referee gave an indication of how his performance was going to be for the day as he waved away the penalty appeals. Home forward Connor Jevon saw his 19th minute shot go wide of goal in there first attempt at goal. Home player Taylor Edwards was shown yellow for a cynical trip on John McKie on the half hour. Finally Cowes’ pressure paid off in the 32nd minute when a dangerous left footed cross from the right touchline picked out CONNOR FURMIDGE just beyond the back post, the Cowes forward sent his header back across the goal into the left corner of the goal fo0r a deserved lead. Controversy five minutes before half time when a home forward  fell over the leg of Dominic Sexton in the Cowes area clearly trying to con the Referee by exaggerating the fall. Unfortunately for the Yachtsmen the Referee fell for their forward antics a blew for a penalty must to the annoyance of the Cowes players who did well to hide their frustration. MARCUS CULLEN stepped up but saw his spot kick superbly saved by Ed Hatt only for the Bournemouth player to be able net the rebound. Cowes twice came close to regaining the lead before the break as both Finley Phillips and Ji Nash went close as the sides went in at half time all square. H-t 1 – 1 

Bruno Manuel replaced Lee Brad Haensel at the start of the second half for the home side. Within 50 seconds of kick off KYLE GRAHAM fired the home side into the lead from 16 yards. Ewan Cranwell was booked for a foul on the half way line in the 55th minute before just before the hour mark a corner from the Cowes left was only cleared to the edge of the box where a mis hit effort from JAMIE WILSON somehow evaded two or three players  before nestling in the right corner of the Cowes net. The Islanders replaced Dominic Sexton and Connor Furmidge with Aedan Coode and Jez Conway to try and liven the side a bit on the hour. However three minutes later KYLE GRAHAM added a fourth goal for the Dorset side following poor defending from Cowes. John McKie had another effort in the 68th minute but again failed to find the target, then Bournemouth’s Conor Jevon smashed an shot off the crossbar. Jake Watson was then clearly fouled on the edge of the Cowes area but another poor decision from the man in black allowed play to continue with the ball eventually falling to MARCUS CULLEN 25 yards from goal who could not have hit the ball any better as he sent in a shot into the top right corner of the goal, leaving Ed Hatt saying that was probably the best ever goal scored against him. Rafferty Boyd-Kerr replaced Mitchell Ricketts for Cowes whilst  Neemo Nixon came on for Connor Jevon for the home side. Ed Hatt then produced a fine save to tip a volley over the bar before yet again the Referee had a say in Bournemouth’s sixth goal as a corner from the left saw the Cowes keeper jump to catch the ball but he was clearly pushed in the back allowing the ball to fall to NEEMO NIXON who scored and again leaving the Islanders wondering what game the Referee and his Assistant were watching. They say that the Match Officials do not change the way they Officiate when being assessed but on this showing that is clearly not the case.

Although having to contend with some poor Officiating it must be very concerning the way Cowes played in the second half and the reaction to going behind so early in the half. It was simply a gutless performance with several looking as though they just gave up!!!