Tuesday March 8th                                  The WESSEX League – Premier Division

BASHLEY  1 (0)  v  0 (0)  COWES SPORTS

played at the Glen Mex Stadium               Kick Off – 20:05             Attendance – 136

Referee:- Adrian Berry                 Assistants – Dominic Gregory & Adrian Wiltshire

Max Draper took his side to the New Forest for this re arranged League match against Bashley after the original match was called off minutes before the team arrived at the ground on Saturday 19th February which cost the club around £300 for a wasted trip. No such problem this time though the scheduled kick off time(8pm) was asked to be put back 15 minutes because of later arrival than expected due to traffic but the Referee would only allow 5 minutes coming up with the excuse that games had to start on time. Again all about him.

With Ewan Cranwell, John McKie(hamstring), Jake Watson (groin) and skipper Finley Phillips(ankle) all unavailable or injured from the defeat at Hamworthy on Saturday, James Wykes, James Flux, Joe Adams and George Holmes came into the starting XI while Darren Williams, Max Coshell, Billy Backshall and Owen Denness joined Scott McFarlane on the bench.

Team:- Edward HATT, Jack BARSDELL, James WYKES, Henry WEST, Tommy JACKSON, Joseph ADAMS (c), Jimmy MUMFORD (66), Jez CONWAY (51), Ji NASH, George HOLMES (77)

Subs:- Darren WILLIAMS (51), Scott McFARLANE (66), Max COSHELL (77)

High flying Bashley started the game with intent and an early shot from distance by Ollie Bradley was tipped over the bar by Cowes custodian Ed Hatt who then gathered a free kick into the box with ease. Adam Grange then pulled his shot wide of target. James Flux was then yellow carded on 17 minutes for a trip just inside the Bashley half that stopped a quick break. As Bashley continued to have chances Joe Adams cleared a shot off the goal line before a header from a corner was also cleared off the line. Cowes were finding it difficult to mount any attacks themselves but their resolute defending was certainly frustrating the home side and crowd. Jack Barsdell and George Holmes both were shown yellow cards quick succession around the half hour mark but as per usual any fouls from the home side went unpunished. Despite being under pressure for most of the half the visitors should really have taken the lead on 39 minutes when a long clearance caught the home defence short handed and saw Jez Conway through with only keeper Ross Casey to beat but the Cowes forwards allowed the keeper to block his shot and the chance had gone. Right on half time Ed Hatt again produced a great save to deny the home side when he had to dive full stretch to push away a shot that was heading for the right corner of his goal. Cowes were very happy to go into the break with the score level. H-t 0 – 0 

The second half was little bit more even though the home side were looking the more likely to score but not creating as any chances. A couple of early substitutions saw Jez Conway replaced by Darren Williams for Cowes whilst Bue Bennett replaced Ben Atiako-Hall for the home side. A 55th minute free kick from wide on the left saw  Sam Jackson head over as another chance was missed. Then on 63 minutes a disgraceful lunge by Lewis Ross on the edge of the Cowes box left Tommy Jackson needing treatment and the home player walking off the pitch having been shown a straight red card. At the resumption of play James Wykes was booked for kicking the ball away. Scott McFarlane came on in place of Jimmy Mumford in the 66th minute. Home forward Jamie Webber was booked for a lunge on Joe Adams. Max Coshell then replaced George Holes. Five minutes from time and a Darren Williams shot sailed over the home crossbar. With the game looking likely to remain goal less with just two minutes remaining ADAM GRANGE made his way into the left side of the Cowes area, towards the bye line before a clumsy challenge by Tommy Jackson gave the home forward the chance to go down and Referee Adrian Berry pointed to the spot. The Bashley forward then dragged himself up to score from 12 yards and earn his side the three points.

Although Cowes rarely threatened the home goal their defensive attitude was fantastic and all deserve credit for once again showing they can live with these top teams and frustrate them. Just need to find a goal scorer that is clinical in front of goal.