Tuesday March 29th                  HARWOODS DACIA IoW SENIOR(GOLD) CUP 1/4 Final

COWES SPORTS  1 (0)  v  0 (0)  WEST WIGHT

played at Westwood Park                    Kick Off – 19:30                      Attendance – 101

Referee:- John Hopkinson                                  Assistants- Ben Orton & Chris Cass

Following a couple of seasons without it GOLD CUP action returned to Westwood Park as the Yachtsmen took on West Wight in this 1/4 Final for a place in the Semi against W & B Sports. Once again Cowes were forced into several changes due to cup tied players, injuries, suspension and unavailability. Ben Tickner, Darren Williams and Adam Voller replaced Henry West, James Flux(both cup tied) and Ewan Cranwell from the side that lost at Alresford at the weekend. Joe Adams dropped to the bench where he was joined by Aedan Coode, Max Coshell, John McKie(returning from injury) and sub keeper Owen Denness. One player missing was Gareth Bricknell who dislocated a shoulder in the Reserve game against West Wight on the Saturday before. We all wish him a speedy recovery.

Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT, Harrison DEMPSEY, Ben TICKNER (51), Tommy JACKSON (70), Jez CONWAY, Scott McFARLANE, Finley PHILLIPS (c), Jimmy MUMFORD, Darren WILLIAMS, Adam VOLLER (26), Ji NASH

Subs:- Aedan COODE (26), John McKIE (51), Joseph ADAMS (70) unused – Max COSHELL & Owen DENESS g/k

First chance of the game came in the 2nd minute when a Ji Nash effort from 22 yards was fired at Shane East in the West Wight goal. An early yellow card for West Wight’s Charlie McFarlane for a cynical foul on his brother Scott. Then in the 15th minute a nasty challenge on Adam Voller by Dan Burgess saw an advantage played by Referee Hopkinson and Ji Nash had his shot pushed away for a corner by Shane East.  Once the ball was out of play several minutes  of treatment to the Cowes player led to him being stretchered off fearing a serious injury to the leg Adam broke earlier in the season. Thankfully it was not as serious as first thought. Amazingly no card was shown and West Wight restarted play with a goal kick????? Aedan Coode replaced the Cowes youngster in midfield. Darren Williams then thought he had given the home side the lead with a header but no the Referee decided there was a fouls on the visiting keeper which again was debateable. More controversy inn the 35th minute when a Finley Phillips ball over the West Wight defence saw Darren Williams heading towards goal only to be hauled down by a defender. Once again no card was shown despite a deliberate foul although other defenders may have been close by. Just before the break Ji Nash was put through on goal but his shot cannoned back off the right hand post. West Wight’s best chance of the game came in the 45th minute when Jordan Flynn’s shot was tipped over the bar by Ed Hatt for a corner. H- t 0 – 0

The second half saw Cowes come out with a bit more energy and Darren Williams saw his 46th minute shot go just wide of goal. Jimmy Mumford’s 50th minute inswinging corner from the left caused problems in the visitors defence and Shane East done well to push the ball up and over the bar for another corner. John McKie made a welcome return on 51 minutes when he replaced Ben Tickner. Given the fact that a couple of West Wight player should have been booked earlier Cowes were amazed in the 52nd minute when Darren Williams was shown a yellow card for a tackle on the half way line. The visitors then made a change as Simon Merrett replaced Tom Dye in midfield. Cowes then brought on Joe Adams in place of Tommy Jackson in the 70th minute. Fin Phillips then set up John McKie in the 74th minute but Shane East pushed the shot over the bar. Ji Nash was then denied by another good save by the visiting custodian. John McKie then saw his effort hit Conal Groom and go for a corner. Finally Cowes’s pressure paid when in the 77th minute good play on the Cowes left saw Jimmy Mumford  enter the penalty area only for a rash challenge by Zac Harris to send the Cowes player crashing to the ground leaving no option but for a penalty to be awarded. JOHN McKIE kept his nerve to bury the spot kick into the top of the goal and giver the home side the lead they deserved. Cowes held out for the final ten minutes or so without being troubled to advance to the semi final.

Credit to West Wight who battled bravely and made Cowes fight for the victory though could be said were lucky to keep eleven on the pitch.