Saturday March 12th                            The WESSEX League – Premier Division


played at Westwood Park                    Kick Off – 15:00                  Attendance – 114

Referee:- Rado Iliev                                       Assistants – Alistair Taylor & Chris Cass

After three very good performances, two against league leaders Hamworthy United, home and away and another at Bashley in mid week albeit a return of zero points gained, the Yachtsmen entertained mid table Blackfield & Langley who had beaten the Islanders twice, 5 – 1 and 6 – 1 earlier in the season in the FA Cup and League at Gang Warily. Another tough game was expected though the visitors were a much changed side from previous encounters. Again changes for the home side(four) as `Tommy Jackson and James Flux were both unavailable whilst Ji Nash and Jez Conway dropped to the bench. Into the starting XI came Max Coshell, Jake Watson, Gareth Bricknell and Darren Williams whilst Aidan Bryan claimed a place on the bench.

Teams:- Edward HATT, Jack BARSDELL, Max COSHELL, Henry WESY, Jake WATSON (c)(63), Joseph ADAMS (46), Gareth BRICKNELL, Jimmy MUMFORD, Darren WILLIAMS, James WYKES, George HOILMES (53),

Subs – Jez CONWAY (46), Ji NASH (53), Aidan BRYAN (63) (93), unused, Ben TICKNER & Owen DENNESS g/k

Prior to kick off both teams gathered around the centre circle as Westwood Park fell silent for a minute in memory of BOB ANTILL, U18’s Manager in the mid 80’s who sadly passed away on the previous Monday.

Cowes started brightly and in the 3rd minute a quick break down the left saw James Wykes cut inside but his shot at goal was easily saved by Amadeusz Skrzyniarz in the Blackfield goal. On 16 minutes the Blackfield custodian made a save just for the cameras as he dived to his right to grab a Jimmy Mumford shot. Tow minutes later a long throw from the Cowes left was headed clear by a defender to the edge of the area where Jack Barsdell smashed a volley against the crossbar. Gareth Bricknell’s 19th minute free kick again saw the Blackfield keeper make a save for the cameras as he pushed the ball away for a corner. Another free kick on 26 minutes this time saw Jack Barsdell fizz the ball just past the right hand post with the keeper well beaten. Finally the visitors mounted a dangerous attack for themselves with the clock ticking round to the half hour mark when Sam House was put through on goal but Cowes keeper was out quick to block the shot. A minute before the break and Jimmy Mumford saw his shot deflect off a defender for a corner as the first period remained goal less. H-t 0 – 0 

Cowes made a change at the break as Jez Conway replaced Joe Adams in midfield. Just four minutes into the second half Darren Williams set up Jimmy Mumford but the Cowes youngster saw his shot blocked by the feet of the Blackfield keeper who up to this point was keeping his side in the game. Then in the 53rd minute the visitors hit Cowes with the classic sucker punch. Gareth Bricknell lost possession in midfield and the visitors played the ball through to KAI MELLOR who smashed the ball past Ed Hatt from around 10 yards to give Blackfield an undeserved lead. Cowes made and immediate change with Ji Nash coming on for George Holmes to try and find an equaliser. Within minutes the Cowes sub saw his shot pushed away by the visiting keeper but it looked that James Wykes would score from close range but unfortunately his effort went the wrong side of the near post. Was it going to be one of those days ?? Jake Watson then limped off to be replaced by Aidan Bryan in the 63rd minute. Ji Nash then watched his 71st minute shot go wide of the Blackfield right post. Finally, in the 82nd minute, Cowes found the equaliser with probably the best move of the game. A long pass down the right saw Jack Barsdell send a cross into the box where unselfish Darren Williams headed the ball down across the six yard line for the onrushing GARETH BRICKNELL who kept his cool to slot the ball past the right hand of Amadeusz Skrzyniarz into the goal much to the delight of the Westwood faithful. The final few minutes saw Sam House fire a free kick goal wards but Ed Hatt pushed the ball away for a corner. A dampner for the home side saw Aidan Bryan limp off in injury time with what looked like recurrence of a knee injury.

Cowes remain in 16th place in the table on 34 points just a point behind US Portsmouth but having played a game more. It has to be said that this must be the worst Blackfield side to have ever visited Westwood and on balance of chances really should have not even got a point from the fixture.