Saturday April 16th                             The WESSEX League – Premier Division


played at Westwood Park                    Kick Off – 15:00                  Attendance – 130

Referee – Andrew Dunn                        Assistants – Daniel Mawer & Andrew Jones

The Yachtsmen’s final league match of the season saw second bottom Hythe & Dibden visit the Island knowing that a win for then would keep them in the Wessex Premier Division on the points per game system across all step 5 leagues. Cowes gave a 1st team debut to Josh Neale up front whilst they welcomed back top scorer John McKie on the bench.

Team:- COWES SPORTS – Edward HATT, Max COSHELL (54), Harrison DEMPSEY, Ewan CRANWELL, Jez CONWAY (77), Scott McFARLANE, Finley PHILLIPS (c), James FLUX, Jack BARSDELL, Joshua NEALE (54), Ji NASH

Subs:- John McKIE (54), Darren WILLIAMS (54), Aedan COODE (77) unused – Teddy MUMFORD, Joseph ADAMS.

A slow start to the game from both sides given the importance for the visitors. The first shot of the game came in the 12th minute when a James Flux effort took a deflection off a defender for a corner. Ten minutes later Jack Barsdell tried his luck from the edge of the area but it was straight at Nick Harvey in the Hythe goal. Cowes caused their own downfall in the 27th minute when keeper Ed Hatt threw the ball out towards the left touchline but only managed to find a Hythe player who fed the ball to FILLIPOS TERIDIS who looked up and curled the ball past Ed Hatt into the right side of the goal to give the visitors the lift they required. Two minutes later and Hythe doubled their lead when STEFFAN WILLIAMS slotted the ball past Ed Hatt from the edge of the box leaving Cowes with a mountain to climb. In all honesty they never looked likely to make a comeback as the first half was played out with out either keeper having a great deal to do.

Within a minute of the second half full back Max Coshell was shown a yellow card for a needless deliberate handball just inside the Cowes half. On 54 minutes a double substitution for the home side saw Josh Neale and Max Coshell replaced by Darren Williams and John McKie respectively. The closest the Islanders came to scoring came on the hour when a cross from the right flew across the face of the Hythe goal but no home player was able to get a touch to score. The result was put beyond doubt mid way through the second half when a quick break from the visitors ended with a shot on the angle the flew past Ed Hatt and nestled in the right corner of the Cowes net. Although Aedan Coode came on for Jez Conway for the final 15 minutes it had little effect on the performance of the home side who looked way of the pace and never threatened the Hythe goal. Late on Aedan Coode was shown yellow for a foul as the game petered out to a very disappointing end to the league campaign and if they are to put up any sort of fight for the Gold cup then some attitudes must change dramatically and certainly performances must improve. Five straight league defeats with only one goal scored to finish the league season is not the best preparation for a tough game against Whitecroft & Barton Sports in the Gold Cup Semi Final.