Attendance:- 87

MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – THOMAS COPPING

Assistants – Steve Currie + Kalim Balin

Cowes Sports penultimate home league game of the season saw AFC Portchester bring their team to Westwood Park as the home side searched for the points to make them safe from relegation whilst the visitors are still in with a chance of gaining promotion due to the FA restructuring of the Leagues above.

A couple of changes for the Yachtsmen saw new signings Joseph Adams and Daniel Vale make their debuts whilst Gareth Bricknell returned from suspension. The home side started brightly with Finnley Phillips setting up John McKie whose 5th minute shot fizzed across the face of the goal but wide. Steve Ramsey then fired well over the bar for the Pompey side on 18 minutes before Cowes left back Jimmy Wykes blocked a shot from Robert Evans. Cowes then took the lead when Portchester defender Harrison Birmingham fouled John McKie on the right corner of the area. JOHN MCKIE picked himself up to send visiting keeper Lewis Noice the wrong way much to the delight of the home crowd. Cowes’ Connor Furmidge was shown a yellow card for a foul near the half way line before Portchester upped the tempo of the game and created a few very good chances to equalise, but Ed Hatt in the Cowes goal was in fine form to deny them. Daniel Wooden was first to see his goal bound header saved, he then sent another wide of the goal before being put through one -on -one only to see Ed Hatt blocked his shot with his feet. The Yachtsmen held out until the break too lead by the odd goal but Portchester were certainly not out of the contest.

H-t 1 – 0

The visitors, who had never won at Westwood prior to this fixture in four attempts, began the second half on the attack. A combination of Ed Hatt and Conor White managed to block a shot on the line before they deservedly got their equaliser when OLLIE SEARLE netted with a header from a corner on the hour mark. The game became very open and fast flowing as both teams went for the victory. A Gareth Bricknell free kick from 30 yards was heading for the top right corner of their goal but Lewis Noice leapt across his goal to save with ease. Debutant Daniel Vale then sent a teasing cross into the box but despite stretching as far as he could John McKie could not get a touch on the ball too divert it into the net. Dan Vale again tested the visiting keeper before John McKie had a shot blocked, Connor Furmidge curling the rebound inches wide of the left hand post. Portchester Daniel Wooden then volleyed over the bar when well placed before a Dan Vale cross found John McKie whose shot appeared to hit the arms of defender Simon Stone, who incidently went down holding his face!!!!!!!!! Referee Tom Copping waved away Cowes appeals for a second penalty Daniel Wooden fired wide of Cowes’ left hand post. Cowes substitute Tom Dye played a wonderful crossfield ball that Jimmy Wykes chested down before shooting at goal only to see Lewis Noice save low down to his left. The visitors then snatched an injury time winner when Jimmy Wykes was adjudged to have fouled their forward in the box. The Referee pointed to the spot and STEVE RAMSEY held his nerve to slot home from 12 yards to give the three points too Portchester which was rather harsh as a Cowes side that had battled throughout. When asked after the game what the penalty was for? The reply came from Thomas Copping “ I heard a clash of boots”. Surely you have to be 100% certain to give a spot kick and have seen what happened, not go on hearing a clash of boots that could have been anywhere.

That decision spoilt what was otherwise a very good display from the man in the middle, but when you are down the bottom of the table that is the sort of luck/decision that goes against you.

From the Yachtsmen’s point of view there was some good news after the game as both Amesbury Town, 0 – 2 at home to Blackfield + Langley and Newport IW 0 – 5 at Sholing, had also lost their league games leaving the situation unchanged at the bottom. Cowes remain 12 points clear of Amesbury(2 games in hand) and 13 ahead of Newport(4 games in hand).

 

TEAMS:-
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Conor White, James Wykes Bkd, Callum Chase Bkd, Jez Conway, Joseph Adams, John McKie (c), Finnley Phillips, Connor Furmidge Bkd, Daniel Vale, Gareth Bricknell Bkd(replaced by Tom Dye 75) , Unused Subs; Max Draper, Callum Watkins, Ben Holdsworth + Sam Sanders g/k

AFC PORTCHESTER – Lewis Noice, Ben Buckland(replaced by Josh Warren 65), Simon Stone, Steve Ramsey, Ollie Searle, Harrison Birmingham, Robert Evans, Jake Morgan Bkd(replaced by Matthew Page 73), Daniel Wooden, Nathan Kirby(replaced by Harry Gregory 76), Brandon Miller, Unused Subs;

 

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