MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – STUART CARTE

Assistants – Liam White + Aaron Tree

Cowes Sports 15th home game of the season saw Fareham Town, The Creeksiders, travel across the Solent to visit Westwood Park having been beaten the Islanders 4 – 2 in the first meeting back in August.

Cowes Sports welcomed back Aidan Bryan from his suspension whilst University students Ewan Cranwell and Finnley Phillips are both home for the Christmas break. Only five players started for the visitors who had started their previous match with just six in the 15 man squad.

The home side came out of the blocks and made a flying start to the game as a second minute John McKie free kick from 22 yards had Del Harding diving full stretch to his right to push the ball away from goal, Cowes won the ball back before Gareth Bricknell ‘s inch perfect cross from the left found HARRY DYE towards the back post who sent his header back across goal into the right corner of the Fareham net to give the home side the lead. Within a minute the Creeksiders should have been level when Matt Andrews had a good chance but mis-hit his effort leading to an easy save for Cowes stopper Ed Hatt. Harry Dye nearly doubled the lead from a Fin Phillips corner but his diving header flew inches wide of the goal. As Cowes pressed for a second goal Connor Furmidge curled a shot towards the left corner of Del Harding’s goal, but the keeper was able to save with ease. A firm cross in the 10th minute from the right by John McKie saw Connor Furmidge flying in at pace but was unable to get a touch on the ball. Fareham started to see more of the ball as Ashley Tattersall fired wide in the 18th minute before the equaliser came in the 20th minute. Ewan Cranwell’s free kick was cleared by the Fareham defence leaving MATT ANDREWS and Aidan Bryan battling for the loose ball. The former won before tucking the ball past Ed Hatt much to the delight of the travelling fans who certainly support their side both home and away. Leigh Mackenzie fired over before two John McKie headers nearly restored the home sides advantage, but the score remained level at the break.

H-t 1 – 1

Cowes again made a bright start to the second half. Gareth Bricknell broke down the left before teeing up John McKie but unfortunately he mis-kicked and the chance had gone. Ed Hatt then produced a world class save when a Matt Simm effort from 20yards had the supporters behind the goal celebrating a goal, but the Cowes keeper somehow managed to get something on the ball to divert it up and over the bar for a corner. Shortly before the hour mark Connor Furmidge was forced off the field after being caught on the calf by their right back, sixteen year old Callum Watkins. Gareth Bricknell picked up a yellow card tho not sure what for. Matt Andrews was allowed to turn on the edge of the Cowes area but pulled his shot wide of the goal. Ed Hatt was again called upon to keep his side level with a low save to his left. Tom Dye made a welcome return when he replaced Leigh Mackenzie for the final ten minutes. The final chance of the game came on 81 minutes for the home side when a Max Draper free kick into the box skimmed off their centre half, John McKie gut a touch but diverted the ball onto the top of the left post before being cleared. A sting in the tail for the Islanders as a minute from time a mis-timed tackle by Gareth Bricknell earned himself a second yellow card followed by red. Cowes then sent on Ben Holdsworth for John McKie in injury time but the game petered out to a draw.

TEAMS:-
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Max Draper, Gareth Bricknell S/O, Aidan Bryan, Craig Insley (c), Ewan Cranwell, John McKie(replaced by Ben Holdsworth 90), Harry Dye, Connor Furmidge(replaced by Callum Watkins Bkd 59), Leigh Mackenzie(replaced by Tom Dye 80), Finnley Phillips Unused Subs; Wilfred Armfield g/k

FAREHAM TOWN– Del Harding, Louie Castles, Hayato Yokato, Josh Holmes (c), Callum Laycock, Shawn Benjamin, Matt Simm, Ethan Jones, Matthew Andrews(Ben Tiffin 85), Luke Sweeney(Vaughnie McGhee 74), Ashley Tattersall, Unused Subs; Marc Anderson + Luke Douglas

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