MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee:- GEORGE KIMBER-SWEATMAN

Assistants – Steve Fall + Danny Corbin

Steve Hunt took his depleted Cowes team to The County Ground home of Hamworthy United (due to a sat nav malfunction, so we think, via Asdas’ car park near Poole) for their latest Premier Division league clash. Not a happy hunting ground in recent seasons, three consecutive defeats, 0-8 in last seasons League Cup and  1-7 and 0-2 in the last two league games. In fact our last victory their was in 09-10, the season we were relegated, a 1-0 success.

Due to several injuries, unavailability and club captain Craig Insley’s suspension(last game) The Yachtsmen’s team sheet had a very unfamiliar look too it. With four debutants, Thomas Riordan, Morgan Perrin, Jack Broomfield and on the bench physio Callum Capon along with Jordon Stacey, Conor White and from the bench Isaac Cruise playing just their second 1st XI game, a result similar to last seasons two games was probably on the cards. The ‘Hammers’ made four changes to their side, former Dorchester player Max Buckler and Billy Walker replacing Jamie Gleeson and Sean Stewart in the starting line up whilst Rico Wilson and Mark Ford were on the bench.

Cowes were on the back foot from the start as the home side sensed they could improve their goal difference, but the Islanders looked very confident in dealing with what their hosts threw at them. Occasionally the Islanders ventured into the Hamworthy half to show that they could cause the home side a few problems. Eventually the deadlock was broken in the 16th minute when a cross field ball just evaded left back Leigh Mackenzie to find JAMIE FILKINS who smashed a volley past Ed Hatt for what the home crowd expected to be the first of many goals throughout the afternoon. However the expected goal rush never came as the team carried out manager Steve Hunt’s instructions very well to frustrate the home side. Hammers Steve Smith, 20 plus goals last season, had their best chance mid way through the first half when the ball found him five yards from goal, but a superb tackle by Jack Broomfield denied the Hamworthy player. For all their possession no real clear cut chances were created as they overplayed the ball with the final ball being very poor as the score remained at 1 – 0 going into the break.

H-t 1 – 0

Going into the second half and still the home crowd expected their side to ‘hammer’ the young Cowes team, more so as the lead was doubled just eight minutes in when a corner from the Cowes left was flicked on at the near post by Jamie Filkins and skipper NATHAN WALKER powered a free header into the right corner of the Cowes goal. All of the Cowes side were working very hard with Morgan Perrin in particular having an outstanding game, to the point that both of the home sides forwards were replaced during the half. Right back Tom Riordan was replaced by Isaac Cruise who went to left back and Leigh Mackenzie switched to right back. Despite being two down Cowes still tried to find a way back into the game and former Hamworthy player, George Turner nearly pulled a goal back with about twenty minutes to go, but home keeper Andy Knights saved well.  Shortly after Ed Hatt produced a great block as the home side threatened a third goal with three chances in quick succession, but they failed to take any. Fifteen minutes left and Cowes made their final substitution, Leigh Mackenzie being replaced by Callum Capon, who went up front with Jimmy Wykes dropping into right back. Two minutes into injury time Hamworthy substitute and debutant Rico Wilson went through Conor White and was immediately shown a red card. With Cowes physio on the pitch, John McKie was forced to come on to administer treatment to Conor (although I think Callum helped).

A two – nil defeat for the Island side but each and every one of the players can be extremely proud of the way they played and conducted themselves. The team spirit was fantastic and it was an honour to be present at this game. Despite the loss a very pleasant return journey that did not take us via Asda on this occasion.

TEAMS:-

COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Thomas Riordan, Leigh Mackenzie(replaced by Callum Capon 75), Aidan Bryan (c), Morgan Perrin, Jordon Stacey, Conor White, Jack Broomfield Bkd, George Turner, Connor Furmidge Bkd, James Wykes, Subs not used; John McKie + Dave Thurman g-k

HAMWORTHY UNITEDAndy Knights, Jamie Filkins, Declan Randall, Max Buckler, Nathan Walker (c), Harry Montague, Nick Swann, Billy Walker(replaced by Mark Ford), Steve Smith(replaced by Rico Wilson S/O), Edgar Zanin((replaced by Dan O’Sullivan), Carl Preston, Sub not used; Sam Brown

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