What a difference a week makes! Ten days back even the ever-zestful Dave Draper could find no better summary of our trip to Petersfield than “the definite low-point of the season”, but on Saturday the good times were back as a keen Bournemouth side were put to the sword here at Westwood with a hard-working and thoroughly enjoyable display. As with so many games this season we created enough chances to have scored an absolute hatful, but we had to make do with just the two goals, both from Conor Furmidge (who also hit the post in the first half). The first goal was a bit of a strange affair – after a spell of pressure in the box it looked as though the chance had gone, but to the surprise of many in the stand the ball then rifled low into the net. We weren’t quite sure what had happened, but were happy enough nonetheless. The rest of the first team were happy enough to explain, in song, later in the clubhouse, as they serenaded Furm for scoring “with a tackle”. His second was an absolute belter though, with a pinpoint cross from John McKie giving him the perfect chance to power in a header at the far post. Great stuff. As an, ahem, footnote, the foot-in-mouth award very nearly went to Andy Barding, who, as the clock ticked towards ninety minutes and with Cowes 2 – 0 up, proclaimed that the points were in the bag. Approximately five seconds later and Ed was picking the ball out of his net and everyone within earshot of Mr Barding was muttering dark oaths in his general direction. He got away with it though. Likes to live dangerously, that lad.

Great to see another three-figure attendance on Saturday too, our seventh in a row and twelfth of the season overall. It’s an absolute credit to the club, and the loyalty of the supporters, that even with our lowly league position this season we currently boast the fifth highest average gate in the league with 116 (and even taking the Newport match out of the equation we still average an impressive 107). Once again we also boast one of the highest ‘lowest’ gates too, with 80 our smallest turnout so far. Just two clubs have higher lowest gates – proving that Cowes supporters are loyal through thick, thin, and thinner – and our lowest attendance is higher than the average of no less than ten other sides. Well done everyone, not least those among us who work so hard publicising matches both online and in the real world too!

Another massive game this Saturday, and helpfully, one of the hardest to get to, when the lads travel to Amesbury looking to break our travelling duck this season. Two makeable away trips after that though, with a visit to Bashley next Tuesday followed by the ever-tempting trip to Lymington a week on Saturday. Unfortunately it looks like I’ll be missing both of them due to work commitments (Denmark beckons once more…), but it would be great if we could take a bit of a following to these matches. Back up here on 10th March for the visit of Alresford, then I’ve a feeling there’ll be a good turnout for our away match on 13th March (assuming the pitch isn’t waterlogged…) Plenty more tempting away trips before the end of the season, but if you don’t make it to any others, be sure to put 21st April in your diary – the last day of the season and what could be a massive occasion as we travel to tonight’s visitors Brockenhurst. It’s always a good day out, we always seem to take a good crowd along, and the way things are going there could be quite a lot at stake that day…

First things first though, and tonights match is upon us. Be loud, be proud, and enjoy the game. Up the Yachtsmen!

Toby

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