Sydenhams Football League – Division 1 – Tuesday March 11th 2014
UNITED SERVICES PORTSMOUTH 2 – 3 COWES SPORTS
A short journey across to Portsmouth saw the Yachtsmen take on United Services Portsmouth at the Victory Stadium in another important game.
Joe Adams and John McKie dropped to the bench from Saturdays starting XI, Keelan Sainsbury and Jared Wetherick coming in too replace them whilst Ollie Wilson took Adam Sundurgs place on the bench. The home side were able to name the same starting XI that had come so close to taking two points off Andover Town the previous Saturday, conceding in the 93rd minute in a 1 – 2 defeat. As always a tough encounter was expected and so it turned out to be.
The Island side began with great intent as Keelan Sainsbury’s early cross found the head of Lee Davies who headed over, then Jared Wetherick fired in a shot from the left edge of the Pompey area which narrowly missed the goal before Ryan Gregory saved Cowes with a goal line clearance. Keelan Sainsbury again set up Lee Davies whose shot was parried by home keeper Peter Houkes before the ball was cleared for a corner. Joe Phelps was next to try his luck with a pile driver of a shot that flew just over the crossbar in the 16th minute. A 20th minute corner for Cowes led to Nathan Lewis blasting over the bar as Cowes looked for the opening goal. However, it was United Services that were gifted the first goal of the game in the 22nd minute when Aidan Bryan was adjudged to have brought down their striker and Referee Sean Jenkins awarded a penalty which MARK ROBINSON scored with ease, but Cowes’ back line were furious with the Assistant who, when the ball was played into Robinson in the build up to the incident, was clearly in an offside position. Maybe his glasses had steamed up as he clearly could not see, the first of several questionable decisions on the night. Even US Pompey officials thought he was offside. Stunned by this Cowes fought their way back into the match and got a deserved equalising goal on 32 minutes when a training ground free kick routine out on the left touchline saw Ryan Gregory roll the ball forward thinking Aidan Bryan was running onto it, but Aidan had stopped and a Pompey player picked the ball up only to then give it back to Cowes who pushed forward, Jared Wetherick using his strength before teeing up LEE DAVIES to fire home his twelfth goal of the season.
H-t 1 – 1
The home side were fast out of the blocks at the start of the second half as a quick break down the Cowes left saw Mark Connett fire a shot across the goal and past the right hand post, Will Hunt getting a finger tip to the ball as a corner was given from which a shot came in that smacked against the same upright. Cowes then took the the lead in the 52nd minute with a fantastic goal. A cross-field ball from the right found Lee Davies just inside the Pompey half but with space to run into, a one – two with Joe Phelps took him past the right back before a low cross was sent into the six yard box where it reached the unmarked JARED WETHERICK at the back post to fire home from close range. Minutes later the near side Assistant flagged for a foul on the edge of the Cowes area which the Referee, who was closer, never gave, from which Will Hunt was forced to make a save. Jordan Browne then nearly added his name to the score sheet when his attempted cross from the right touchline almost caught the home keeper out as it dropped just wide of his right hand post. In the 67th minute a long clearance from the Cowes half found JARED WETHERICK up front on his own, he used his body and strength to battle his way towards goal before making the space to bury a shot past Peter Houkes and give the Islanders a 3 – 1 lead. The Match Officials, who were not having the best of games, were determined to get the home side back into the game and when Joe Phelps fouled a home forward on the edge of the area, Sean Jenkins was quick to point to the spot for a second time, Will Hunt though produced a brilliant save to keep Cowes two ahead. It did not take long before the Servicemen did get a second goal on 75 minutes when Craig Insley showed a forward inside who then smashed the ball past Will Hunt to give his side a glimmer of hope. Harry Bass then saw his header cleared of the goal-line as Cowes defended desperately to hold onto the three points. Another dubious decision by the Officials presented Pompey with one last chance of leveling the scores when another free kick was awarded to them towards the left edge of the area. Harry Bass saw his effort beat away by Will Hunt but only to a forward who looked likely to score only for Will Hunt to dive at his feet to block the shot. Finally the whistle was blown and another three points were secured which takes the Island side up to second place albeit Petersfield have three games in hand.
TEAM:- William Hunt, Max Draper, Ryan Gregory(bkd), Aidan Bryan, Craig Insley capt, Nathan Lewis, Joe Phelps((bkd)(Ross Gregory 72), Lee Davies, Jared Wetherick, Jordan Browne, Keelan Sainsbury(Joe Adams 79), Unused Subs; Oliver Wilson, John McKie, Kevin Winchcombe
Referee:- SEAN JENKINS Assistants – Kevin Robinson + Peter Lowe