Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) SYDENHAMS FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Division One  Saturday February 7th 2015

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UNITED SERVICES PORTSMOUTH  3 v 3  COWES SPORTS

Following the previous week’s disaster against Hythe + Dibden, Manager Richie Woodburn made three changes to the side. With both Tom Scovell and Gareth Bricknell injured, Lee Davies and Jimmy Wykes came into the starting line up whilst James Butt replaced Max Draper at right back. Positional changes saw Nathan Lewis move from left back into the center of midfield. The home side came into the game after two 4 – 1 wins in the space of four days, the second against Premier Division high flyers Moneyfields in the Portsmouth Senior Cup, so another tough game was expected.

The Islanders made a bright start to the game with James Butt causing problems with his dead ball kicks and crosses from the right. Just three minutes in and a James Butt corner found Ryan Gregory at the far post, but his header flew wide of the target. Ollie Wilson then tested the home keeper from distance and the ball bounced off the keeper but no one was close enough to take advantage. Eight minutes in and a James Butt free kick, after John McKie had been fouled, smacked against Peter Houkes right hand post and the rebound was thumped into the side netting. Cowes were then stunned in the 13th minute when the Navy men took the lead against the run of play when MICHAEL DARK smacked a half volley past Ed Hatt from the edge of the area. A couple of minutes later and Ami Rosario nearly doubled the lead but Ed Hatt saved at the expense of a corner. The home side held on too their lead until the break as Cowes had the more possession but could not break through the home defence.

H-t 1 – 0

An early opportunity for the home side at the start of the second half saw Ed Hatt push Callum Coker’s shot past the post for a corner. Cowes then had a good chance to level the scores when John McKie latched onto a ball over the top but he could only send the ball past left hand post. With John McKie causing the home side problems it was he that earned the chance for a Cowes equaliser when he powered into the home area only to be brought down by a defender, Referee Stephen Graham pointing to the penalty spot. RYAN GREGORY stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way as he calmly put the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal. Cowes’ joy though was short lived as in the 57th minute a seemingly harmless shot from 35 yards by MICHAEL DARK slipped through the hands of Ed Hatt too restore the Servicemens lead. Further bad news for the Islanders came in the 63rd minute when a ball down the Cowes left found MICHAEL DARK who gathered, cut inside before burying the ball in the bottom left corner of Ed Hatt’s goal and give the home side a two goal advantage. Cowes were then given a lifeline by some clumsy home defending as Jared Wetherick was fouled in the box for a second penalty. RYAN GREGORY again stepped up to again send the home keeper the wrong way, this time putting the ball into the right corner of Peter Houkes goal as he dived to his left. Fifteen minutes left for the visitors to find a third goal which their performance deserved. Just five minutes left when an almighty scramble in U S Portsmouth six yard box which started with their keeper making a great save and, after about 30 seconds ended with JARED WETHERICK stabbing the ball over the line for an equaliser, much too the delight of the half dozen or so supporters that had made the journey to Portsmouth. The drama was not over though as in the very last minute U S Pompey broke through on goal with Michael Dark, but his shot cannoned of Ed Hatt’s right post and out too Connor Duffin whose shot was saved on the line by Ed Hatt as the game ended all square at 3 – 3.

Team:- Ed Hatt, James Butt, Lee Davies(Jez Conway 60), Craig Insley Bkd capt, Ryan Gregory, Ollie Wilson(Max Draper 76), Joe Adams, Nathan Lewis, John McKie, Jared Wetherick, Jimmy Wykes,Sub not used; Jason Ince

Referee:- Stephen Graham    Assistant- Antony Cross + Gregory Smith