Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) SYDENHAMS FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Division One — Saturday March 14th 2015

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COWES SPORTS     3  v  2   UNITED SERVICES PORTSMOUTH

Attendance — 86

The Westwood Park faithful were looking forward to this League clash hoping for a similar exciting game to the one just over a month before when Cowes Sports had come from two goals behind with 15 minutes remaining to snatch a point in a 3 – 3 draw.

Squad changes included a return from traveling for Dom Burbidge who was joined by Jason Ince, Aidan Bryan and Max Draper on the bench, whilst sixteen year old Jordan Chapman was given his first start in place of the unavailable Jimmy Wykes(wedding). The visitors were just one place below the Yachtsmen at the start of play, although four points adrift having played one more game and have a very good strike force in Callum Coker(15 goals) and Michael Dark(22 goals) who had netted all three goals in the previous meeting.

The first twenty minutes were very quiet as both sides were well aware of what the other could do. Cowes created the first opportunity in the 22nd minute when James Butt’s free kick into the 6 yard area found Ryan Gregory but his header hit the top of the bar. Callum Coker responded by firing a shot wide of Ed Hatt’s right hand post a minute later. The Navymen then stunned the home crowd in the 32nd minute when they took the lead. What looked like a poor corner from the Cowes right skimmed low towards the near post where Callum Coker let the ball run before it cannoned off RYAN GREGORY into his own goal. Nothing Ryan or keeper Ed Hatt could do to keep the ball out of the goal. Four minutes later and the Servicemen doubled their lead when a long throw into the Cowes area was flicked on and CALLUM COKER was first to react to fire the ball past Ed Hatt into the net. Cowes push for promotion was in serious danger of exploding in their faces, Richie Woodburn had his work cut out if Cowes were to turn this game around.

H-t 0 – 2

Following a half time ear-bashing Cowes looked a far more determined side a the start of the second half and were rewarded after 51 minutes when a superb reverse pass by Jared Wetherick into the path of ALEKSANDER PRZESPOLEWSKI who got in front of his marker to tap the ball past keeper Peter Houkes before netting from close range. This got the home side back into the game as they started to over power the Portsmouth side. In the 55th minute the Island side were back on level terms as Aleks Prespolewski’s free kick fell too Jared Wetherick who saw his effort blocked by Peter Houkes, but he was helpless as NATHAN LEWIS blasted the loose ball into the net much to the delight of most of the 86 crowd. Could the home side complete the amazing comeback though??  Cowes’ cause was given a boost in the 62nd minute when Joe Adams cleared the ball from the edge of the home area, he was then kicked by Michael Dark who was immediately shown a red card by Referee Michael Ballard. Could Cowes now take advantage of having an extra player? Eventually they did as, in the 80th minute, JOE ADAMS fired in the all important third goal for the Islanders having been set up by John McKie. John McKie then should have settled the result, but his volley was saved by Peter Houkes. The visitors then nearly equalised but Peter Lines’ shot came back off the post to the relief of the Yachtsmen. John McKie again could have scored a fourth bu again was denied by Peter Houkes.

Cowes held out till the final whistle and another three points in the bag, just!! News after the game filtered through that Amesbury Town had been beaten 2 – 1 at Andover New Street whist New Milton had drawn 1 – 1 at Downton leaving Cowes in fourth place on 45 points with Team Solent top(55 points from 23 games), Tadley Calleva second(51 from 22) Amesbury third (45 from 22), Cowes fourth(45 from 21), New Milton fifth(45 from 22). Still all too play for in the race for a top two finish.

THE HOLIDAY SHOP & A L S TRAVEL “Man of the Match” — JARED WETHERICK

Team:- Ed Hatt, James Butt, Jez Conway, Craig Insley capt, Ryan Gregory, Nathan Lewis, Joe Adams bkd, Aleksander Przespolewski, John McKie, Jared Wetherick bkd(Dominic Burbidge 88), Jordan Chapman

Substitutes not used: Jason Ince, Max Draper, Aidan Bryan

Referee:- Michael Ballard       Assistants – Thomas McGhee + Matthew Finnegan