SYDENHAMS FOOTBALL LEAGUE Div 1 Monday Feb 24th 2104
TEAM SOLENT 2 v 4 COWES SPORTS
Cowes Sports made the short trip across the Solent to Test Park, home of Team Solent, for this Monday night League game. The visitors, fresh from an excellent away win at New Milton two days earlier, were in a confident mood as they looked to gain revenge, for the second time in three days, following a home defeat earlier in the season. Team Solent meanwhile had themselves suffered a defeat at U S Portsmouth(1 – 2) so were in no mood to let another three points slip away.
Three changes from the starting line up for the Yachtsmen saw both Nathan Lewis and Joe Phelps back in the middle of the park with Adam Sunsburg and Ross Gregory dropping to the bench, whilst Max Draper returned at right back, Keelan Sainsbury slotting into right midfield in place of the unavailable John McKie. The home side made four changes from the side beaten at US Portsmouth.
A heavy shower around an hour before kick off gave the playing surface a bit of zip, and despite the recent bad weather the pitch was looking in pristine condition as Referee Kevin Bungay got the game under way. Having obviously got a rollicking for their Saturday display, Team Solent came out of the blocks with great determination to avoid a similar show and got the perfect start when a 7th minute cross by Ross Stringer from the right saw skipper SEAN BARTLETT meet the ball with a powerful close range header that flew past Will Hunt into the goal. Bartlett hurt himself when scoring and play was held up whilst he received treatment. The home side were working hard all over the pitch, closing down quickly when not in possession and knocking the ball around with confidence when going forward, the Cowes defence were looking a bit shaky at times in particular keeper Will Hunt. Shortly before the interval the Students won a couple of free kicks just to the right of the Cowes area, Tobi Adekunle took the first, having been fouled himself, but he sent his effort over the bar. The second, just two minutes before the break and from a slightly narrower angle saw JESSIE WALLER-LARSSON curl the ball around the wall and into the bottom right corner of Will Hunt’s goal despite his desperate dive, to give the home side a fully deserved second goal.
H-t 2 – 0
It was Cowes’ turn to feel the wrath of their Manager, and boy didn’t he do his job well. Within 38 seconds of the re-start the Islanders were back in the game, Max Draper broke down the Cowes right, sent a cross into the box which Jordan Browne flicked on to the back post where JOE ADAMS bundled the ball into the Team Solent goal to give the Cowes followers hope of getting something out of the game. Buoyed by the goal, it was now the Island side that were closing down quickly and not allowing the students to settle, they seemed rattled by what was happening , a total contrast to the first half. Joe Adams then had the chance to level, with only the keeper to beat, he fired the ball over the bar. The equaliser did come in the 58th minute when Ollie Wilson found Keelan Sainsbury, his cross from the right found LEE DAVIES ghosting in at the back post to head home. The home side could not believe what was happening and worse was to follow for them as just two minutes later the comeback was completed as the Yachtsmen took the lead. Jordan Browne gave the ball to KEELAN SAINSBURY on the right corner of the area, he spotted keeper Tommy Taylor a few yards off his line and sent an exquisite left foot chip over the keepers head into the home goal from about 20 yards. Cowes have concede their fair share of worldy goals this season so it makes a change to a Yachtsman scoring one. Behind the home goal former skipper Gareth Bricknell was getting his fitness back as on several occasions he was seen to be retrieving the ball. Adam Sunsburg replaced Keelan Sainsbury in the 69th minute. Ollie Wilson was again involved as he set up Joe Phelps for a header that looked as though was heading for Cowes’ fourth goal, but Tommy Taylor produced an outstanding save to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. Craig Insley then found Jordan Browne with a long clearance from defence, he fought well with his marker before sending in a shot that again saw Tommy Taylor save his side. In the 79th minute Joe Phelps fed OLIVER WILSON who smashed the ball past Tommy Taylor, who was this time helpless, and into the bottom left corner of his goal as Cowes went 4 – 2 up. Before the end of the game Joe Adams and Jordan Browne were replaced by Ross Gregory and Jared Wetherick respectively and it was the latter who had the last chance of the game in injury time when he was released on goal and should have added number five, but yet again Tommy Taylor saved his side from a total embarrassment, saving with his feet.
The victory lifted the Yachtsmen up to third in the table although this was short lived as Hythe & Dibden’s victory the following evening saw them back up to third but having played a game more. It also sets up the coming weekend’s fixture when the Yachtsmen travel to Hythe + Dibden for yet another important game.
Team:- William Hunt, Max Draper, Lee Davies, Aidan Bryan(bkd), Craig Insley capt, Keelan Sainsbury(Adam Sunsburg 69), Oliver Wilson, Nathan Lewis, Joe Phelps(bkd), Jordan Browne(Jared Wetherick 89), Joe Adams(bkd)(Ross Gregory 82), Sub not used; Ryan Gregory
REFEREE:- KEVIN BUNGAY Assistants – Steve Currie + Ryan Hinton