Sydenhams Football League Division 1 – Saturday March 1st 2014
HYTHE & DIBDEN 1 – 2 COWES SPORTS
On paper this league game looked to be a very tight contest between two in form sides. Since the two side met back in August, which Sports won 5 – 0 although lost right back Max Draper to a broken leg, the Watersiders had only suffered one league defeat, since that had won seven on the bounce without conceding a single goal. Cowes Sports for their part had won their previous six league matches so something was going to give.
With Oliver Wilson unavailable Ryan Gregory came into the side at left back with Lee Davies pushing up to left midfield, the only change from the victorious starting XI at Team Solent. John McKie returned on the bench joining Ross Gregory, Adam Sunsburg, Jared Wetherick and Mikey Jones. Hythe & Dibden for their part made three changes from their previous starting XI, Simon De’Arth and Manager Lee Burch dropping to the bench with Nathan Reynard and Terry Cox coming in along with Sean Stone who stepped up from the bench to start. The sloping pitch, as expected, was very soft with one area having had sawdust spread over it but was certainly playable.
A cagey start to the game by both sides suddenly had a bit of excitement in the 15th minute when Max Draper and Craig Insley collided in the Cowes penalty area, the ball fell nicely for top scorer Oluwaseun Olabiyi about eight yards from goal to the right of goal, his goal bound shot was parried away by keeper Will Hunt before being cleared for a corner by Aidan Bryan. Cowes’ first chance fell to Nathan Lewis who met Keelan Sainsbury’s corner from the Cowes left with a header back across the goal but wide of the keepers right hand post. Joe Adams then fired a shot on target, but Jon Page saved easily for the home side. With 25 minutes on the clock the deadlock was broken by the visiting side. Cowes sent a cross into the Hythe area which was not defended very well, the ball finding Jordan Browne who headed back across the goal where LEE DAVIES netted from close range to stun the home side. On 32 minutes Nathan Lewis went in hard for a tackle near the half way line and appeared to win the ball, but the Hythe player stayed down as Referee Brian Channing showed a yellow card to Nathan, rather harshly. The trainer came on but did not give any treatment, the Assistant on the dugout touchline pointed this out to the Referee who then made the player go off. From the free kick the ball was floated into the Cowes area where Aidan Bryan could not clear properly, the ball fell to a home forward who smashed it goalwards from inside the six yard box, but keeper Will Hunt produced a magical save to keep his side ahead.
H-t 0 – 1
Surely Manager Lee Burch gave his side a telling off at half time because they came out for the second half determined to drag themselves back into the game. From the start they forced Cowes back towards their goal putting ball after ball in towards the goal, Will Hunt did well to save an early shot which was eventually cleared, then a corner from the Cowes left saw Oluwaseun Olabiyi with a free header at the near post, but he missed the goal. Following a number of corners from either side the home side finally got their reward when in the 58th minute a corner from the Cowes right saw several players challenge and the ball end up in the back of the Cowes goal, SAM McCARTHY was credited with the final touch. It must be said that they fully deserved to draw level and looked the likely side to go on and take the three points. John McKie was sent on for Keelan Sainsbury as Cowes tried to stem the flow towards their goal. A rare venture towards the Hythe goal in the 70th ended with the Yachtsmen winning a corner on their left, Ryan Gregory sent in an inch perfect cross which found JORDAN BROWNE who headed the ball unchallenged into the goal and restore the Islanders lead. A difficult job to keep the home side at bay was made more difficult in the 75th minute when a rash challenge by Nathan Lewis gave the Referee no option but to show him a second yellow card, followed by red. Credit must go to Cowes as they continued to thwart the home side time and time again as they became more and more frustrated, none more so than Mark Lilley who had been spoken to twice in the first half and committed several fouls before diving in two footed on John McKie for which he was shown a straight red card. Cowes held on for the final few minutes for a tremendous three points.
The players, one and all, had given everything they had to secure this victory and can all be very proud of their performance. Lets hope they can keep it going and who knows???
Team:- William Hunt, Max Draper, Ryan Gregory, Aidan Bryan, Craig Insley(bkd), Keelan Sainsbury(John McKie 63), Nathan Lewis(S/O), Joe Phelps, Lee Davies, Jordan Browne(Adam Sunsburg 85), Joe Adams, Subs not used; Ross Gregory, Jared Wetherick, Michael Jones
Referee:- BRIAN CHANNING Assistants – Amy Robinson + Peter Lowe
South Coast Journalists were at the game and videoed the game, type the link below into your browser which will take you to the highlights:-