Sydenhams Football League (Wessex)

Sydenhams Football League(Wessex) – Div 1 19/04/14



A long trip to the other side of Salisbury and the home of Amesbury Town as Cowes Sports tried to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Ed Hatt replaced the injured Will Hunt in goal whilst Craig Insley returned to center half in place of the unavailable Aidan Bryan, the two changes to the starting line up. Joe Phelps and Gareth Bricknell were welcomed back on the bench. Amesbury, who had narrowly lost at Westwood(3 – 4) two weeks earlier but had suffered two home defeats since that game, made two changes from the team that had lost to Team Solent mid-week.

The home side began with confidence and but for a smart save from Ed Hatt with his legs following a mistake by Ollie Wilson, they would have taken an early lead. A 12th minute cross cum shot then bounced off the top of the Cowes crossbar as their goal was threatened. The Yachtsmens first chance at goal came in the 14th minute when Jordan Browne headed a Lee Davies free kick straight at home keeper Paddy Crease before Joe Adams saw his cross cum shot hit the side netting. Cowes started to stamp their authority on the game, but struggled to find a way past the home defence and when they did 17 year old keeper Paddy Crease was in excellent form as John McKie found out in the 33rd minute when he volleyed a Lee Davies cross straight at the keeper. Referee Chris Arkless, who did not have a good game, played an advantage after Jordan Browne had been fouled, Max Draper sent in a cross that again saw John McKie denied by a full stretch save by their young keeper as the first half failed to produce a goal.

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Cowes continued to dominate play at the start of the second half and should have taken the lead when Jared Wetherick was played in and with Paddy Crease coming off his line Jared lobbed the ball over him but wide of the left hand post. In the 65th minute another chance for Cowes to score but again Paddy Crease denied John McKie, this time at the expense of a corner. Amesbury then had a chance which was headed wide of the Cowes goal before Jared Wetherick set up Jordan Browne but another fine block by the home keeper denied the Island side. Ryan Gregory then sent in a dangerous free kick which Paddy Crease had to tip over the bar for a corner, from which Craig Insley headed the ball towards the home goal, with the keeper beaten he was thankful as one of his defenders cleared the ball off the line to safety. A big decision was got very wrong by the Match Officials when a home defender clearly handled the ball in the box, but no penalty was given to Cowes. Another Ryan Gregory free kick cannoned of the right angle of post and bar as Cowes searched for the goal they deserved. The final shot at goal came form the home side but Ed Hatt parried the shot away from goal. Again near the end of the game Referee Chris Arkless missed a clear foul by a Amesbury player before then giving a soft free kick to the home side, this upset Craig Insley who spoke out of turn towards the Official who ended up showing the Cowes skipper a red card.

The home side celebrated at the final whistle as a dejected Cowes made their way off the pitch as two vital points had been dropped and Cowes had been involved in their first 0 – 0 draw since February 9th 2010 v Brockenhurst. With Andover Town and Petersfield Town drawing 1 – 1 it still meant that the Islanders were in with a chance of promotion, but they remained five points behind second placed Petersfield with just six points left to play for, but the point gained confirmed a third place finish for Richie Woodburns team.

TEAM:- Ed Hatt, Max Draper, Lee Davies, Ryan Gregory, Craig Insley capt(S/O), O. Wilson(Joe Phelps 64), Nathan Lewis, Joe Adams(Gareth Bricknell 64), John McKie, Jordan Browne, Jared Wetherick, Subs not used; Ross Gregory, Michael Jones + Kevin Winchcombe

REFEREE:-  CHRISTOPHER ARKLESS           Assistants – Nigel Whitfield + Lewis Ward