The Yachtsmen began their quest for a return to the Wessex Premier with a trip to relegated Downton. Manager Richie Woodburn was without Craig Insley(suspended), Aidan Bryan(injured) and Joe Butcher(awaiting International Clearance) whilst John McKie was only fit enough for a place on the bench. Recent acquisition from East Cowes Vics, Jez Conway and Ryan Gregory were the new center half partnership.
Cowes started the game brightly with Ross Gregory sending a thunderous shot over the bar before Gareth Bricknell found some space to test the home keeper with a left foot shot that was tipped over for a corner. Joe Adams then worked his way into the Downton area before his shot was was diverted goal-wards by Jordan Browne, but Charles Aldridge again saved at the expense of a corner. Aldridge was again called into action when some excellent hold up play from Jared Wetherick before setting up Jordan Browne who saw his shot turned away for another corner.. On the stroke of half time Jared Wetherick again showed his skill in holding the ball up before shooting himself, this time Charles Aldridge was forced to save a full stretch as the first period remained goal less.
H-t 0 – 0
Within a minute at the start of the second half home dangerman Declan McGregor forced Ed Hatt to push away a shot for Downton’s first corner of the game from which a bit of a goal mouth scramble ended with Ed Hatt diving on the loose ball although right back Keelan Sainsbury suffered a knock to the head that forced him off the pitch too be replaced by Max Draper. Nathan Lewis then replaced Joe Phelps just before the hour as Cowes looked for the all important opening goal. Max Draper won the ball from a Downton goal kick, played it into Jordan Browne who fired just wide of target. Nathan Lewis tried his luck but again the ball flew wide as Cowes struggled to find the net. John McKie was sent on in place of Joe Adams. Downton’s only other chance of scoring came ten minutes from time when a cross into the Cowes area was palmed away by Ed Hatt to Ben Smith who fired well over the bar and the Leisure Center behind the goal. Nathan Lewis then headed a chance into the keepers hands before the Island side thought they had got the goal they wanted when a Gareth Bricknell corner from the right was headed goal-wards by skipper Ryan Gregory, a defender cleared the ball from what looked behind the goal line but Cowes’ appeals were ignored by Referee Adrian Knight and his Assistant. Cowes, despite dominating the game, had to be content with just a point from their opening game although it felt like two points dropped.
Team:- Ed Hatt, Keelan Sainsbury(Max Draper Bkd 49), Lee Davies, Ryan Gregory capt, Jez Conway, Ross Gregory, Joe Phelps Bkd(Nathan Lewis 58), Gareth Bricknell, Jared Wetherick, Jordan Browne, Joe Adams(John McKie 78)