Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Sydenhams Football League

League Cup 3rd Round – Tuesday November 25th 2014

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Attendance —

Cowes Sports reward for defeating Downton in their League Cup 2nd round tie was a mid week trip to Love Lane and a tough game against old foe Petersfield Town whom they have had some great tussles with over the past few seasons, the hosts sitting pretty in second place in the Premier Division. Another great game was expected.

The game was given the go ahead following a 2.30pm inspection, however, persistent rain throughout the journey from the Island had put the game in doubt and upon arrival at Love Lane the match Referee had initially called the game off, but was persuaded to change his mind following some forking of certain areas of the pitch, so the game went ahead with everyone praying that there was no heavy rain during the match.

Cowes were forced into several changes, Ryan Gregory(broken finger) and Keelan Sainsbury(unavailable) were missing although Sergio Castellano was welcomed back. Jez Conway and Lee Davies stepped into the starting line up while Enrique Villar dropped to the bench where he was joined by Oliver Wilson and Joe Butcher. Petersfield made just one change from the side that had thumped Brockenhurst 4 – 1 a few days earlier – Drew Moore replaced Andy Todd up front.

The game finally kicked off, the rain having relented, some eight minutes late at 19:52. As expected the Rams were on the front foot during the early stages of the game with home skipper Alex Ward firing wide form a corner before Joe Richardson headed past Ed Hatt’s left hand post. Rams keeper Matt Shortt then saved a chip towards goal at the second attempt then Jordan Browne tested him with a low shot before Nathan Lewis fired a shot towards the right corner of the home goal only for their keeper to get across to push the ball away for a corner, from which Jordan Browne was presented with a free header from six yards or so which flew over the bar. Lee Davies then got a great block in to deny the home side, Gareth Bricknell sent a shot in the Matt Shortt done well to save with his feet as Cowes pressed for the opening goal. Jordan Browne picked out John McKie in the 41st minute but the Cowes winger fired wide of target before Lee Davies sent a shot fizzing wide of the Rams left hand upright. Somehow the first half remained goal-less.

H-t 0 – 0

Cowes began the second half with great intent and with just three minutes played John McKie cut inside from the right touchline before being tripped inside the area by a defender, Referee Rob Ablitt immediately pointed to the spot much to the annoyance of the home team and crowd. JARED WETHERICK stepped up to send Matt Shortt the wrong way for his fourth goal of the season(all penalties in the League Cup) and give Cowes the lead. The home side responded well, a superb cross was sent into the Cowes area between keeper and defence, but no home player gambled and the chance went a begging. Finally Petersfield drew level in the 62nd minute when DREW MOORE blasted the ball past Ed Hatt into the top right corner of his goal, an excellent strike. Just three minutes later and the game was turned on its head as the Rams got a second goal when BENNY READ headed home from close range. Cowes response was too send on Spaniard Enrique Villar for Jared Wetherick and within four minutes the Islanders were back in the game when Gareth Bricknell sent in a corner from the Cowes right to the near post and ENRIQUE VILLAR got in front of his marker to head the ball into the back of the Rams net, possibly via a defender. Cowes could sense a chance of victory and pressed hard for a third, they were unlucky when the ball fell to John McKie in the home area but he could only send the ball straight at Matt Shortt. Cowes were then caught by a sucker punch as Petersfield showed their class, a cross field ball picked out their wide man who sent the ball into the danger zone where DREW MOORE was on hand to divert the ball past Ed Hatt into the net. Despite the heavy pitch which was now cutting up quite badly both sides continued to defy the conditions and attack at every opportunity, Enrique Villar tested Matt Shortt who got down well too save before the killer blow was dealt by the Premier side with just two minutes left too play. a quick break down the right and the ball was fired into the area which Ed Hatt could not hold and experienced front-man WARREN HUNT netted a fourth goal for the home side thus securing their place in the quarter finals of the Sydenhams League Cup.

Given the tricky conditions, both sides should be congratulated for producing an entertaining game to watch and the spirit that the match was played in, no bookings. Credit also to the Match Officials as well for getting the game played too a finish.

Team:- Ed Hatt, Joe Adams, Lee Davies, Jez Conway, Craig Insley capt, Sergio Castellano, Nathan Lewis, Gareth Bricknell(Oliver Wilson 82), Jared Wetherick(Enrique Villar 65), Jordan Browne, John McKie(Joe Butcher 78)

Referee:-  Rob Ablitt    Assistants – Dan Sullivan + Declan Hellyer