Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Sydenhams Football League

Division One – Saturday December 13th 2014

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Attendance – 60

Having suffered their first defeat of the League season against Pewsey Vale the previous week, Cowes Sports traveled to Foxcotte Lane, home of bottom club Andover New Street, confident that they would not suffer the same fate. Now that both Spaniards, Enrique Villar and Sergio Castellano had returned to Spain, Manager Richie Woodburn had to make changes to his side. Craig Insley was again unavailable as was Keelan Sainsbury, Jared Wetherick and Aidan Bryan. Ryan Gregory returned from injury at center half whilst John McKie and Lee Davies also were welcomed back to the squad.

If ever a quick start was required then this was the game and Cowes certainly made a great start to the match as a 4th minute corner from Gareth Bricknell picked out JOE PHELPS whose towering header arrowed towards the left corner of Dave Tasker’s goal, although a defender cleared the ball the Assistant indicated to the Referee that the ball had crossed the line and the visitors were one up. Cowes continued to press, but found home keeper, Dave Tasker, in inspired form. Four minutes later Oliver Wilson saw his shot tipped over the bar for a corner before a low Ryan Gregory free kick was again well saved. The Yachtsmen suffered a setback in the 29th minute when Joe Butcher got his studs caught in the mud in a challenge near the home penalty box that and had to be replaced by John McKie. Having rarely threatened the Ed Hatt’s goal throughout the first period it looked like Andover New Street were going in at the break a goal behind, but one final attack saw the ball played through the Cowes defence to an offside striker(once again the Assistant Referee was not up with play), he in turn played in HARRY LAWTON who slotted the ball past Ed Hatt to equalize for the home side and much to the annoyance of the visitors.

H-t 1 – 1

On a sticky pitch both sides created chances in the second half. Gareth Bricknell(looking offside) was first to see his shot saved by the home keeper before a poor defensive touch from Joe Phelps saw Ed Hatt push the shot form No 11 over the bar for a corner. Skipper Gareth Bricknell then sent in a cross that eventually found John McKie who should have restored Cowes’ lead but again Dave Tasker made an outstanding one handed save to keep his side level. Cowes were made to pay for their missed chances in the 65th minute when they failed to clear their lines and LIAM WILKINS calmly tucked the ball past Ed Hatt to give the home side the lead. Cowes were stunned and seem to run out of ideas as to how to get back into this game, although they worked hard their final ball was always letting them down before, with just five minute left to play the home side made sure of the points when a quick break saw the home side play the ball to the left winger who slotted it inside for LIAM WILKINS to smash home their third of the afternoon and secure their first victory of the season.

Team:- Ed Hatt, Max Draper, Jez Conway, Ryan Gregory, Joe Phelps, Oliver Wilson, Nathan Lewis(Lee Davies 75), Joe Adams, Gareth Bricknell, Jordan Browne bkd, Joe Butcher(John McKie 29), Sub not used –  Jason Ince

Referee:-   Brian White       Assistants – Jason Peters + David Bowley-Booth

Footnote:- Joe Butcher later found out that he has damaged knee ligaments which is likely to keep him out for the remainder of the season, thanks to Dave Draper who took him back straight after the game to catch the earlier boat and dropping him up to St Mary’s hospital.