Division One — Saturday April 4th 2015

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Attendance — 88

The latest trip for the promotion chasing Yachtsmen saw them travel to the Bypass Ground, home of Romsey Town, who despite their lowly position had improved in recent weeks.

The Gaffer was forced into two changes to his line up with Nathan Lewis and Ryan Gregory both unavailable for this Easter Saturday fixture. Aidan Bryan was welcomed back to the starting line up whilst a first team debut for 16 year old Tom O’Brien who has impressed in the Reserve team throughout the season.

The Island side got just the start they wanted as they took a fifth minute lead when OLIVER WILSON rose unchallenged to direct a header into the keepers right hand corner. James Butt supplied the cross from a free kick from near the right touchline inside the Romsey half. Aleksander Przespolewski then saw his shot blocked by George Passingham’s legs in the 10th minute. Romsey responded when Kieran Hancock tried from distance straight into the arms of Ed Hatt in the 11th minute before the spectators had to wait until the 35th minute before Mitch Parker saw his free kick pushed away for a corner by the Cowes keeper from which Jordan Chalk watched as skipper Craig Insley cleared his shot for a second corner. This was sent from the Cowes right to the far post area where it was not cleared by the visitors defence and the ball was fired back into the six yard box where MITCHELL PARKER diverted the ball into the Cowes net too equalise. Buoyed by their goal the home side looked to push on but gritty defending from the Cowes back line kept the scores level at the interval.

H-t 1 – 1

An excellent cross from John McKie early in the second half saw Jared Wetherick diving in at the near post whilst Jimmy Wykes was at full stretch at the back post, but neither could get a touch on the ball to score. Generally the second period was not of a good standard as both sides cancelled each other out and very few goal mouth incidents were created. However both teams did find the net but were ruled out. First Romsey thought they had taken the lead mid way through the half but the ‘offside’ flag ruled out that effort, whilst for Cowes, John McKie netted only to ruled out for a handball which earned him a yellow card. Two minutes from the end a ball towards the Cowes area was headed clear by Aidan Bryan who followed up, with eyes only on the ball, to head clear again, but Referee Dave Cotton ridiculously ruled that Aidan had committed a foul and gave the home side a free kick in a similar position to where James Butt had set up the early Cowes goal. The ball was played into the area where KIERAN HANCOCK headed home via Ed Hatt’s left hand post and the Yachtsmens hopes blown up. Could Cowes salvage anything from this late setback, yes they could. Tom O’Brien sent the ball down the left touchline which was touched on by Jared Wetherick too send JOHN MCKIE away who smashed the ball past their keeper into the net and earn a point for his side. Three minutes into injury time and one last effort from the Island side to snatch all three points. Substitute Max Draper played a ball into Aleks Przespolewski who made space for a shot from 25 yards which cannoned off the right hand post of the Romsey goal and the points were shared.

Although two points were dropped it still means that Cowes will need to win their four remaining games and hope that Tadley Calleva, who thumped Pewsey Vale 5 – 2 at Pewsey, lose one of their remaining three fixtures.

Team:- Ed Hatt, James Butt, Tom O’Brien, Craig Insley capt, Aidan Bryan, Oliver Wilson, Joe Adams, John McKie bkd, Jared Wetherick, Jimmy Wykes(Max Draper 77), Sub not used Jason Ince

Referee:- Dave Cotton      Assistants – Ian St John Gordon + Peter Lowe