Semi Final played at East Cowes Vics – Wednesday April 6th 2016

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Cowes Sports made the trip across the River Medina to Beatrice Avenue to take on Island League side East Cowes Sports in the Semi Final of the Gold Cup. Aidan Bryan and Craig Insley were both missing due to illness but the three injury doubts for this match, Jordan Browne, John McKie and Charlie Smeeton, were all passed fit to start the game. ECS FC contained several players that had played for Cowes in the past with Kurt Butt up against his brother, James on the Cowes right.

Straight from the kick off Cowes looked to assert themselves with skipper John McKie firing across the face of their goal but wide of the upright.  ECS responded with a shot that was gathered by keeper Ed Hatt. A controversial moment came in the 13th minute when John McKie broke through their defence only to be brought down just outside their area by Mark Spinney who was very lucky to escape with just a yellow card as he appeared to be the last man!!!

Cowes continued to pile on the pressure, Charlie Smeeton sent the ball in towards the near post for Ed Sanders whose shot hit a defender and went for a corner. Oliver Wilson then tried his luck from wide on the left but their keeper claimed the ball under his bar. The breakthrough for the Wessex Premier side in the 25th minute when a free kick from the left was headed down by Jordan Browne for CHARLIE SMEETON to poke home from close range, much to the relief of the Cowes contingent. Aidan Sainsbury then crossed for John McKie to shoot at their keeper before Charlie Smeeton did likewise. Jason Malcolmson then powered his way down the left then fed the ball into JORDAN BROWNE who turned his marker to plant the ball in the bottom left of the ECS goal doubling the Yachtsmen’s lead in the 34th minute.  Seconds later and John McKie nearly added a third but their keeper did well to push the ball away for a corner. two minutes before half time and ECS stunned their higher league opponents by pulling a goal back when Andy Ebbs broke with pace down the right and teed up TOM FOX who drilled the ball past Ed Hatt from ten yards to set up an interesting second half.

H-t 2 – 1

Cowes came out for the second half presumably with Manager Richie Woodburns words still ringing in their ears. Six minutes after the restart ECS conceded a cheep free kick five yards outside their area and were made to pay as AIDAN SAINSBURY beat the wall and keeper to send the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal. A minute later and it was 4 – 1 as James Butt’s corner was not cleared and JOHN MCKIE netted from close in. CHARLIE SMEETON then fired across their keeper in the 54th minute to add number five. A minute past the hour a Cowes corner from the right was headed back into the middle for JORDAN BROWNE to head home number six. East Cowes Sports, too their credit, never gave up and kept battling till the end and but for a goal line clearance by Ed Sanders would of had a second goal a minute from time.

Cowes progress to the Final where they will meet the winners of the second Semi Final between Newport IW and W + B Sports which will take place at Westwood Park on Wednesday May 4th KO 19:30.

Team:- Ed Hatt, James Butt, Jason Malcolmson, Ed Sanders, Keelan Sainsbury, Oliver Wilson(Max Draper 71), Jordan Browne (Jared Wetherick 73), Aidan Sainsbury, Charlie Smeeton, Dexter Malin(Jimmy Wykes 71), John McKie capt, Subs not used – Aidan Bryan + James Green g/k

Referee:- Andrew Jones           Assistants – Alistair Taylor + Callum McFarlane