Cowes Sports came from behind to draw with Portland through a goal deep into injury time set up by goalkeeper Ed Hatt.
Wessex league Premier Division: Cowes Sports 2-2 Portland United
The Yachtsmen faced Portland United at Westwood Park missing key players, including leading scorer John McKie and lively midfielder Fin Phillips.
Cowes began brightly with a couple of good chances falling to Ji Nash in the 3rd and 4th minutes, and new signing Jaz Camara in the 10th minute, but all the opportunities were thwarted by Portland keeper Mike Edgar. Jez Conway then shot just over the crossbar in the 10th minute.
It was Portland who were to take the lead in the 15th minute when captain Ryan McKechnie rose above the Cowes defence to direct a corner into the back of the net (0-1).
The Yachtsmen could have equalized in the 28th minute when Portland keeper Edgar failed to hold a long ball into his penalty area and only just managed to prevent the ball from trickling back over his own goal line. 5 minutes later, Jimmy Wykes headed an Aedan Coode cross just over the crossbar. Then, the unlucky Ji Nash saw his goal attempt cannon off the crossbar.
Despite numerous chances and half chances falling to the profligate Cowes forwards, Portland succeeded in preserving their goal advantage to the interval.
HT: Cowes Sports 0-1 Portland United
Portland appeared the stronger, sharper and more incisive side for the bulk of the 2nd half. First, Portland full back Ollie Lowes hit the Cowes upright with a curling shot. Then, skipper McKenzie doubled Portland’s lead in the 51st minute with a volley from 7 yards (0-2). The Yachtsmen were lucky not to have gone 3 down when Ben Morris had a shot stopped by Ed Hatt’s legs.
Cowes awoke from their slumbers 15 minutes from full time when Darren Williams first had a header blocked on the line before dispatching the rebound off the heads of a couple of Portland defenders and into the roof of the net (1-2). It was now very much game on.
Portland’s response to the now rejuvenated Cowes side was to waste as much time as possible. This led to a scuffle between the two sets of players when Portland manager Franklyn Clarke attempted to prevent Jack Barsdell from picking up the ball to take a throw in, leading to the Portland boss being booked.
Cowes fruitlessly and frantically attempted to score an equalising goal which finally came in the 5th minute of injury time. An Aedan Coode corner was met by the head of goalkeeper Ed Hatt, who directed the ball to Jake Watson on the Portland goal line and into the back of the Portland net in the very last action of the game (2-2).
FT: Cowes Sports 2-2 Portland United
Cowes Sports: Hatt. Wykes, Mumford, Watson, Chase (Barsdell), Conway, Williams, Coode, Furmidge, Nash (Coshell), Camara (McFarlane) Subs not used: Wright, Denness
After the game, Portland manager Franklyn Clarke claimed it was a point gained, and Cowes manager Max Draper remarked that it was 2 points lost.
Assistant Cowes Sports manager Alex Smith said:
“When we play sides that are 8 or 9 places below us in the table, we should show dominance. However, if we play that badly and pick up a point then we are doing OK. The lads showed spirit to get the point back.”
The draw leaves Cowes in 11th place in the Wessex Premier with 18 points from 13 games. The Yachtsmen next play 6th-placed Fareham Town at Westwood Park on Tuesday (26th October). Kick-off is at 19.45.
The Port beat the Oilers to go 3 points from top of Wessex League 1
Wessex League Division 1: Fawley 2-3 Newport IoW
High-flying Newport maintained their push for promotion by beating second-from-bottom Fawley to narrow the gap between themselves and leaders Bemerton to just 3 points.
The Port travelled to Fawley with a strong squad with 4 first team regulars gracing the subs bench: Martin McDonough, Ryan Hughes, Joe Butcher and Spike Pearce.
Newport started brightly. Early pressure saw a Jordan Browne header go just over the crossbar, and Connor Kelly smash the ball just past the post. At the other end, Fawley appeared to be out to prove their standing in the league so far this season has been unjustified, with Scott Sampson forced to make some crucial blocks to stop the Oilers taking the lead.
In the 18th minute, Port winger Connor Kelly won the ball and delivered a cross that was met by Joe Craig at the far side of goal, who buried it powerfully to put Newport 1 up (0-1). 2 minutes later, Fawley looked certain to equalise, but the impressive Neo Lamb intercepted the attack well and kept the Port ahead.
A 22nd minute corner saw Jacob Reynolds tussling with his marker, and the Port player came out stronger as he knocked the ball home for Newport’s second (0-2).
The Port continued to push: a good strike from Jake Wright was blocked well by Fawley keeper Lee Burch. The Oilers got one back on 29 minutes from a well-taken Declan Hartigan free kick (1-2). But it was Newport pushing at the end of the half, and Joe Craig was unlucky not to get his second when he sent the ball just wide of the post.
HT: Fawley 1-2 Newport IoW
The second half got underway with Joe Craig forcing the save of the match from Fawley keeper Burch on 61 minutes, and Fawley getting a well-earned equaliser through Dylan Knight header on 63 minutes (2-2).
Things then took a turn for the worse, leading to a mass brawl on 68 minutes. Whatever happened, it sparked the Port to push forward for the winner, with a Jake Wright attempt knocked home by substitute Joe Butcher in the 85th minute (2-3).
A minute later, the Oilers Declan Hartigan struck the crossbar, but the Port held on to their lead until the end of the game to take all 3 points back home across the Solent.
FT: Fawley 2-3 Newport IoW
Newport IoW: Streeter, Younie, Lamb, Burford, Sampson, Triggs, Kelly, Reynolds, Browne, Craig, Wright Subs: McDonough, McCormack, Hughes, Butcher, Pearce
Newport’s win leaves them in 2nd place in Wessex League 1 with 28 points from 12 games, 3 points behind leaders Bemerton Heath Harlequins. The Port have now scored 42 goals in the league to date, at an average of 3.5 goals a game.
Newport match report written with kind assistance of Jenny Holmes
3 Goals for 3 Pan boys as Vics reach 3rd round
Wessex League Cup 2nd round: Fleet Spurs 0-3 East Cowes Vics
East Cowes Vics beat North Hampshire side Fleet Spurs 3-0 with all three goals coincidentally scored by players from Newport’s Pan Estate, to reach the 3rd round of the Wessex League Cup.
The East Cowes side had beaten Spurs 5-0 at Beatrice Avenue earlier in the season, but only 2 of the vanquished team were in the starting line-up for Saturday’s game. According to Vics manager Richie Woodburn, the new-look Fleet side were bigger and faster than the team they had previously faced.
Despite the supposed improvement in the Fleet Spurs squad, the North Hampshire side found themselves trailing by 3 goals at half time. Returning striker Jimmi Burton opened Vics’ account with an 8th minute volley from a free kick from Chris Turner which was flicked on by Ryan Gregory (0-1). Harry Catania then added a 2nd for Vics in the 23rd minute, volleying in a dangerous free kick from Jamie Wright (0-2). Vics’ 3rd goal came 2 minutes before the half time break when Jimmy Burton set up Jamie Wright, who cut into the box and blasted the ball into the back of the net from an acute angle (0-3).
Ryan Gregory came close to scoring a 4th goal for Vics in the 2nd half but was denied by a Gordon Banks style save from the Fleet keeper. Spurs battled hard to get back into the game, but a strong performance from Vics keeper Alex Ram denied them the opportunity of making an unlikely comeback.
Vics now face 3rd-placed Wessex League 1 outfit Folland Sports at Beatrice Avenue in the 3rd round of the cup on Tuesday, 9th November. Despite his opponents’ higher league position, manager Woodburn is confident his team can make it through to face Baffins Milton Rovers in the Quarter Final of the competition.
After the game, Richie said:
“Follands are tailor-made for us. If we can beat Wessex Premier Alton 4-0, we can beat them too. I was happy not to concede a goal. We have to take our good cup form into the league and stop dropping points to late goals.”