It is often claimed that the mark of a good side is the ability to win games despite not playing particularly well. W&B were fortunate to collect their customary 3 points on Saturday without outclassing their opponents.
Whitecroft & Barton opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Graham Baste shot through a crowded penalty area. (1-0)
West Wight’s Adam Millar then forced 2 great saves from W&B goalkeeper, Gareth True: the first a powerful low drive in the 15th minute, the second a high shot that True somehow tipped over the crossbar in the 37th.
W&B centre forward Josh Appell then made the game seemingly safe for the home side shortly before half time by picking the ball up outside the penalty area and rounding West Wight keeper, Ryan Young, before slotting the ball into the back of an empty net. (2-0)
HT: W&B 2-0 West Wight
West Wight seemed the stronger team in the second half but were just unable to salvage a point at W&B’s formidable Sandy Lane fortress.
It was game on in the 62nd minute, when a Louie Thomas cross met the head of Robbie Shepherd, who rose above the W&B defence to head the ball into the top right corner. (2-1)
In the 75th minute, the agile Gareth True once again saved the home side, tipping another strong shot from West Wight captain, Adam Millar, round the post for a corner.
W&B, however, hung on for all 3 points and preserve their place in pole position at the top of Island League 1
FT: W&B 2-1 West Wight
After the game, W&B manager told Island Echo in characteristically tight-lipped fashion:
“It was a good game. They’re a good side. I was happy to get 3 points.”
West Wight manager, Johnny Holmes, said:
“My side had played well and dominated the game at times but two defensive errors let us down.”
In other games in IW League 1, 2nd-placed Shanklin maintained the pressure on leaders W&B by beating a Brading side missing several key players 3-0. The scorers for Shanklin were: Ryan Hill, Ben Gregory and Kyle Drew.
The game was also notable for Brading’s Sam Knowles being sinbinned, apparently for ‘sarcasm’.
Second-from-bottom Vectis managed a highly creditable 2-2 draw at Westwood Park against Cowes Sports Reserves. Aaron Shephard and Callum Chase (Cowes Wessex League captain) scored for the away side.
W&B currently lead Island League 1 with 45 points from 17 games. Shanklin are second with 40 points from their 16 games.
In Division 2, leaders Oakfield beat Seaview 1-6 away. The scorers for Oakfield were: J Keetch (2), S Gee (2), J Ballantyne and M Barrow. 2nd-placed Niton beat a much-improved Yarmouth & Calbourne side 4-1.
The most remarkable game in Division 2 was at Wroxall, where 3rd- placed Pan Sports beat the home side 2-18. Credit must be given to bottom club Wroxall for continuing to put out a team while near neighbours, Ventnor, have folded.
Results for Saturday 1st May:
Harwoods Renault League Division 1: Carisbrooke United 0-2 Bembridge; Cowes Sports Reserves 2-2 Vectis; East Cowes Sports A-W Ryde Saints; Sandown 0-0 Binstead & COB; Shanklin 3-0 Brading Town; Whitecroft & Barton Sports 2-1 West Wight
Harwoods Renault League Division 2: AFC Wootton 2-2 Newchurch; Niton Community v Yarmouth 4-1 Calbourne; Osborne Coburg 7-1 Newport ‘A’; Seaview 1-6 Oakfield; Wroxall 2-18 Pan Sports
Results courtesy of Isle of Wight Divisional FA