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Despite a very promising performance, Cowes Sports FC failed to win for the 11th game in succession and remain second-from-bottom in the Wessex Premier League.

The Yachtsmen made a total of 3 changes to the starting line-up that drew 3-3 at Bournemouth on Saturday. In came Mitchell Ricketts, Aaron Burford and Aeden Coode, who took the places of
Connor White, Ewan Cranwell and Aidan Bryan. Before the game, a presentation was made to the injured Aidan Bryan to mark his 500th appearance for Cowes Sports.

In the first half, Baffins Milton Rovers appeared confident and assured, controlling the game and keeping possession, although the lion’s share of the chances fell to Cowes. The game burst into life after a quarter-of-an-hour when first Gareth Bricknell was brought down by a defender in the Baffins penalty area, but referee, Sean Phillips, waved play on. A minute later, lively Baffins winger, Tommy Tierney, went down in the Yachtsmen’s penalty area and appealed vociferously for a penalty, but was only awarded a yellow card for his troubles.

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The Yachtsmen then had a succession of chances. First, Ji Nash came close in the 23rd and 24th minutes. Then, in the 34th minute, Michael McEnery made a strong run into the penalty area, but had his shot blocked by a defender.

It was Baffins who were to open the scoring in the 37th minute with what appeared to have bene their first shot on target, when Rudi Blankson sent a low shot across the face of the goal past a
static Ed Hatt and into the back of the net, to give the side from Portsmouth a 0-1 advantage. The Yachtsmen made determined efforts to level the score, with Ji Nash first failing to latch on to a ball that bounced across the goal line from a corner, and then sending a weak shot to Baffins keeper Cameron Scott after being put through by Gareth Bricknell shortly before half time.

HT: Cowes Sports 0-1 Baffins Milton Rovers

Baffins began the second half with the appearance of being the stronger side, but Cowes came back with attacking intent towards the end of the game.

The first second half chances fell to Cowes, with Jimmy Wykes making a strong run from midfield in the 51st minute, only to shoot over the crossbar. Baffins Milton Rovers then created a two-goal cushion for themselves in the 59th minute, when the pacy Tommy Tierney beat Ed Hatt and a couple of Cowes defenders before the ball fell to Tyler Morley, who dispatched it into the back of the net.

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Cowes did not, however, capitulate. In the 67th minute, the impressive Aaron Burford made a tenacious run into the Baffins penalty area. The ball then fell to Jared Wetherick, who passed to
Gareth Bricknell, for him to blast the ball into the back of the net from 6 yards out and reduce the deficit to 1-2.

Gareth Bricknell then equalized for the Yachtsmen in the 75th minute, when his outstretched leg met a Michael McEnery cross on the 6 yard line, to make the final score 2-2.

FT: Cowes Sports 2-2 Baffins Milton Rovers

Cowes Sports: Hatt, Ricketts, Wykes, Burford, Brett, Bricknell (Ince 85), Phillips, Coode (Dye 65), Wetherick, Nash (Furmidge 85) Subs not used: McFarlane, Law

Cowes remain in 19th place in the Wessex League table. Bottom club, Amesbury, suffered a 9-0 thrashing at top-of-the-table AFC Stoneham.

On Saturday 8th February, the Yachtsmen travel to midtable Fareham Town. Kick-off is at 15:00


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