In Wessex League One, East Cowes Vics drew with midtable Whitchurch United in an even, but sometimes scrappy, contest at Beatrice Avenue.
East Cowes Vics 1-1 Whitchurch United
Second-from-bottom Vics had the luxury of fielding an unchanged side to the one that had beaten Folland Sports the previous Saturday.
The first half was a fairly even contest with both sides having a number of scoring opportunities.
The first clear chance fell to the Jam Boys when Lloyd Thompson found himself free in the 15th minute but sent his shot wide. Then, in the 18th minute, burly striker, Jez Conway, was put through on the edge of the area for Vics but sent his shot high over the visitor’s crossbar.
Whitchurch came close to taking the lead in the 24th minute, when Charlie Plumbley forced a save from Karl Steinborn-Busse in the Vics goal, five yards from his own goal line, after an almighty goalmouth scramble in the Vics penalty area.
The Jam Boys took the lead in the 29th minute after Henry West fouled one of the visiting team’s forwards in the penalty area and Aaron Randall, converted the resulting penalty with a strong, low strike to the left of the Vics goal, to give the north Hampshire team a 0-1 advantage.
Vics then equalised five minutes later, when the ever-impressive winger, Eli Ahmed, performed a neat one-two with Jimmi Burton in the visitor’s penalty area, before dispatching the ball into
the net under the outstretched Whitchurch keeper, to level the score at 1-1.
Jimmi Burton had the chance to put Vics into the lead shortly before half time when their keeper missed an interception outside his penalty area but was unable to convert what appeared to be
a golden opportunity.
Half time: East Cowes Vics 1-1 Whitchurch United
The second half was a fairly even contest like the first, with both sides having a number of scoring opportunities they were unable to convert.
The first chance of the half fell to the Jam Boys’ Ryan Long, who missed an open goal 5 minutes into the second half. In the 53rd minute, Robbie Henderson was sin-binned for the away side after vociferously objecting to a linesman’s flag, but Vics found themselves unable to take advantage of their extra man.
Jez Conway then had two great opportunities to score. First, in the 60th minute, Eli Ahmed shot across the visitor’s penalty area, but Conway found himself just unable to connect with the cross
a couple of yards from the goal.
Two minutes later, the same striker was holding his head in his hands once again after being put through and sending his shot wide.
Richie Woodburn attempted to bolster Vics’ midfield by sending on Brandon Hayward for Sam Kirby. In the 82nd minute, Jimmi Burton almost secured all 3 points for Vics, when he had a strong shot from the middle of the penalty area stopped by Whitchurch keeper, Konrad Szymaniak.
The game ended in controversy, with the sending off of young Vics winger, Eli Ahmed, in injury time.
Ahmed, who had tangled with one of his opponents on the ground, was apparently given his marching orders for violent conduct by referee J. Wright, after he was said to have thrown a punch.
However, the imagined blow was missed by spectators attending the game, who appeared baffled by the ‘strange’ decision of the somewhat inconsistent referee.
Full time: East Cowes Vics 1-1 Whitchurch United
East Cowes Vics: Steinborn-Busse. H West. Newbold, Gregory, O West, Waterson, Chapman, Kirby (Hayward), Burton,, Conway, Ahmed Subs not used: Greenslade, Furness, Walsh, Catania
The draw sees Vics rise one position in the Wessex One table, leapfrogging Totton & Eling to rise to 17th position. On Saturday, 11th January, Vics travel to Salisbury to take on Bemerton Heath Harlequins.