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New Cowes Sports FC manager, Max Draper, sees his new charges come out on top in Saturday’s must-win Wessex Premier bottom-of-the-table battle.

The Yachtsman had to make a number of enforced changes for the visit to Bonnymead Park in Amesbury, Wiltshire. Ben Snow and Michael McEnery joined club Captain Gareth Bricknell and
Jacob Jarvis on the injury list, and Joe White, Ewan Cranwell and Fin Phillips were also unavailable. However, Morgan Perrin and Ashley Brett returned to the Cowes side after missing the midweek game against Lymington.

The game began in exciting fashion, as first Amesbury’s Billy Connor smashed a shot against Ed Hatt’s crossbar, and then Ji Nash saw his free kick crash off the woodwork for Cowes. Play then centred around the midfield area as both sides cancelled each other.

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The Yachtsmen found themselves with an extra player advantage in the 30th minute, when Billy Connor was sin-binned for the home side, but were unable to take advantage of playing against
ten men. The Yachtsmen had Keeper, Ed Hatt, to thank for going into half-time on equal terms, when he saved a penalty by Amesbury’s James Smith in the 42nd minute.

Half time: Amesbury Town 0-0 Cowes Sports

Cowes had their own penalty shortly after the half time interval, when a James Wykes cross into the box hit the arm of a home defender, and the referee pointed to the spot. Ash Brett converted
the spot kick, despite the Amesbury keeper diving the right way, to give the Yachtsmen a 1-0 advantage.

By now, the Yachtsmen were in the ascendency, with the home side rarely able to get out of their own half. The Islanders’ dominance was confirmed in the 74th minute when a James Wykes pass from the edge of the box found substitute Ben Holdsworth, who smashed the ball into the back of the Amesbury net, to the delight of the few supporters who had made the journey to Wiltshire. Wykes then fired just over the bar in the closing minutes of the game, as the Yachtsmen finished the game far the stronger side.

Final score: Amesbury Town 0-2 Cowes Sports

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Cowes Sports: Hatt, C White, Sexton, Perrin, Bryan (c), Brett, McFarlane, A White (Holdsworth), Williams (Dye), Nash (Pearson), Wykes

Victory against Amesbury sees Cowes Sports leap-frog Solent University to reach 18th place in the Wessex Premier table.

Cowes face Wessex League One Totton & Eling in the Wessex League Cup on Tuesday evening, kick-off 19:30.

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Pete Jeffery

Kick off tomorrow is 7 45 pm.

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