10-man Romsey Town overcame 10-man East Cowes Vics in torrential rain on Tuesday night in a game notable for the officious application of the laws of the game by referee Robert Walczak.

Vics travelled to Romsey with a weakened side, without leading goal scorer Jimmi Burton, ball-winning midfielder Brandon Hayward nor defender Ollie West. However, Vics were bolstered by the return of Jordan Chapman from injury. 16-year-old Charlie Marsek took Jimmi Burton’s centre forward position.

The Island side began the game well with Aiden White shooting just over the crossbar in the opening stages of the game. However, Romsey full back Alex Wilson gave the home side the lead in the 17th minute when he weaved past a defender before directing the ball across the goal and in off the far post (1-0).

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The game went from bad to worse for Vics in the 22nd minute when Jamie Wright was first booked for a reckless tackle and then sent off a few seconds later for some unprintable comments he made about the referee’s decision.

Vics were now very much on the back foot: a goal and a man behind their Hampshire rivals. Despite their extra player, Romsey were unable to further extend their lead.

Then, shortly before half time, Vics found themselves playing against 10 men. Romsey captain Adam Bryant was fouled by Harry Catania. Bryant appeared to have made the most of his injury, leading to a booking for Catania and Bryant having to leave the pitch. However, when play resumed, Bryant ran onto the pitch without the referee’s permission and was first shown a 2nd yellow by referee Walczak, and then a red (he had earlier been booked for shirt pulling).

HT: Romsey Town 1-0 East Cowes Vics

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Vics started the 2nd half on the front foot but squandered two golden opportunities to equalize. First, makeshift forward Ryan Gregory broke through the Romsey defence but was unable to put the ball past their keeper, Jordi Valero. Then, Liam Newbold found himself with only the keeper to beat but blasted the ball straight at Valero. Vics were punished for their profligacy in front of goal in the 54th minute when full back Mark Fawley beat advancing Vics goalkeeper Alex Ram to send the ball into the centre of the net (2-0).

Three minutes later, Vics pulled a goal back when Ryan Gregory was held in the ‘D’ of the penalty area, then curled the resulting free kick into the right corner of the goal (2-1).

Vics then made 3 substitutions with Kade Woodford, Toby Cousins and Harrison Berry all coming on the field of play. However, it was Romsey who were now creating the lion’s share of the chances, with Alex Ram having to pull off a couple of great saves to prevent the home side from further extending their lead. In the 76th minute, Romsey finally ended the game as a contest by creating a two-goal cushion for themselves when Oliver Jenkins sent a powerful strike across the far corner of the goal and into the back of the net (3-1).

FT: Romsey Town 3-1 East Cowes Vics

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Vics: Ram, Turner. White, Newbold, Jones, Snow, Chapman, Catania, Marsek, Gregory, Wright Subs: Woodford, Berry, Cousins

After the game, Vics manager Richie Woodburn said:

“It was a roller coaster of an evening. If we had taken our chances, it could easily have been 3-1 the other way. But we are a young side, who have to get out of the habit of making silly mistakes.”

Defeat leaves Vics in 15th place in Wessex League 1 with 10 points from 12 games.

This Saturday (23rd October) Vics travel to North Hampshire to play bottom-of-the-table Wessex League 1 side Fleet Spurs in the 2nd round of the Wessex League Cup. Kick off is at the earlier time of 14:00.

Vics have already beaten Spurs 5-0 at Beatrice Avenue earlier in the season. Manager Woodburn said.

“We have a great chance to advance to the Quarter Finals, and we are hungry for it. However, we do better against the stronger sides, whereas with the weaker sides we tend to get dragged down to their level.”

In the other Wessex League 1 game to be played this Saturday, 2nd-placed Newport will hope to maintain the momentum of their promotion push away to second-from-bottom Fawley.

The biggest game to be played on the Isle of Wight this Saturday will be at Westwood Park, where 11th-placed Cowes Sports will hope to return to the top half of the Wessex Premier table by beating 17th-placed Portland United. Kick off is at the usual time of 15:00. A full report will appear in Island Echo after the game.

In Isle of Wight Division 1, leaders Shanklin face Oakfield at Slade Road, 2nd-placed W&B are at home to Binstead and 3rd-placed Bembridge play Vectis at Cowes Enterprise College. All Isle of Wight League games kick off at 14:00.

Football fixtures for Saturday 23rd October 2021:

Wessex League Cup 2nd Round: Fleet Spurs v East Cowes Vics (14:00)

Premier Division: Cowes Sports v Portland United (15:00)

Division One: Fawley AFC v Newport IoW (15:00)

The Isle of Wight Saturday Football League

All fixtures below to Kick-Off at 14.00

IOW Junior ‘A’ Cup – First Round: Sandown & Lake Reserves v Yarmouth & Calbourne

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 1: Niton Community v Sandown & Lake; Northwood St Johns v Ryde Saints; Oakfield v Shanklin; Vectis v Bembridge; West Wight v Cowes Sports Reserves; Whitecroft & Barton Sports v Binstead & COB; No Fixture: Brading Town

Division 2: Carisbrooke United v Newchurch; East Cowes Sports v Adgestone; Newport Reserves v Osborne Coburg; Pan Community v AFC Wootton; Seaview v Wroxall; Ventnor v East Cowes Vics Reserves; No Fixture: High Park

Combination Division 1: Bembridge v Shanklin; Binstead & COB v Whitecroft & Barton Sports; Brading Town v Northwood St Johns; Osborne Coburg v Oakfield; Ryde Saints v West Wight

Combination Division 2: AFC Wootton v Pan Community; Bembridge ‘A’ v Niton Community; Newchurch v Carisbrooke United; Vectis v East Cowes Sports; Yarmouth & Calbourne v Ryde Saints ‘A’; No Fixture: Ventnor

Fixtures courtesy of Isle of Wight DFA

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