East Cowes Vics, still without a home win in Wessex League One all season, faced league leaders United Services Portsmouth on Saturday without their club captain and talisman, Joe Butcher, who will be absent for most of the rest of the season on his travels to Australia.
Ryan Gregory has taken on the role of captain, and the talented Eli Ahmed has returned from university as a more than able replacement for Joe upfront.
The game began disastrously for Vics with US Portsmouth’s Dec Seiden scoring after just 5 minutes to give the visitors a 0-1 advantage. Vics had a chance to equalise in the 16th minute, when Jimmi Burton rounded the US Portsmouth keeper, but was unable to convert the chance ino a goal. Burton then found himself sin-binned towards the end of the first half, forcing Vics to see out the remaining minutes with just ten men. US Portsmouth took advantage of their extra man on the stroke of half time when James Franklin shot through a crowd of players to give the services side a 0-1 lead.
Half time: East Cowes Vics 0-2 United Services Portsmouth
Vics striker Ahmed laboured hard to get a goal back for Vics in the second half, but unfortunately his tireless efforts up front in the main went unsupported by his team mates. US Portsmouth ended the game as a contest in the 62nd minute, when Dec Seiden scored his second goal, to give the visitors a 0-3 advantage. Vics had lkeeper Steinborne-Busse to thank for limiting the away side’s tally of goals to three, by pulling off two fine saves in the 70th and 73rd minutes of the game.
Final score: East Cowes Vics 0-3 United Services Portsmouth
Vics: Steinborne-Busse, Newbold, O West, Gregory, H West, Hayward (Furness), Kirby, Chapman, Greenslade (Shepherd), Ahmed, Burton
After the match, Vics manager, Richie Woodburn, admitted his side had been well beaten. Richie said:
“It was a tale of two teams, one going for promotion, the other near the bottom of the table. Our keeper pulled off two good saves, otherwise US Portsmouth could have scored five.
“Our main problem is our fitness level. They had the legs, particularly in the last half hour. We have now upped training for the lads.”
Vics’ defeat leaves them in 18th position in Wessex League One, with 9 points from 15 games. On Saturday, 7th December, Vics face mid-table Romsey Town at Beatrice Avenue.