Ryan Gregory

After 2 cup defeats against higher league opponents, East Cowes Vics returned to winning ways on Saturday with an away win against North Hampshire side, Ash United.

Vics were without 2 key players for their visit to Ash United: full back, Liam Newbold; and midfielder, Jordan Chapman. Brandon Hayward, who was not fully fit, remained on the substitutes bench. Ryan Gregory, who usually plays in defence, partnered Jimmi Burton to provide a strong, physical presence upfront.

Vics started the game on the front foot and cruised to a 3-goal halftime lead. First, Jimmy Burton scored a poacher’s goal after the Ash United goalkeeper could only parry a shot from Flynn Jones (0-1). Then, Ryan Gregory scored what Vics manager Richie Woodburn described as “not the-goal-of-the-season but rather the goal-of-the-decade” when he lobbed the Ash United goalkeeper from 75 yards, the ball landing directly in the net without even bouncing (0-2).

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Finally, Harri Catania poked the ball into the Ash United net from 6 yards after receiving a cross from the left from Harrison Yates (0-3).

HT: Ash United 0-3 East Cowes Vics

There was no let-up for the beleaguered Ash defence as prolific Vics centre forward Jimmi Burton scored a 2nd poacher’s goal, his 12th of the season so far, shortly after halftime (0-4).

With a 4-goal cushion, Vics took their foot off the gas pedal and allowed Ash back into the game. First, Jake Wilson took advantage of some sloppy work from the Vics defence to poke the ball through the legs of Vics keeper, Alex Ram (1-4). Ash were then awarded a controversial penalty after a Chis Turner foul on the edge of the penalty area. Fortunately, Ram guessed the intention of the penalty taker correctly, diving to his left to stop the spot-kick.

The North Hampshire side continued to battle gamely to make up the 3-goal deficit. Luke Roper scored a scrappy goal that ricocheted into Ram’s goal (2-4). Then, Jake Ochiltree reduced the margin to just 1 goal through a far post header (3-4). However, despite the relentless Ash pressure, Vics held on to take all 3 points across the Solent and home to East Cowes.

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FT: Ash United 3-4 East Cowes Vics

East Cowes Vics: Ram, O. West (c), Turner, White, Snow, Wright, Jones, Catania, Yates, Gregory, Burton Subs: Woodford, Hayward, Marsek

After the game, manager, Richie Woodburn, said:

“It is important for us to climb the table, and we are now pushing on to mid-table. We need to take our cup form into the league. We have only lost 4 times this season, and 3 of these defeats have been against top sides: Newport, Andover New Street and Bemerton. We have a very big game coming up this Saturday against Laverstock & Ford.

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“As a manager, I am very pleased that we are scoring goals, but we are also conceding too many. Ash United deserve credit for battling to the end of the game.”

!4th-placed East Cowes Vics face 9th-placed Laverstock & Ford at Beatrice Avenue this Saturday (9th October). A full report will appear in Island Echo.

Cowes had their game against Portland United at Westwood Park called off on Saturday due to the appalling weather and possible fuel shortages. Newport, who were to travel to play Fleet Spurs, also had their game called off for the same reason.

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