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East Cowes Vics have eased their relegation worries after a scrappy 1-0 victory over midtable Petersfield United.

The East Cowes side made 2 changes to the side that had lost the mid-week derby 4-0 against Newport. The front 2 for the match against Newport, burly Jez Conway and fast-paced Jimmi Burton, were relegated to the subs bench to be replaced by Scott Saunders and Harrison Catania.

Vics kicked off towards the GKN end on a playable pitch on a drab, overcast January afternoon. The first half was a largely unforgettable affair. Petersfield had the lion’s share of possession and camped out in the Vics half. But however much ‘the Rams’ huffed and puffed in midfield, there appeared to be no discernable product up front. An underworked Karl Steinborn-Busse in the Vics goal was only called into acto action once in the first 45 minutes, when he parried a strong shot from Petersfield’s Matt Low for a corner.

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The only other incident of note was a loud appeal for a penalty from the away side in the 37th minute, when defender, Liam Newbold, felled the Petersfield centre forward, Matt Low, but the vociferous appeals were waved away by the referee, Rob Linter. As for Vics, the home side were unable to manage a single shot on target for the entire first half. Vics’ only chance came in the 27th minute, when Harrison Catania was put through from a free kick, but the referee judged him to have been in an offside position.

HT: East Cowes Vics 0-0 Petersfield United

The game burst into life 3 minutes after the restart, when Liam Newbold sent a cross into the Rams’ penalty area, which was received by Jordan Chapman, whose deflected shot spun into the air to be dispatched into the back of the net from close range by Harry Furness. The 48th minute goal was the first on target shot of the game for Vics and also Furness’ first for the club.

Petersfield attempted to reply by pumping long balls into the Vics penalty area, which were easily dealt with by the two big Vics central defenders, captain Ryan Gregory and Ollie West. However much made effort Petersfield made in their attempts to find an equaliser, their seemingly toothless strikers failed to trouble an underworked Steinborn-Busse in the Vics goal.

Halfway through the second half, Vics manager, Richie Woodburn, refreshed his side, sending on Sam Kirby for Harrison Catania, Jez Conway for Scott Saunders and Jimmi Burton for goalscorer Furness.

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With Petersfield committed to attack to retrieve the game, Vics’ replenished strikeforce had ample opportunity to attempt to extend their lead. In the 73rd minute, Sam Kirby shot over the bar. In the 81st minute, a long clearance from Ryan Gregory found the dangerous Jimmi Burton, who forced a fingertip save from Petersfield keeper, Matt Petts.A frant

ic five minutes of extra time saw Vics’ Jordan Chapman first have a stong shot saved, then a second shot deflected by a defender. Petersfield also had their chances with Steinborn-Busse being forced to make a rare intervention in the 2nd minute of injury time and a header just missing the post shortly before the final whistle. However, Vics kept their composure to see out the game without conceding a goal and gain only their second home win of the season.

FT: East Cowes Vics 1-0 Petersfield United

East Cowes Vics: Steinborn-Busse, H West, Newbold, Gregory, O West, Catania (Kirby 58), Furness (Burton 77), Waterson, Saunders (Conway 66), Hayward, Chapman

Victory leaves Vics in 17th place in Wessex League One, 3 points above Totton & Eling in 18th.

After the game, Vics manager, Richie Woodburn, vehemently denied that his side had ridden their luck in securing their narrow 1-0 victory. He said:

“We worked hard. We were competitive and well organised and did not lose our shape. All Petersfield had was the long ball. Our goalkeeper was never troubled. The luck we didn’t have when we lost to Newport on Tuesday, we had today.

“In our game against Petersfield, we fizzed rather than faded out. Jimmi Burton and Jez Conway were a bit jaded after Tuesday’s game. Putting them on the field in the middle of the second half
was all part of the game plan, which worked.

“Since I took over, we have had 3 wins and 3 draws in the 10 games we played. That’s mid-table form. When I started, we had just 5 points, and we now have 17.”

On Saturday, 1st February, Vics travel to Portsmouth to meet Division One leaders, United Services.

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