Prolific Vics striker Jimmi Burton recovered sufficiently from partying with Bez from Happy Mondays at Strings on Friday night to score his 20th goal of the season after just 3 minutes. Jimmi struck the back of the net via a Harrison Yates corner, headed back by Ryan Gregory to Charlie Marsek, who laid the ball on for Burton to volley into the corner of the goal (1-0).
In the 20th minute, Jimmi turned from goal scorer to goal provider when he forced the Totton keeper to the ground before unselfishly setting up Charlie Marsek to tap in his 1st goal for Vics (2-0).
HT: Vics 2-0 Totton & Eling
The Millers came back into the game early in the 2nd half, pulling a goal back through their top scorer, Alex Sawyer in the 65th minute (2-1). Vics then threw on some fresh legs with 16-year-old Toby Snow coming on for Harrison Yates and Jamie Wright taking the place of Charlie Marsek.
The substitutions proved to be an inspired move with Toby Snow rolling the ball into the net after beating the Totton keeper in the 73rd minute (3-1). 10 minutes from the end of the game, Jamie Wright made victory certain for Vics when he swivelled near the penalty spot and volleyed the ball into the back of the net (4-1).
FT: East Cowes Vics 4-1 Totton & Eling
After the game, Vics manager Richie Woodburn said:
“This is a tough league to be in. It’s very tight. We’re now 13th in the table, but had we lost we could have been 2nd-from-bottom. This is the 1st time I’ve been able to enjoy the last 10 minutes of a game this season.”
The Yachtsmen were fortunate to be able to put out what was close to their strongest side for the visit of AFC Stoneham, with the return of John McKie and Fin Phillips to their starting line-up.
Cowes began on front foot with Ji Nash rounding the Stoneham keeper in the 7th minute, but somehow failing to bury the ball in the back of the net. In the 24th minute, the luckless Nash ‘scored’ with a far post header that looked as if it had crossed the line but had his effort ruled offside. It was that man John McKie who broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute, when he picked up the ball just outside the penalty area before dispatching a low shot past the Stoneham keeper into the left side of the goal (1-0).
The Purples came close to equalizing in the 32nd minute when they had an effort cleared off the line by Callum Chase, The Yachtsmen were then unlucky not to have extended their lead shortly before half time when John McKie had a strong effort blocked before Ji Nash’s follow up attempt was also blocked.
HT: Cowes Sports 1-0 AFC Stoneham
The Yachtsmen dominated the 2nd half with the woodwork coming to the rescue of the Purples on a couple of occasions. However, it was the away side that were to return across the Solent with all 3 points after soaking up the pressure and scoring against the run of play.
The Purples pulled a goal back in the 48th minute when Jake Thomson slotted the ball past keeper Hatt (1-1). The Yachtsmen then came agonisingly close to regaining their lead in the 55th minute when John McKie saw a powerful shot cannon off the crossbar and again in the 66th minute when Jack Barsdell struck the Stoneham upright.
The Yachtsmen then made a couple of attacking substitutions: Aedan Coode replacing Jez Conway and Connor Furmidge coming on for Scott McFarlane. However, it was the away side that took all the points back across the Solent when Scott Hills knocked the ball in for the visitors from close to the goal line ten minutes from the end of normal time.
The game ended in injury time controversy when Callum Chase was sent off for a reckless challenge, leading to an altercation between the two sets of players in which Connor Furmidge and a member of the Stoneham management team were both yellow carded.
FT: Cowes Sports 1-2 AFC Stoneham
Cowes Sports: Hatt, Coshell (Holmes), Mumford, Watson, Chase, Conway (Coode), McFarlane (Furmidge), Phillips, Barsdell, McKie, Nash Unused Subs: Jarvis Linington
After the game, Stoneham Chairman Mark Stupple said:
“It was a hard-fought win. We were lucky to go into half time only 1 goal down. If Cowes play like that every week, they will rapidly climb the table.
Cowes manager Max Draper said:
“That was a tough defeat to take. Any other week, two of the strikes that hit the woodwork would have gone in. It was very frustrating not to win.”
Defeat leaves Cowes in 15th place in the Wessex Premier with 22 points from 18 games.
The Port welcomed new signing left back Joe Hancott to the team for their visit to New Forest side Ringwood. 21-year-old Joe, who lives in Ryde, was the youngest player ever to have played for Portsmouth FC when he made his debut in 2017 aged just 16 years and 161 days. Unfortunately, Joe’s career with Pompey was cruelly cut short by a knee injury, and he was released by the club in March. He had signed for Southern League Bognor Regis Town before transferring to Newport this Friday.
Ringwood took the lead on the half hour mark when Callum Horton tapped in a free kick from the edge of the penalty area (1-0). The in-form Joe Craig replied for the Port shortly before half time with half-volley from the edge of the penalty area (1-1).
A further Joe Craig strike from a Joe Butcher cross put the Island side into the lead (1-2). Port then scored in the 2nd minute of injury time after the Ringwood keeper had advanced into the opposition half for a free kick to allow Joe Hancott to tap into an open goal on his debut (1-3).
FT: Ringwood Town 1-3 Newport IoW
After the game, Newport co-manager Stewart Shepherd said:
“We have to pick up points to win promotion and go into every game as if it was a cup final.”
Victory leaves Newport in 1st place in Wessex Division 1, with 40 points from 17 games, 2 points ahead of Bemerton, who they face this Saturday at Smallbrook Stadium.
Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.