Defending champions Whitecroft & Barton maintained their title challenge to Shanklin at the top of Island League Division 1 by beating a strong Cowes Sports Reserve side at Sandy Lane on Wednesday.

W&B included a number of Wessex League Newport players in their squad: the captain Martin McDonough, promising defender Ryan Hughes and experienced midfielder Joe Craig. The Yachtsmen included 3 first team players in their side including experienced goalkeeper Ed Hatt, Morgan Perrin and Aarun Ince.

In what W&B manager Steve Rayner described as “a tight game with few chances”, the defending champions succeeded in grinding a result out through a glancing header by Joe Craig midway through the second half — his second goal in successive games.

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Whitecroft & Barton 1-0 Cowes Sports Reserves

In other action… Leaders Shanklin managed a vital win at midtable Ryde Saints with goals from Ji Nash and Kyle Drew. The win keeps Shanklin at the top of Island League 1 with 28 points from 11 games, 1 point ahead of closest rivals W&B.

3rd placed Brading Town got their title challenge back on track by trouncing Ventnor 9-0 at Vicarage Lane, their goals coming from Aaron Bennett (4), Oliver Wilson (2), Scott Lawson, Josh Younie and Jordan Browne. Such was the Romans’ dominance that Newport striker Browne succeeded in hitting the woodwork on no fewer than 5 occasions.

Defeat leaves Ventnor at the foot of the table after Carisbrooke United earned their first point in over a year in a goalless draw at home to Vectis.

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In Division 2, Oakfield maintained their 100% win record with a 4-0 victory at home to Seaview, while Oakfield’s closest challengers, Niton Community, beat Wootton 3-0 to stay second. 

Oakfield have now amassed 33 points from their 11 games and lead Niton by 6 points. The 2 teams meet at Slade Road on Saturday in a fixture likely to decide the destination of this year’s Division 2 Island League title.

Midweek Island League results:

Division 1: Bembridge 1, Sandown 2; Brading Town 9, Ventnor 0; Carisbrooke United 0, Vectis 0; ECS 4, Binstead & COB 0; Northwood St John 1, West Wight 1; Whitecroft & Barton Sports 1, Cowes Sports Reserves 0; Ryde Saints 1, Shanklin 2.

Division 2: Adgestone 1, Pan Sports 1; Newport A 3, Wroxall 0; Niton Community 3, Wootton 0; Oakfield 4, Seaview 0; Osborne Coburg 0, Yarmouth & Calbourne 5.

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