Cowes0 2Sholing

Scorers : Lee Wort 44, Connor Kelly 64

Date : Tuesday 1st August 2017 - 7:45pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Venue : Westwood Park

Cowes Sports : Ed Hatt, Jimmy Wykes, Ewan Cranwell, Callum Chase, Craig Insley [c], Max Draper, Gareth Bricknell, Leigh Mackenzie, Connor Furmidge, Ollie McArthur, Jason Malcomson.  Subs : George Turner, Tom Dye, Ash Brett, Jason Ince & Darren Willimas

Yellow Card : Callum Chase, Ewan Cranwell, Gareth Bricknell
Red Card : Callum Chase

Sholing : Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marv McLean, Byron Mason [c], Dan Miller, Micky Hubbard (Owen Royl 81), Alex Sawyer, Connor Kelly (Bradey Norton 75), Dan Mason, Lee Wort (Barry Mason 75), Jamie Bulpitt  Subs not used : Zac Mouland & Jack Smith

Yellow Card : TJ Cuthbertson, Alex Sawyer

Attendance : 144 (approx 20 Sholing fans)

Man of the Match : Byron Mason

Referee : Sean Jenkins   Assistants : Steve Currie & Elliott Bracken-Lamb

Boatmen overcame a tricky away game to start the season with a victory at Cowes Sports.  Goals either side of half time by Lee Wort & on his debut, Connor Kelly, rewarded a dominant display.

Team News : With Owen Roundell injured, Byron Mason partnered Dan Miller in defence. Isle of Wight resident, Connor Kelly had the easiest journey of the team and started on the left of midfield in a familiar looking Sholing line-up.

Home side started the brighter with a move down the left wing that saw a cross shot flash narrowly wide of the far post.  Sholing took 15 minutes to get going, but once they did, they went on to create chance after chance in the first half.

Jamie Bulpitt dragged a shot wide of the upright before Dan Mason headed a freekick towards the near post a foot wide.  Last season's leading scorer then evaded challenges to make room inside the box, but the keeper saved Dan's low shot with his legs.  It was a similar story on 21 mins as Lee Wort skipped past two defenders to open up a shooting chance, but didn't quite connect as he wanted and his scuffed effort was saved.

Set pieces for Sholing were causing Cowes all sorts of problems, with Micky Hubbard's delivery finding the head of Byron Mason whose goalbound header was tipped over the bar.  A minute later and Byron once again rose highest to thump a header off the woodwork.  Dan Miller was next to put a header from a set piece narrowly wide as the pressure grew and grew on the home defence.  On 42 minutes a nice delivery by TJ was met by the incoming Alex Sawyer, but once again, the header was just off target.

A minute before the break and finally Sholing got their reward.  A sweeping move out from defence saw interchanging passes up to Alex Sawyer in the Cowes half, he switched play to the overlapping TJ on the wing and the right back hit a peach of a first time cross to LEE WORT who rose above his marker to head the ball back pass the diving keeper.  HT 0-1

After being a virtual spectator in pre-season and for the first half, Ryan Gosney didn't show any signs of being rusty as he denied Cowes an equaliser on 49 minutes.  As Sholing backed off the advancing Wykes, his one two on the edge of the box saw him go straight through the middle, but Gos spread himself to save at point blank range.

The game then entered a niggly phase with a few late challenges by either side and several cautions issued by the referee.  On 64 minutes the Boatmen doubled their advantage.  Dan Mason was hauled down just outside the box and CONNOR KELLY stepped up to take the freekick.  His well struck effort flicked off the end of the wall and spun its way just inside the far post for a debut goal.

Cowes were reduced to 10 men when Callum Chase picked up a second yellow following a coming together.  Gosney pulled off a brilliant save on 72 minutes, clawing away a fierce shot on the turn from his near post.

With 15 minutes to go, the lights went out for Cowes, literally, as the floodlights failed!  Thankfully, after a 10 minute delay where visiting supporters were double checking the ferry times, the lights came back on.  The home side were looking more lively with 10 men than with 11 and Sholing's defence had to hack away a couple of late threats.  However, the Boatmen could have added more goals in the final minutes as first Bradey Norton curled a shot just over. Then, Jamie Bulpitt broke into the box, but was denied by the keeper.  In the final minute, for the second time in the game, Byron Mason headed against the woodwork. 

But it was job done for Sholing, deserved 3 points and a clean sheet to start the season.  FT 0-2

Next Home Game : Sholing v Alresford, FA Cup, Friday 4th August 7:45pm

Report & Photos by Keith Legg