Match Report East Cowes Victoria vs Verwood Town 02-Mar-19
SYDENHAMS (WESSEX) LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
SATURDAY 2ND MARCH 2019
EAST COWES VICTORIA 1 VERWOOD TOWN 1
A bunch of absentees meant yet another formation shuffle for the fourth week running. Versatile Joe Kimber slotted in at full back and Mick Cowland slipped into midfield. Tom Aston moved to the left flank and James Guthrie dropped behind front runner Nathan Gray. Luckily we had Alex Eaton and CJ Nwokolu on the bench giving us more options.
EC almost caught us out with a long ball only seconds after the whistle blew but Joy was across quickly to rob him. A pass across to Kelly gave opportunity for a counter. A chip cleared midfield and a bad back pass let in Gray. The keeper won the race whipping the ball off toes.
Dyer and Cowland worked the ball through the middle and Dyer’s pass wide right freed up Nicholson. Nicholson’s low drive across the area was cleared for a corner. 3 corners on the trot followed before a big boot cleared the box. The ball fell for Dyer to hit a rising shot clipping the bar on its way into the next field.
Johnston was superb in his heading duel and with Kelly Kimber and Joy closely covering breaks we looked solid. Fawcett gave a good handling display when needed and link up play gave us a high percentage of play.
Guthrie and Aston broke through on the left Aston’s cross followed, but was volleyed wide by Nicholson. We should have scored a minute later when Gray fed Guthrie and Guthrie’s defence splitting pass put Aston through. 4 yards out and Aston’s shot was on target but again the EC keeper brought off a tremendous save on the post.
Kimber was hacked down for a second time when taking the ball off toes. The free kick dropped for Cowland. A pass found Gray. Cutting in from the left Gray’ fired the ball across the box. Guthrie was a whisker away from touching home and the ball glanced off the post into dead.
EC hit back with a series of high long balls. Kelly and Johnston stemmed the middle of the park missiles from hitting the box and Kimber and Joy did well on the flanks.
A slip though created an opportunity and we suffered on 26 minutes to go behind. 0-1.
The half finished as a dour spectacle with both teams meandering through the last few minutes.
Half Time 0-1.
EC cut us apart on the restart. We managed to keep the score line as it was. Fawcett made a couple of good stops and one notable one gathering a fierce shot on the near post.
Another shuffle followed. Kimber moved up to join the mid field leaving a back three with Nicholson and Aston dropping in where necessary. Kimber’s influence on the fight back was admirable.
Nicholson benefitted from a Kimber pass and squared the ball back from the line. A Guthrie shot was deflected over the bar. Out came the corner and Kimber slammed a low shot from the edge of the area destined for the top corner. A tremendous save again stopped a score sheet alteration.
We pressed forward. Our reward came after a Kimber Dyer link up opened up a slight gap in a crowded area. The ball bounced around until Guthrie did the business with a goal powered in by his right knee. 1-1.
We continued playing good football in developing strong windy conditions.
63 minutes gone and Kelly’s head connected with Sam Joy’s long throw. Yet again the keeper did a fantastic job in clawing the ball back safely off the line.
On 70 minutes Nicholson made way for Eaton. Eaton’s baptism was instant. Kimber whipped the ball inside full backs and Eaton raced free to cross. Gray was hauled off the ball but without any free kick decision.
Dyer flicked the ball into the area. Kimber rose like a spawning salmon to nod across for Kelly but Kelly’s right boot just missed connecting.
10 minutes to go and CJ made a bow replacing Tom Aston. CJ’s first run ended with a boxing in by the backs. On 85 another run down the flank finished with a cross being blocked and cleared from the edge of the area.
88 minutes and Johnston headed Joy’s throw wide, and then in the closing seconds EC’s keeper made another great stop from a Guthrie volley.