After the excellent performances from the last couple of matches an understrength Men’s 2s were brought back down to earth with a bump by the visiting Yately team. Playing only their 2nd home match of the season the team had a late drop out from in form veteran Johnny Kirby and had to play with the bare 11. Despite this the team started brightly enough and began to carve out a few early chances, Thomas Young coming close a couple of times when 1 on 1 with the keeper. However, it would be Yately that opened the scoring after being awarded a short corner which was struck past Lewis Wells in goal. The Island kept calm though and continued to dominate exchanges even though a goal down, the midfield quartet of skipper Mike Dodds, Ethan Edmunds-Lamb, Toby Noyes and Charlie Randerson keeping the front two of Aaron Edmunds-Lamb and Thomas Young well fed of the ball but as has been typical of recent matches clear cut chances were coming thick and fast but there was no goals on the end of them and the Island had to settle with being down 0-1 at half time.
Despite the Island’s dominance during that first half it wasn’t our best perfomance and so after a quick re-group the team began to really press Yately. However, it would be a little while before the Island finally got their reward when Thomas Young fired home an equaliser to continue his scoring run. With their tails up and knowing the game was theirs for the taking the team began seeking the lead they deserved. The defence of Steve McKnight, Stephen Holbrook, John Pearson and Will Bevan dealt well with the occasional attack well, Lewis Wells in goal making one particularly good save from the only open play shot on target from the opposition. At the other end Toby Noyes came very close to putting the Island in front when he took on one defender, drew the keeper but with the goal at his mercy the ball was just a stretch too far and it went agonisingly wide. Thomas Young though had the bulk of the chances and a variety of keeper’s saves and off target shots frustrated the team when they felt they could have been a number of goals clear by now. However , with 5 minutes remaining Yateley were arwarded another short corner and gave the striker too much time to pick his spot and give Yately an unlikely lead. The Island side pushed with everything to get the goal back and although they had a short corner on the final whistle on this occasion the missed chances were to prove costly as the team had to settle for a 1-2 loss when the short corner was desperately cleared by the defence.
Wightlink Man of the Match was Steve McKnight who after taking a particularly nasty blow on the hand showed great commitment to the team to drag himself back onto the pitch to help the team out as we had no substitutes.
Thank you to Aly Townend for umpiring.