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League Cup defeat for depleted New Street
Andover New Street 2 East Cowes Vics 3.
New Street’s Wessex League Cup hopes were dashed at the first hurdle on Saturday when they went down by the odd goal in five to an East Cowes side that always showed more threat in front of goal in what was always a closely contested game. The home side, showing six changes from last week’s defeat at New Milton including the return of Dave Tasker in goal and skipper Mark Keogh, started brightly before the visitors posed the first danger with Joe Adams being disposessed by debutant Jake Smith in the act of shooting.
Vics’ keeper Jordan Wicks had to leave his area to deny Dave Cotter while Tasker was at full stretch to turn away a fierce drive from Josh Appell before the home side opened the scoring after 12 minutes. Street were awarded two free-kicks in succession on the right touchline, the first was cleared but the second saw Jack Hutchings beat a static defence to neatly turn the ball past Wicks. The ever dangerous Chris Elliott smacked an effort against the bar for the visitors and then provided a low cross with the home defence somehow surviving the scramblebut the scores were level with half an hour gone. Tasker somehow beat away a header from Pat Wilson but the defence failed to get the ball away, Appell crossed low from the left and Keelan Sainsbury tucked the ball home.
The same player came close to a second when his chip eluded Tasker only to bounce on the top of the bar and with Josh Hammett striking the bar at the other end the first half finished with honours even.
The Islanders were quickly into their stride on the re-start with Tasker denying both Adams and Wayne Newnham before Tommy Gentleman turned a cross over the bar from close range.
Tasker saved bravely at Kevin Ford’s feet but from the corner Newnham was left unmarked at the far post to head Vics in front with 20 minutes gone. The visitors were then dominant and increased their lead ten minutes later as Elliott shot low across Tasker to seemingly make the game safe. Vics hit the woodwork twice in a goalmouth scramble before Street forced themselves back into the game. Cotter, Prince Xamela and Hutchings were close before they gained some reward in stoppage time as Ryan Lake headed home Pike’s corner at the far post. Joint Street boss Matt Styles was upbeat about his side’s showing: “I think this was our best performance since we took over as managers.
“We deserved more and a few decisions could have gone our way but we carried on to the end.”
“There are plenty of positives as we had a number away but Nick Oliver and Cole Hinchcliffe should be back on Saturday.
“We were delighted to welcome back skipper Mark Keogh who was my oman of the match and Lewis Alderman also had a fine game in midfield.”
More from New Street here later and in Friday's Advertiser.