Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Amesbury Town v East Cowes Vics – 13/04/19

Amesbury Town 3 East Cowes Vics 0

AFTER taking just one point from their previous two games Amesbury returned to winning ways and ensured themselves of finishing in the top two in Division One with one game left to play. The result on the day was deserved but their opponents fought all the way until two late goals left them with a perhaps unflattering scoreline as they suffered their first defeat in seven games.

There was nearly an explosive start as the home side immediately won a corner from which Danny Finnigan’s header was cleared off the line and it was all hands to the pumps defensively for the Islanders in the opening minutes. Luke Greenway was inches wide at the far post after a prodigious throw from Keiron Stephens and a Finnigan lob was tipped over the bar by keeper Karl Steinborn-Busse. The keeper then appeared to misjudge a long free kick from George Plank, fumbling the ball round the post and hurting himself in the progress, before the Vics first attack of note saw home keeper Paddy Creese leave his area and badly miscue his clearance.

It could have gone anywhere but fortunately for him flew in to touch. After twenty minutes Vics won their first corner and were nearly caught out by a swift break from same but Jordan Matthew’s shot was straight at the keeper. Vics were now settling in to the game and broke quickly with Elias Ahmed’s shot striking the outside of the post from a narrow angle but suddenly after twenty four minutes found themselves a goal down. Jordan Matthews broke down the left, the cross was low and hard and Danny FINNIGAN beat Steinborn-Busse to the ball at the near post.

Visiting skipper Joe Butcher toed a through ball at full stretch past the advancing Creese and the outside of the post before play switched quickly to the other end with Finnigan too high after good work by Jack Vallis and Stephens created the chance. A home free kick from a dangerous position was deflected for a corner from which Matthews sent a free header over the bar and the half ended with Butcher shooting across Creese and the far post after the ball had been given away on the edge of the area. HT 1-0

Amesbury started the second half in the same manner as the first with Matthews seeing his effort palmed away after a fine Finnigan through ball sent him clear, Greenway too high and Matthews denied again at the expense of a corner before Vics moved forward with Jimmi Burton burying a shot in Creese’s midriff. Steinborn-Busse held a high cross under considerable pressure and his defence held firm in the face of two quick corners. Matthews was too high and when the Islanders broke again Burton’s shot was acrobatically turned over the bar by Creese.

Greenway’s blistering pace on the Amesbury right won his side a corner and he then provided a cross from which Matthews was again foiled by the safe hands of the keeper. With the game in its final minutes there was a hiatus when there was a sudden lack of footballs following which two goals in little more than sixty seconds made the game safe. Both sides had made full use of their substitutes and Connor Miller, wearing the number fourteen shirt for the home side, collected a partially cleared corner on the right flank and his low cross was swept home by Jack VALLIS.

Straight from the kick off the home side attacked again, FINNIGAN was palpably offside when the early cross was made but the ball passed over his head by a good few feet. He waited for everybody else to “overtake” him and then turned Tom Hogan’s cross past Steinborn-Busse for goal number three. It was probably Hogan’s first touch after coming on and credit also to the Officials for their reading and handling of the situation. On a sometimes bright but often chilly afternoon Amesbury virtually confirmed a return to the Premier Division at the first time of asking and Vics, though beaten on the day, can be more than pleased with their season. The Cake as usual was superb ! FT 3-0 (John Gorman)