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Opening day loss for New Street at Cowes
Matt Styles and Matt Davies’s Andover New Street began their new Wessex League Division One campaign with defeat at fancied Cowes Sports on Saturday but were far from overawed despite fielding five U18s and having a man sent off late on.
Young Ryan Heathershaw found the target in the first half and caught the eye among the half dozen debutants in the New Street side.
Goalkeeper Alan Ralph, signed recently from Stockbridge, was soon in the action tipping over a Darren Willliams drive but within eight minutes Street were 2-0 down and staring at a humiliating defeat.
Adam Sunsburg sent in a cross and Williams was unmarked and nodded home from close range on six minutes and two minutes later Danny Hatcher sent in full back Max Draper who chipped Ralph to make it 2-0.
Cole Hinchcliffe’s goalline clearance moments later saved a third which gave New Street some belief and when home skipper Craig Insley’s poor clearance found Heathershaw he fired a superb strike from 20 yards over Ed Hatt to make it 2-1 with only 15 minutes gone.
Ross Gregory’s shot was well held by Ralph then Jordan Browne shot wide before Hatcher was denied by Ralph saving well with his feet to keep his side in the match. Five minutes from the break James Phipps pulled the ball back to Jordan Browne who made no mistake from close range.
Hinchcliffe then took up a knock and was replaced by another teenager Graham Williams as New Street looked to regroup after the break.
Cowes remained on top in the second half with Browne heading wide but just before the hour the same man made sure of a winning start when he nodded Draper’s cross past Ralph for the fourth.
Nick Oliver headed wide as Street looked for another consolation but it was not to be and just before the whistle they were reduced to ten when Kieron Reeves was shown a second yellow card after bringong down the dangerous Hatcher.