IW Vets 2, US Portsmouth Vets 6
IF THE IW had any doubts as to the standard of the Wessex Masters’ League, they were dispelled by an impressive US Portsmouth side at Smallbrook on Saturday.
Making six enforced changes from their previous fixture, and including Richard Thornton making his debut, IW started well and launched a number of attacks. However, the game had an open feel to it, and it was clear from an early stage opportunities for both sides would come at regular intervals with a free scoring outcome possible.
IW crucially were unable to turn that early possession into goals and were punished when US opened up a three-goal lead in the first half.
IW continued to press forward and forced a couple of short corners, the second of which was converted by Thornton in fine style, but shortly afterwards, US restored their cushion with a fourth goal.
In the second half, US made it 5-1, before IW responded with a well-placed goal from Ben Donald.
As the game entered the final minutes, with the Island visibly tiring, US broke and scored their sixth to complete the scoring and a deserved victory.
Tomorrow (Saturday), the IW return to US Portsmouth.
IW Vets: Speer; Pearson, Dickinson, Finney, G. Butt, Bishop, Thornton, Christensen, Donald, Richards, Crosby
Fareham V 1, IW 2
In their final friendly ahead of this weekend’s league start, the IW edged Fareham V.
They took the lead when Colin Simmons converted from a short corner and goalmouth scramble, before Fareham equalised just ahead of the break.
The IW were unfazed, however, and got the game-winner through Tom Young.
The IW’s first match in Hampshire V takes place tomorrow (Saturday), at Wimborne Wayfarers.
IW: T. Butt, Allen, Heaven-Gandy, Peatfield, Reynolds, Gould, Simmonds, Liddiard, Butler, Lloyd, Young, P. Butt
Fareham VIII 3, IW II 4
IW II wrapped up their pre-season friendly campaign with a good win against Fareham VIII, a side who play one division below.
The side, led by new captain Dan Bartlett, traded goals with Fareham throughout, coming from behind to equalise, and then take the lead, through two goals from Tom Young.
Fareham equalised at half time, and then took the lead early in the second, before a brace from Simon Butler earned them victory.
The team start their league campaign tomorrow (Saturday) at Smallbrook at 12.30pm, when they play Camberley and Farnborough.
IW II: Butt, Armour, Bartlett, Smith, Peatfield, Brown, Liddiard, Reynolds, Lloyd, Butler, Young.