IN THE top-two clash in the Harwoods Isle of Wight Saturday League, leaders Northwood St John shared the spoils with defending champions Whitecroft and Barton Sports this afternoon (Saturday).

After a scrappy start, W & B took the lead on ten minutes with a goal by Matt Evans, who slammed the ball into the roof of the net after a shot by Freddy Knowles was blocked on the line.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Matt Evans (in red), scored the opening goal of the game for W & B against Northwood St John. FILE

The visitors should have doubled their advantage less then two minutes later — Sam Yelland firing a great chance over the bar from close range.

But during a somewhat rare spell of pressure from the home side, they equalised on 27 minutes.

From a corner, the ball was allowed to bounce in the penalty box and Darren Williams was the  first to react, managing to hook it into the right-hand corner past the desparing dive of Gareth True.

In the second half, W & B dominated and missed a number of glaring opportunities and half-chances against a resolute Northwood defence.

In the last 20 minutes Northwood had their backs to the wall, forced to park the bus as crosses rained in.

The best chances fell to skipper Harry Ovnik, who was unlucky to see his powerful downward header cleared off the line, and striker Josh Appell, who, from a tight angle, was unable to force the ball home from about three yards.

Substitute Jack East was unlucky to see his shot from about 12 yards fly just wide of the post, with the home keeper surely beaten had it been on target.

Brading Town moved to within two points of Northwood into third with a thumping 5-0 win over Pan Sports.

In the Sydenhams Wessex Leagues, there were mixed fortunes for the Isle of Wight's three top clubs.

Cowes Sports were beaten 3-0 away at Premier table toppers, Sholing, who made it nine wins out of nine.

The Yachtsmen played well and were still in with a chance of scraping a result until they conceded two in the dying minutes, with Gareth Bricknell's yellow card at the end leading to a goal from a free kick.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Cowes Sports forward Gareth Bricknell received a yellow card against Sholing. FILE

Cowes dropped to mid-table and are yet to draw a match this season.

In Division 1, East Cowes Vics made it two league wins on the bounce for the first time this season with a comfortable 3-0 win against Whitchurch United at Victoria Park.

Charlie Urry opened the scoring after just three minutes, with skipper Joe Butcher doubling the lead on 49 minutes and Urry adding the third on 67 minutes. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Ex-Newport player Charlie Urry (in yellow) scored twice for East Cowes Vics against Whitchurch United. FILE

Newport won 3-1 against Totton & Eling at St George's Park.

The wins have lifted Newport to eighth and East Cowes Vics to ninth.

                                            TODAY'S RESULTS

Sydenhams Wessex Premier: Sholing 3, Cowes Sports 0.

Sydenhams Wessex Division 1: East Cowes Vics 3, Whitchurch Utd 0; Newport 3, Totton & Eling 1.

Harwoods Renault Island League, Division 1: Brading Town 5, Pan Sports 0; Cowes Sports Res 1, West Wight 1; Northwood St John 1, Whitecroft & Barton Sports 1; Sandown 1, Osborne Coburg 1; Shanklin 3, Binstead & COB 1.

Division 2: Wootton 4, Adgestone 2; Carisbrooke Utd 5, Brighstone 0; Niton Community 1, Bembridge 4; Oakfield 3, Newchurch 1; Seaview 3, East Cowes Vics A 0.

Ken Morris Junior A Cup, first round: Ventnor Res 2, Ryde Saints 1; West Wight Res 13, Yarmouth & Calbourne 1; Whitecroft & Barton Sports Res 2, Wroxall 1.

Combination 1: Ryde Saints Res 2, Northwood St John Res 5.

Combination 2: Bembridge Res 1, Niton Community Res 3; Newchurch Res 5, Ryde Saints A 4; Yarmouth & Calbourne Res 1, Carisbrooke Utd Res 15.