GAMES probably won't come tougher for Cowes Sports than today's fixture as they entertain top of the league Sholing at Westwood Park in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier.

The Yachtsmen have rightly earned the plaudits lately for the way they have acquitted themselves on the pitch, which has brought them up with the struggling pack above them, when all looked doomed.

Isle of Wight County Press:

They will go into the game in confident spirit after they beat Shaftesbury 1-0 least week and Bashley 4-3 the week before to extend their unbeaten home run to four games at a time when those points were desperately needed in their bid to stay up.

However, this will be a test of how far Cowes have come lately when they entertain Sholing — a side that has remained unbeaten all season, dropping only two points in 24 games, who are top scorers and have far and away the best defence in the division.

A tall order for Cowes player-boss John McKie.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Ahead of the game, John told the County Press: "It's another tough home fixture, but another one we're looking to get three points from.

"Sholing have been incredible this year — and hats off to them. Their consistency, not just this season, but over the past few, has been admirable and they deserve to be where they are.

"However, we play with freedom and disregard the opposition. We plan to do everything we can to secure three points from the game and continue our climb up the table.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"This will be a great opportunity to see how far we've come against an incredible team. The players can't wait for the game to come around."

In Division 1 of the Sydenhams Wessex League, Newport — who got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win away at Petersfield Town — entertain struggling Folland Sports, while East Cowes Vics, who have had a recent blip, drawing last week with Verwood, following back-to-back losses, face mid-table Laverstock and Ford at Beatrice Avenue.

Isle of Wight County Press:

There is important cup action on the Isle of Wight this afternoon.

In the semi-finals of the Isle of Wight County Press Challenge Cup, Division 1 leaders Whitecroft and Barton Sports host Pan Sports, while second placed Shanklin entertain Cowes Sports Reserves.

W & B, who need a win next week to clinch their fifth Division 1 title in a row, are battling for trophies on four fronts after a sensational season so far.


Isle of Wight County Press:

                                 TODAY’S FIXTURES (SATURDAY)

Sydenhams Wessex Premier: Cowes Sports v Sholing.

Division 1: East Cowes Vics v Laverstock & Ford; Newport v Folland Sports.

Isle of Wight County Press Challenge Cup, semi-finals: Shanklin v Cowes Sports Reserves; Whitecroft & Barton Sports v Pan Sports.

Isle of Wight Memorial Cup, third round: Adgestone v Binstead & COB; Bembridge v ECS; Osborne Coburg v Ryde Saints.

Harwoods Renault Isle of Wight League, Division 1: Northwood St John v West Wight.

Division 2: Brighstone v Oakfield; Carisbrooke United v Seaview; East Cowes Vics A v Wroxall; Newchurch v Wootton; Yarmouth & Calbourne v Niton Community.

Combination 1: ECS Reserves v Brading Town Reserves; Oakfield Reserves v Ventnor Reserves; Sandown Reserves v Shanklin Reserves; West Wight Reserves v Osborne Coburg Reserves.

Combination 2: Ryde Saints A v Bembridge Reserves. Harwoods Renault IW

Combination 2 League Cup, Group B: Wootton Reserves v Carisbrooke United Reserves.

                                         TUESDAY, MARCH 12

Sydenhams Wessex Premier: Newport v Hythe & Dibden. (KO 7.30pm)