PLAYER-boss John McKie must be odds on to be offered the permanent manager's position after taking his side ever closer to survival in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier with a huge win at Hamble this afternoon (Saturday).

Up against a good, solid side sitting sixth in the league, the Yachtsmen ended a miserable run on the road at the right time with a 2-1 win.

Cowes were well on top and, after a number of near misses, it was McKie who gave them the lead just before half-time - shooting past the keeper after cutting inside the defender.

McKie twisted and turned in the penalty area and was hauled down for a penalty, which he confidently buried to double the Islanders' lead in the second half.

A late goal gave Cowes a few jitters, but they held on to record a famous and vital win in their battle to beat the drop.

With bottom club Andover New Street bashed 3-0 at home to Bashley and Bemerton Heath Harlequins hammered 4-1 at Sholing, it was the perfect day for Cowes.

In Division 1 of the Sydenhams Wessex League, East Cowes were involved in yet another high scoring draw, this time 2-2 with Petersfield Town, while Newport lost their third league game on the bounce, 3-2 away at Ringwood Town.

Both Island sides have 44 points and sit comfortably in the top half of the table.

Whitecroft and Barton Sports will have to wait at least another week to know if they are crowned Island League Division 1 champions after Brading Town beat second placed Shanlklin 4-2 at Vicarage Lane.

Brading can drop no further than second place now after leap-frogging Shanklin and are the only team which can catch W & B, who are four points clear with two games in hand.

Ryde Saints gained revenge against Bembridge in the semi-final of the Ken Morris Isle of Wight Junior A Cup with a shock 3-1 win at Steyne Park.

They will have a derby match in the final against Oakfield, who caused an upset themselves with their 5-2 win over Carisbrooke United at Slade Road.

Wootton's hopes of promotion to Division 1 were ended with a 2-0 defeat against Niton Community.

                                   TODAY’S RESULTS (SATURDAY)

Sydenhams Wessex Premier: Hamble Club 1, Cowes Sports 2.

Sydenhams Wessex, Division 1: East Cowes Vics 2, Petersfield Town 2; Ringwood Town 3, Newport 2. 

Ken Morris Isle of Wight Junior A Cup, semi-finals: Bembridge 1, Ryde Saints 3; Oakfield 5, Carisbrooke United 2.

Harwoods Renault Isle of Wight League Division 1: Brading Town 4, Shanklin 2; Sandown 2, Pan Sports 3; Ventnor 3, Northwood St John 3.

Division 2: Niton Community 2, Wootton 0.

Combination 1: Shanklin Reserves 4, Brading Town Reserves 4; West Wight Reserves 5, ECS Reserves 1; Whitecroft & Barton Sports Reserves 6, Northwood St John Reserves 1.

Combination 2: Carisbrooke United 1, Seaview 2; Yarmouth & Calbourne Reserves 3, Niton Community Reserves 8.