W&B 1, COWES SPORTS 1 (W&B win 3-1 on penalties)

WHITECROFT and Barton Sports still have an unprecedented five trophies in their sights after beating the Yachtsmen in the semi-final of the Isle of Wight Senior (Gold) Cup at Newport's St George’s Park last night (Tuesday).

W&B, missing four key players, including skipper Harry Ovnik to suspension, were under the cosh in the first half, with the cup holders opening the scoring through John McKIE after 15 minutes, his 22nd of the season.

McKie's strike stemmed from a clever ball by Yachtsmen skipper Gareth Bricknell — taking it in his stride from 20 yards out and slotting past keeper, Gareth True.

Isle of Wight County Press: W&B boss Steve Rayner looking forward to Saturday's Gold Cup final against Newport after beating Cowes Sports. W&B boss Steve Rayner looking forward to Saturday's Gold Cup final against Newport after beating Cowes Sports.

But W&B came back in the second half, equalising on 62 minutes through a Sam YELLAND header, guided into the corner from a pin-point Freddy Knowles free kick.

The game was quite scrappy for the remainder, with W&B looking the more likely to win it.

With the scores level at full time, the final went straight to penalties, with True the hero, saving two of the spot kicks and the other crashing off the bar.

Delighted W&B boss, Steve Rayner, said: "The lads did brilliantly — especially after the first half, with Cowes playing us off the park, but we hung in there until the break.

"We were the better team in the second, pressing a lot more and felt we deserved the goal."

McKie, playing his final game as caretaker manager after guiding Cowes to safety in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier League, was disappointed with the result, but gracious in defeat.

After the game, he said: "Naturally, we're disappointed to finish the season that way, but what disappointed me most was our lack of desire, especially in the second half.

"I don't want to take anything away from what W&B have done — not only last night, but over the season.

"I really want to congratulate Steve (Rayner) and his team. They were superb last night and fully deserved the win and they have my upmost respect.

"They deserve all the plaudits — they worked harder, they out-fought us and I wish them the very best of luck in the final."

Unbeaten W&B in all competitions this season, with the Division 1 title of the Harwoods Island League and the Isle of Wight County Press Challenge Cup under their belt, face Newport in the Gold Cup final at Beatrice Avenue, East Cowes, on Saturday.

They are also in the final of the Hampshire Intermediate Cup, which they won in 2017, and semi-final of the Andy Butler Sports Ground Specialist-sponsored Isle of Wight Memorial Cup.

W&B: True, Ewbank, Shaw, Rayner (capt), Whillier, A.Sainsbury, Bilton, Yelland, Appell, Evans, Knowles. Subs: East, Adams, Bennett, Mitchell, Cantelo.

Cowes Sports: Hatt, Conway, Bryan, Brett, Jarvis, Chase, Bricknell (capt), Phillips, McKie, Wykes, Furmidge. Subs: Broomfield, Watkins, Coode, McEnery, Sexton.