COWES Sports blew the chance to steal a march on their fellow strugglers when they lost to second bottom Solent University at Westwood Park this afternoon (Saturday).

In a game lacking in quality, but not endeavour, Cowes went behind on 53 minutes when a poor Aidan Bryan header was intercepted and the Solent triker was put through on goal and he slotted the ball home.

But Bryan's team-mates spared his blushes a minute later when substitute, Fin Phillips, equalised, side-footing the ball home from 15 yards.

With ten minutes remaining, Solent caught the Cowes defenders cold on the break and, from a pinpoint cross from the left, the ball was slammed home to restore the visitors' lead.

The defeat saw Cowes slip back into the bottom three of the Sydenhams Wessex Premier League.

In Wessex Division 1, East Cowes Vics were hammered 4-1 by mid-table Romsey Town at Beatrice Avenue, while inconsistent Newport were beaten 2-1 away at Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

                                  TODAY'S RESULTS (SATURDAY)

Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division: Cowes Sports 1, Solent University 2.

Division 1: Bemerton Heath Harlequins 2, Newport 1; East Cowes Vics 1, Romsey Town 4.

Hampshire FA Trophy, third round: BTC Southampton 0, Northwood St John 4; Brading Town 6, Winchester Castle 1; Frimley Select 3, Binstead & COB 3 (Frimley Select won on penalties); Shanklin 6, Folland Sports Reserves 1; Whitecroft & Barton Sports 7, Hayling Island 2.

Hampshire FA Vase, third round: Burrfields 0, Adgestone 1; Carisbrooke United Reserves 3, Compton Reserves 6; Strawberry 1, Seaview 0;Northwood St John Reserves 4, Niton Community 2; West Wight Reserves 2, Oakfield 1.

Hampshire FA Plate, second round: Cowplain 2, Brading Town Reserves 4; Osborne Coburg Reserves 0, CK Andover Reserves 3; Sandown Reserves 3, Osborne Coburg 5.

Harwoods Isle of Wight League, Division 2: Wootton 0, Vectis 4.

Combination 1: ECS Reserves 4, Binstead & COB Reserves 1.