CARETAKER manager and striker John McKie realises the mammoth task he has on his hands to steer Cowes Sports away from the foot of the table after they were hammered 6-0 away at Alresford Town in his first game in charge this afternoon (Saturday) — but he remains positive.

The Yachtsmen went a goal down when they were caught on the break from their own corner.

A 20-yard strike and a penalty before half-time gave Cowes an uphill struggle, from which they never recovered.

Cowes have two tough matches coming up this week against mid-table Brockenhurst in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier league — away on Tuesday and then hosting them at Westwood Park next Saturday.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Player-manager John McKie (in blue) remains positive after heavy defeat to Alresford Town.  FILE

After the game, McKie said: "We were beaten by a very professional Alresford team. They've played together a while now and had a good mix of big, strong, physical players with fast, athletic youth.

They punished every mistake we made and that's what you get at this level.

"I take sole responsibility for the first half, in particular — the tactics weren't quite right, but when we adjusted this at half time, the difference was so obvious. It was clear that in spells, the work we've done in just two training sessions was extremely effective, but it was intermittent.

"This was to be expected. Nothing was going to happen instantly and we go into Tuesday with the strongest squad we've had this season.

"Nothing has changed in our mentality. We're all still really positive and the attitude the lads have shown, especially regarding the system we're trying to play, and training, is top drawer.

"Naturally, I'm disappointed, but in my eyes, we win or we learn, and today we learnt a lot, which will only benefit us in the run of games to come."

In Sydenhams Wessex Division 1, there was drama at St George's Park as ten-man Newport held on to beat struggling New Milton Town 1-0.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Jordan Browne (in yellow) wheels away in celebration after his goal earned the three points for Newport against New Milton Town this afternoon (Saturday).

Newport were rampant in the early stages, with New Milton's keeper brilliantly tipping over a curling Jared Wetherick strike and fellow striker Jordan Browne hitting the post.

Five minutes before the break, the referee sent off Wetherick for a heavy challenge on a New Milton player, who was carried off with a bad leg injury.

Newport came out more of an attacking threat than 11-man New Milton for the second half.

Inexplicably, Joe Craig missed an open goal from seven yards out — completely missing a superb Connor Kelly ball across the face of goal on 52 minutes.

But on the hour mark, Browne was in the right place to stab home a loose ball from close in after a corner caused problems in the New Milton defence.

Newport consolidated their position in seventh with the win.

Bottom of the table Andover Town made life difficult for hosts East Cowes Vics.

The Islanders eventually won 2-1, with captain, Joe Butcher — in great goalscoring form recently — opening the scoring on four minutes.

But Vics began to get the jitters when Andover levelled from the spot.

The home side got their noses back in front on 65 minutes through Kyle Drew and that's how it stayed.

The win moves Vics up a place into a comfortable tenth place.

There was league and cup action across the Island too.

In the second round of the Isle of Wight County Press Challenge Cup, Whitecroft and Barton Sports hammered Binstead and COB 8-0.

In Division 1 of the Island league, Brading Town moved up to second after they won the Bay derby 3-2 against Sandown at home.

                                                         TODAY'S RESULTS

Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division: Alresford Town 6, Cowes Sports 0.

Sydenhams Wessex Division 1: East Cowes Vics 2, Andover Town 1; Newport 1, New Milton Town 0.

Isle of Wight County Press Challenge Cup, second round: Cowes Sports Reserves 1, ECS 0; Northwood St John 0, Shanklin 2; Whitecroft & Barton Sports 8, Binstead & COB 0.

Andy Butler Sports Ground Specialist Isle of Wight Memorial Cup, second round: Carisbrooke United 5, Oakfield 2; East Cowes Vics A 0, Ryde Saints 3.

The Ken Morris Isle of Wight Junior A Cup, second round: ECS Reserves 2, Adgestone 3.

Harwoods Renault Isle of Wight League, Division 1: Brading Town 3, Sandown 2; Osborne Coburg 1, Pan Sports 4; West Wight 2, Ventnor 1.

Division 2: Wootton 3, Seaview 2; Newchurch 4, Brighstone 1; Yarmouth & Calbourne 1, Wroxall 9.

Combination 1: Oakfield Reserves 2, Whitecroft & Barton Sports Reserves 4; Ryde Saints Reserves 2, Binstead & COB Reserves 4; Sandown Reserves 1, Brading Town Reserves 1.

Combination 2: Bembridge Reserves 1, Carisbrooke United Reserves 2.