WITH such appalling weather decimating the football programme for clubs on the Isle of Wight, it was a minor miracle a couple of games survived, with East Cowes Vics involved in both.

In Division 1 of the Wessex League, Vics crossed the choppy Solent to face Whitchurch United — who a week earlier were humbled 7-0 at Cowes Sports in the FA Vase.

Vics, boosted by the signing of former Yachtsman front man Gareth Bricknell from West Wight, snatched it by a single goal — but they were made to work hard for it.

Whitchurch were competitive and tough to break down, especially on a wet and boggy pitch, which deteriorated as the game went on.

A positive first half saw Vics dominate possession, but just lacked the cutting edge to make the breakthrough they deserved.

As conditions worsened, the game became less predictable and more open, but with Vics always looking the more likely to grab a winner.

But Vics — as they have done a few times already this season — left it late.

Another searing run from Harrison Yates, superb at left back, saw him cut inside, play a  one-two with Bricknell around the full back before sending a perfect ball across the face of goal onto the well-timed run of Adam Voller, who finished smartly in the 85th minute.

The goal all but guaranteed Vics the three points to keep them comfortably in the upper reaches of mid-table, but with games in hand on most of the sides above them.

Jordan Chapman was man of the match with an outstanding performance, constantly driving the tempo and running the game from midfield.

Afterwards, Vics boss Alex Smith said: "We’re delighted with the result. It was very much a case of having to be relentless and grind out the win in tough conditions. 

"In the end, we left it late, but were good value for the win and, in truth, should have put the game to bed in the first half."

The first round of the Isle of Wight Challenge Cup served up a pulsating tie on the artificial pitch at Cowes Enterprise College.

With a two-week break from league action, Vics entertained Island League Division 1's Brading Town. 

The Romans were boosted by the addition of Wessex League player Matt Oatley from Newport after their game was called off.

Vics took the lead in the 37th minute after Jayden Yates was brought down in the box — with the same player scoring from the spot. 

But just before the interval, Nathan Betts got free on the left of the area and sent over a perfect cross for Dan Vale to head home, 1-1.

Brading took the lead nine minutes after the break when an Oatley corner found the head of Kayton Warrington at the far post.

But just four minutes' later, a Kade Woodford shot was parried by Mitchell, only for Charlie Haward to tuck it away.

Then, in two manic minutes, the Romans scored twice — the first through an Oatley strike from the edge of the area, closely followed by Aaron Bennett's finish from a James Garrett cross.

Spirited Vics continued to attack and, with ten minutes remaining, Glynn's pass found James Turner on the edge of the area, and his rasping shot flew past Mitchell to set up a grandstand finish at 4-3.