East Cowes Vics’ Wessex League Division One clash with Hythe and Dibden was just six minutes old when a flashpoint resulted in Charlie Urry being taken to hospital with a broken collar bone.
Urry was making his way in on goal we he was flattened by oncoming keeper Ellis Grant, which Vics boss Steve Brougham admitted ‘spoiled the day despite a very good performance by our lads’.
Brougham said: “I don’t like to see players sent off, but if it had been anywhere else on the field I think it would ave been a straight red. It just didn’t make sense to me that Charlie had to go off to hospital with a broken collar bone, forcing us to make an early change, yet their goalkeeper stayed on so they could continue as normal. The keeper also made a number of great saves later in the game.
“I know these things happen, and I am not saying the goalkeeper deliberately tried to hurt Charlie, but it was a reckless challenge. We were awarded a penalty as a result, but it could easily have been a red card as well. Let’s say it was a weird decision!”
Vics overcame the early setback to take the game to a team currently lying third in the table, with only two defeats all season, and went in at half time leading 2-1.
Although the mainland side forced their way back into it in the second period, Vics still did more than enough to justify a point, and give Charlie a much-needed boost, with their goals coming from Jimmi Burton, Joe Butcher and Charalambous Panayi.
Brougham added: “One of the most pleasing things for me was that I threw 16-year-old Henry West alongside his brother Ollie in the centre of our defence, and he had a fantastic game – he didn’t look out of place at all.
“He wanted to give it a go at this level, so he came across to us from Binstead, and if he knuckles down and works hard, he can do really well.”
Vics will be without suspended Liam Newbold for the trip to Totton and Eling tomorrow (Sat). But Brougham said: “If we can reproduce the intensity of play that we showed against Hythe and Dibden, I’m in no doubt we can get some more good results. We seem to do well against the top sides, but sometimes we get a bit complacent against teams nearer the bottom of the table.”