THE importance of having artificial football pitches on the Island could not have been better illustrated when Vectis and Northwood played out the only game to survive last week's almost continuous rain.


The pitch at Cowes Enterprise proved the saviour for local football fans wanting their fix of grassroots soccer on Saturday.

Both Vectis and Northwood went into the game having had mixed seasons — the struggling former, third off the bottom, showing the better end of season form than their mid-table opponents.

Vectis went into the game with back-to-back wins for the first time this season, while Northwood had suffered defeat at Binstead on their previous outing.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

The game began with Vectis having the lions share of possession and managing to create a few half chances — the best in the eighth minute, with a shot tipped over the bar by Payne.

As Northwood grew into the game, the action was end-to-end.

Payne was the busier of the two keepers — getting a vital foot to the ball in a one-on-one situation, which was cleared, then he saved well from a powerful drive from 25 yards out.

Vectis continued to press and, on the half hour mark, another good effort at goal flew inches over the bar. 

The first half ended goalless, but it was Northwood who came out for the second period looking the more energised — controlling the game for a period, while Vectis remained a threat on the counter attack.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:  

Vectis looked to have drawn first blood, but the goal was disallowed due to an infringement in the Northwood box on 56 minutes. 

It was the hosts who grew into the game and looked the better, taking the lead on 65 minutes — a well-worked goal by Jamie BARRATT, his tenth goal of the season, which saw Payne rooted to the spot. 

The goal sparked Northwood back into life — creating a few half chances, but unable to take advantage of them.

Vectis continued to be a threat on the break and were rewarded with their second — a 35-yard screamer from Alfie SNOW, which went through Payne's legs. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

Vectis were playing well now — belying their lowly league position — pushing for a third, but Northwood defended well and continued attack to try to get themselves back in the game. 

The game continued to ebb and flow, but neither team was able to score — Northwood's cause not helped when Malcolmson was sin-binned with ten minutes remaining.