Written by Andy Jones (@TheRamblingHam)
Ringwood Town returned to action with a 1-1 draw against East Cowes Victoria as non-league football returned after a month on the sidelines.
The spoils were shared on a cold afternoon across the Solent at Beatrice Avenue. The host had taken the lead through Ji Nash but Ringwood captain Ryan Osman secured a decent point away from home with a stunning 30-yard strike.
The visitors had started the better of the two sides in the first-half, but Ringwood were unable to capitalise on the chances they had created and went into the break all square.
After a first-half that failed to provide any goals, East Cowes took advantage of a slow restart from their opponents and on the hour mark, Nash put the hosts in front.
Ringwood grabbed a stunning equaliser 10 minutes later as captain Osman drove home a brilliant effort from 30 yards, beating the East Cowes goalkeeper into the bottom corner.
East Cowes had some late chances and could have taken the win but both sides settled for a point in a game that Ringwood boss Richard Morse felt his side could and possibly should have won.
He said: “We are disappointed because we had chances that we could have scored and we could have won the game, we didn’t take our chances, it was disappointing not to get the three points, it would have been good to start off with a win but we will take a draw away from home.
“The performance was good, I am chuffed with the boys. We started to tire, which is natural towards the end of the game, obviously we haven’t played for 4 weeks [we] only had one training session.
“Overall I sort of have mixed emotions, a bit disappointed really, I feel we could of got the three points but at least we haven’t come away with a loss, they had a couple chances towards the end were they possibly could have nicked it, but I thought we did enough to win the game.”
Morse also praised his captain’s equaliser calling it “a great strike” and how “he has a habit of scoring over here” after also scoring in the tie with Newport last year.
The draw sees Ringwood climb two places to 13th but remain below East Cowes who sit just above them in 12th.
The Hampshire based club will remain on the road with ties away to Petersfield, Whitchurch United and Verwood in the next ten days before hosting current league leaders Laverstock & Ford on December 19.