The Football club was established in 1885, taking the Victoria part of the name from the fact that their Beatrice Avenue ground is on the area owned by Osborne House. The club was founder members of the Isle of Wight League in 1898, and won the league in its inaugural season. Retaining the league title the following season the club went on to win the league again in 1930–31, 1934–35 and 1935–36. In 1947 East Cowes moved up to the Hampshire League. The 1985–86 season saw East Cowes win the Division One title for the first time. After retaining the title the following season, the club moved up to the Wessex League. The club won the Wessex League Cup in their first season in the league. They finished bottom of the league in 1999–2000 and were relegated back to the Hampshire League, becoming members of its Premier Division. They were runners-up in 2001–02, and in 2004 the Hampshire League merged into the Wessex League, with East Cowes becoming members of Division Two. The Division was renamed Division One in 2006.
I was then driven to Beatrice Avenue in plenty of time for the match. There was a friendly atmosphere at the ground, although a number of the home supporting regulars were expressing surprise that there were so few in attendance. Clearly the numbers have been greater recently for league matches. I believe it fair to describe the ground as basic, but it still had a rustic charm that appealed to this Pieman.
There is a covered seated stand that straddles the halfway line. This is dissected by the tunnel to the changing rooms, which are at the rear of this structure. Additional to this, along the same side of the ground, is another covered area containing a continuous long bench. This area will predate the current main stand and the view from some of this area is obscured by one of the dugouts. There is also a clubhouse with both a licensed bar and snack bar facilities
Visitors Pewsey Vale started this match the strongest and looked likely winners when taking a two-goal lead, having been thwarted by some resolute defending on other occasions. However, a goal for the home side just before the break, signalled that the islanders were not about to throw in the towel. A leveller early in the second period underlined this point and the match started to swing in favour of the Vics. Not for long though, as the visitors regained their lead following a counter attack and could have further added to their tally. Another equaliser for the Vics with around ten minutes of the match to go looked to have provided those assembled to an additional treat of an additional 30 minutes extra time.
|"we've only gone and won it"|
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