SHOLING’S Sydenhams Premier Division opener at Cowes Sports tomorrow evening (Tuesday) will be a costly affair.

Due to a clash with Cowes Week, the Boatmen are swapping the Red Jet for the car ferry to transport them to the Isle of Wight.

Manager Dave Diaper estimates it will cost the club an additional £200-£300 but, with a travelling party of around 25, he daren’t risk the high-speed passenger service being full up.

To make the situation even more frustrating, Cowes’ neighbours Newport IW are facing a similar dilemma coming the other way. Their first fixture is at Premier new boys Hamble Club, who are virtually on Sholing’s doorstep!

“What with subs, coaches and other add-ons, there will be about 25 of us and, with it being Cowes Week, we can’t take the risk,” said Diaper. “If half can get on the Red Jet and half can’t, you’re lumbered.

“We’re meeting at 4pm to get the 5pm car ferry. Once we’re on the Island, we’ve got to go the long way round to get to the ground, but hopefully we should be there at 6.45ish.

“Playing Cowes away in Cowes Week is not ideal, but I suppose it’s one less trip later in the season when the weather might be worse.”

Hamble Club boss Ben Kneller said: “Why we’re not playing Sholing tonight and Cowes are not playing Newport is beyond me. I suppose they wanted to keep them back as Bank Holiday and Christmas derby games.

“We’ve discussed a 7.30pm kick-off with Newport which means them trying to get here for 6.15pm. It’s not easy for them and we’ll do as much as we can to help them get back.

“We’ve got lads who work in London who are going to have to leave earlier. It’s not easy for them either.”