Match Report 2000/2001

Linnets ride their luck

Saturday 20th January 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Bemerton Heath Harlequins 2, Lymington & New Milton 3

Lymington & New Milton got the three points that keeps them hot on the heels of league leaders Andover but the result had a large element of luck about it with the winning goal coming in second-half injury time via the boot of a Bemerton defender.

They started well, putting the Salisbury side under pressure right from the kick off, forcing a series of corners which they failed to capitalise on. The home side was penned back into their own half for nearly ten minutes until Strong placed a defence-splitting pass into the path of Leigh Phillips, who having evaded the attentions of his marker drove the ball home to give the Linnets the lead.

It should have been two almost immediately when Strong headed narrowly over and for a time, it seemed inevitable that a second goal would not be long in coming. However, as has happened on a number of occasions this season, Lymington & New Milton allowed their opponents to get back into the match, although it was still against the run of play when Bemerton equalised on 37 minutes with a headed goal from a cross that the visiting defence should have cleared.

Perhaps stung by this, the Linnets regained the lead with their next attack. Having forced a corner out of the home defence, Paul Gazzard then found himself unmarked in the Bemerton area and his powerful shot found the net through a crowded goal area.

Half-Time : Bemerton, 1 L. & N.M. 2

The second-half saw Lymington & New Milton once again guilty of sitting on their lead, giving the home side confidence to press forward in search of an equaliser. For a while it seemed that the visitors might just get away with it as a general lack of composure meant that most Bemerton moves broke down through misplaced passes and poor technique. It must be said that the Linnets were not performing any better and play tended to be scrappy with neither side achieving much.

Through this period, the home side enjoyed greater possession and with it a growing belief in their ability to score, so it came as no real surprise when they managed to force the ball into the Linnets' net on 70 minutes. With honours now even, both sides seemed to be settling for a draw, although a number of chances came and went at each end but with both sides seeming to lack a cutting edge.

With time ebbing away, Lymington & New Milton mustered a final assault on the home goal and thus it was that, nearly two minutes into injury time, a shot from Smith was inadvertently deflected wide of the of the Bemerton 'keeper by his own defender Burden. With no time for the home side to respond it was therefore a relatively simple matter for the Linnets to see out the match and claim the three points.

Manager Derek Binns said, "We didn't play well. We haven't been at our best lately but fortunately the points keep coming in and we are working hard to get things right." It is often said that it is the sign of a successful team that they get results even when not playing well and with some difficult fixtures still to come, one can only hope that this true.

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Stride, Gazzard, Kemp, Morris, Mottashed, Holmes, Smith, B. Phillips, Strong, N. Miles, L. Phillips, S.Hussey, M. Hussey, Stride.

Match reports on this site are based on those appearing in the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times (except where separately credited) with additional material from my own resources where relevant.