Match Report 2000/2001
Saturday 19th August 2000 : Jewson Wessex League
Blackfield & Langley 1, Lymington & New Milton 4
A momentous day in the Blackfield club's 65-year history as they proudly heralded their arrival in the Wessex League, though under new management, as Barry Cook and Dave Pitt returned to take control. Included in the Lymington & New Milton line-up was doughty defender Jason Stride who, after appearing for Brockenhurst in pre-season friendlies, had decided to remain loyal to the red and blue stripes.
The opening 10 minutes were somewhat frenetic with the Blackfield players intent on proving they were not outclassed at this level. Home skipper Eagle's misplaced back-pass caused an anxious moment as striker Leigh Phillips' snap shot hit the Blackfield side-netting, while at the other end Croudson's 30-yard free-kick was not far from the mark. Both sides had their chances, with Linnets' skipper Kemp making a strong run through the home defence to set up Town who failed to take advantage, while De Lara beat the Linnets' offside trap only for Morris to intervene with a timely headed clearance.
Lymington & New Milton broke the deadlock on 27 minutes as Pallister's ill-judged back-pass was closed down by Sims, who unwittingly deflected 'keeper Hopper's attempted clearance towards Leigh Phillips, who was facing an unguarded net. Four minutes later and home fans were cheering an even more bizarre goal at the other end. With little apparent danger, Stride met a centre from the right and sought to pass back to 'keeper Kearn from scarcely four yards out, with Maclaechraen in close attendance - yet the ball ended up in the far bottom corner with neither goalie nor opponent getting a touch!
Back came the Linnets with Smith blazing inches wide,
before they regained the lead in the 36th minute as the ball was looped over
the defence and Leigh Phillips cooly rounded Hopper to score. Three
minutes before the break, Jason Stride atoned for his earlier lapse by
letting loose a thundering drive from 30 yards which fairly flew into the roof
of the net, despite Hopper getting a touch.
Half-time : Blackfield 1, L.&N.M. 3
Following the change-round, Blackfield were presented with a clear chance but Eagle toe-poked his shot over the bar from close range. Hopper then saved point-blank from Leigh Phillips and the striker's next attempt was tipped round the post. However, Leigh Phillips was not to be denied a hat-trick on 71 minutes, after being left clear when Sheppard's precision cross from the right led to Eagle miscuing an attempted clearance
Lymington & New Milton introduced Huxford, Glenister and Crompton for Sims, Leigh Phillips and Smith, and the closing minutes saw Hopper parry Town's shot, the ball running to Crompton who struck the base of the post. The Blackfield men, though by no means disgraced, were left in no doubt that this was going to be a testing season; while the visitor's manager Derek Binns was not in the least bit impressed by his players' performance!
Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Stride, B. Phillips, Kemp, Morris, Gazzard, Sheppard, Smith, L. Phillips, Town, Sims, subs : Huxford, Glenister, Crompton.
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.