Match Report 2000/2001

Phillips hat-trick spares Linnets' blushes

Saturday 2nd December 2000 : Jewson Wessex League

Bournemouth 3, Lymington & New Milton 5

Lymington & New Milton came into this match with the meanest defensive record in the Wessex League but this was severely tested by a young, aggressive Poppies side who vigorously contested every ball on a very uneven pitch.

The Linnets fielded the 'new-look' strike force of Leigh Phillips and Stuart Hussey and had the better of the opening exchanges, creating a number of opportunities, but the strikers were given no time in front of goal and were unable to convert early pressure on the home defence into goals. More worrying for Linnets' boss Derek Binns however, were the problems caused to the defence by home forwards prepared to run at the them with pace. So, although it was against the run of play, it was not a complete surprise when Bournemouth took the lead. This came when a cross from the right was only partially cleared and a quick return from the left caught the visitor's defence flat-footed, leaving Taylor with an easy touch-in.

Play now became end-to-end, although the Linnets had the better chances. Mottashed went close with a couple of headers but the Poppies' pressure game worked well in denying Lymington & New Milton the time and space to make the most of their generally superior possession. Worse still, the Linnets' defence was still struggling to come to terms with the home side's tactics and conceded again on 35 minutes when Bailey-Pearce exploited the visitor's confusion to slot home the second.

Unused to being in such a position, the visitors had dig deep for a response and this came on 40 minutes when Leigh Phillips headed home through a crowd of players to put the Linnets back into the game and they kept up the pressure on the home side for the remainder of the first-half.

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

Whatever was said in the half-time interval, Lymington & New Milton came out for the second-half with all guns blazing. Within minutes, a period of sustained pressure on the home goal was rewarded when Brett Phillips' shot found the net through a crowded goalmouth. Now playing with far greater fluency, it only took another couple of minutes for them to gain the lead when Stuart Hussey sprang the Poppies offside-trap and shot home past the advancing 'keeper while the home defence appealed to the officials in vain.

Having achieved their lead however, the Linnets then proceeded to ease back and soon paid the price as Carr was put through one on one with Kearn and made no mistake with a low drive past the 'keeper. This had the required effect on the visitors but it was only after the Poppies had been reduced to 10 men through Taylor's dismissal and with less than ten minutes left on the clock that Leigh Phillips was able to restore their lead.

To their credit, the home side did not give up and created a couple of good chances. Bailey-Pearce in particular should have done better when well-placed but his effort was wide. Following this spell of home pressure, play broke to the other end and with the game moving into injury-time, Strong was brought down by the home 'keeper; Leigh Phillips slotting home the spot-kick to seal a victory for the Linnets which had looked uncertain right to the end.

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Stride, Kemp, Morris, Mottashed, B. Phillips, Sheppard, Huxford, Smith, S. Hussey, L. Phillips, subs : Strong, Town, Gazzard.

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.