Match Report 2000/2001

Sims hat-trick leads Linnets goal spree

Saturday 9th September 2000 : Jewson Wessex League

Lymington & New Milton 5, Cowes Sports 0

Linnets' manager Derek Binns was forced to make further changes to a team already affected by suspensions, against opposition which arrived holding the best away record in the league. For this match, Mark Smith and Matt Town were unavailable, while Gary Crompton had to make a late withdrawal due to an accident on his way to the game. New signing Gary Grace was consequently drafted into an unaccustomed midfield position instead of being named amongst the substitutes.

The opening exchanges saw attacks from both sides seeking an early breakthrough, although the home side enjoyed greater possession, looked solid in defence and gradually gained the upper hand. The Cowes 'keeper was therefore much busier and was forced to clear from both Sims and Glenister as the home side started to put on the pressure. The Linnets' re-arranged midfield was performing well and an excellent right-wing move resulted in Stride's cross being headed home at the far post by Paul Sims for the opening goal.

Cowes were forced to defend well, if somewhat frantically at times, as the home side created more chances and threatened to extend their lead but with half-time approaching they caught the Linnets' defence on the break, forcing Kearn to rush from his goal and make a good save; which Morris tidied up.

Half-Time : L.&N.M. 1, Cowes 0

Within minutes of the restart, the home side went further ahead when some good approach play was finished off by the lively Richard Glenister. Although the visitors fought hard to gain a foothold in the game, the home midfield of Strong, Grace and Huxford were winning much more of the ball and prompting some excellent play from their team. It was therefore no surprise when Paul Sims made it 3-0 with a low shot into the Cowes net.

With about 20 minutes to go and the game effectively won, the home side introduced youngsters Rideout and Gonzales for Glenister and Strong but there was no let-up in pressure on the visitor's goal as the newcomers fitted well into the team's pattern of play. Indeed it was Avi Gonzales who slotted the ball wide of the Cowes 'keeper, following more good play by the Linnets, to make it 4-0 and within minutes Paul Sims completed his hat-trick, firing in a left foot drive while holding off a strong defensive challenge to complete the scoring.

A good all-round team performance, despite the absence of several first team regulars, was appreciated by the home fans and augurs well for the Linnets' intention of gaining promotion at the end of the season.

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Stride, Kemp, Morris, B. Phillips, Huxford, Grace, Strong, Glenister, Sims,  subs : Mottashed, Gonzales, Rideout.

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.