Match Report 2000/2001

Late Morris goal sees Linnets through

Saturday 2nd September 2000 :
AXA F.A. Cup Preliminary Round

Lymington & New Milton 2, Didcot Town 1

The Linnets went into this game against Hellenic Premier table-toppers Didcot Town without suspended regulars Leigh Phillips, Paul Gazzard and Jimmy Sheppard. Following last year's successes in this competition, expectations of progress to the Qualifying Rounds were probably high despite the fact that Didcot could boast an unbeaten start to the season equal to the home side's.

The game started with both teams taking time to settle and a scrappy period of play ensued with the ball being given away far too often. The Linnets had more of the play but early attacks often lacked width, while both defences looked solid. After a spell of home pressure, Town shot over when well placed and Brett Phillips drew the visiting 'keeper into a good near-post save. Huxford and Smith worked hard to establish control for the home side and Mottashed went close, heading over from a corner.

The deadlock was finally broken on 31 minutes when a well placed centre caused hesitation in the visitor's defence and Mark Smith took advantage to push the ball home. Didcot fought back and caused the home side some anxious moments in defence but Morris, Kemp and Mottashed appeared to have a tight hold on things, while 'keeper Kearn swept up anything that escaped the rearguard's attentions. However, with 38 mins on the clock, the visitors were awarded a free-kick which the home defence did not clear and Kelly bundled the ball home to earn Didcot's equaliser.

Half-Time : L.&N.M. 1, Didcot Town 1

The opening to the second-half was a tense period which saw good play by both teams spoilt by a poor final ball. A break by the Linnets ended with Town being brought down in the penalty area by the visitor's 'keeper and a penalty was immediately awarded. Town himself took the spot-kick but his effort hit the crossbar and was cleared by the visitor's defence.

Strong came on for the hard-running Glenister and his lively involvement caused Didcot some new problems to contend with but just when it seemed that the visitors might have earned a replay, pressure by the Linnets resulted in a free-kick which the Didcot defence did not deal with. Paul Morris met the ball on the volley and crashed home the decider through a crowded goal area. Shortly after the restart, the final whistle signalled that the Linnets had held on to their unbeaten run and earned a First Qualifying Round tie against Oxford City.

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

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.