Match Report 2000/2001

Binns unimpressed as Linnets take it easy

Saturday 24th February 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Swanage Town & Herston 0, Lymington & New Milton 3

In the end it was the three league points that mattered but against a side that had recently conceded fourteen (yes 14!) goals to title-rivals Andover, this was another lack-lustre display to add to that shown the previous Thursday; when the Linnets made hard work of beating Hamble. In their defence it should be said that Swanage faced Andover with a patchwork team which boasted the manager and his assistant as two of the substitutes. But with a substantially inferior goal-difference, manager Derek Binns is concerned that the Linnets might end up conceding the title on that basis for the second year running.

Nevertheless the games have still to be won and for Lymington & New Milton this was match number two in a punishing schedule of seven league games in seventeen days, as the fixture backlog starts to bite. In addition, the playing surface for this game was not conducive to the type of fluent football that the Linnets like to play; one report going so far as to suggest that it resembled something more like the lunar surface than a football pitch in Dorset. Finally, the home side were doubtless still smarting from that Andover experience and determined not to let it happen again.

During the first half, the home side more than held their own and had the better of the few chances created. Kearn in the Linnets' goal had to save well from Lord and do even better to touch a shot from Higgins onto the bar, colliding with an upright in the process; an injury which required more than five minutes of treatment before he could resume. While never being put under any sustained pressure, Lymington & New Milton were unable to fashion any clear opportunities of note for themselves and seemed content simply to keep a clean sheet.

Half-Time : Swanage, 0 L. & N.M. 0

Probably fired up by a few choice words from their manager, the Linnets started the second half looking more like a championship chasing side and forcing the Swans to resort to cruder methods to deal with the threat they posed. With just under fifteen second-half minutes gone, they finally achieved a breakthrough when Leigh Phillips latched onto a floated free-kick from namesake Brett and dispatched a glancing header into the net via an upright.

A few minutes later and another free-kick, similarly supplied by Brett Phillips, gave the Linnets their second goal when Nigel Mottashed used all of his considerable height to send a powerful header into the home net. By now the Swans were beginning to become rattled and took their frustration out in a series of unacceptable challenges. Ultimately, the referee booked seven players but was far too lenient, for example choosing to ignore the fact that Swans defender Selby had already been booked when he appeared to stamp on Leigh Phillips, an offence worthy of a red card on it's own.

The result of these tactics was for the home side to keep conceding free-kicks and it was from yet another of these that goal number three came. Swanage were obviously not aware of his reputation when Nigel Mottashed stepped forward to take the kick but in characteristic fashion he rifled home a right foot shot from 25 yards that took a deflection before hitting the back of the net and effectively ended the game as a contest.

Afterwards, Derek Binns was in forthright mood saying, "My players just thought they could turn up and get the three points, and they thought they could stroll it. We did get the three points, but it's not good enough for the supporters who pay money to travel and get into the ground. If they thought they were going to come down here and score ten goals, then they obviously had to think again."

Reflecting on his recent decision to step aside from the manager's role, Binns went on to say, "My only aim at the moment is to win this league again. Whether it's my first year managing a side in the Wessex League or it's my last, I just want to win. I want to win every game, and I want to win the league, and all the cups, because that's the way I am. When I take a back seat behind the scenes here I still want to see Lymington & New Milton winning every week and I will put everything into it to make it go that way." One can only say Amen to that.

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Stride (Grace 88), Gazzard, Kemp, Mottashed, B. Phillips, Holmes, Smith (Keeping 83), L. Phillips (Rogers 83), S. Hussey, Town.

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.