Match Report 2001/2002

Confident start to the season

Saturday 18th August 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Lymington & New Milton 4, B. A. T. 0

Lymington & New Milton started their first full campaign under Graham Kemp's managership with a confident display that exactly duplicated last season's result but could have been considerably greater but for some excellent goalkeeping. The Linnets started with a somewhat revamped team, missing midfield dynamo Mark Smith and summer signing Rob Walker but including Richie Glenister, Ross Drew and recently returned Mark Boulton, with James Bailey-Pearce starting on the bench.

There was little of this confidence on show in the opening exchanges however, with Linnets' defender Paul Gazzard miscuing the ball to B.A.T.'s Roberts, whose shot caused Stewart Kearn to make a full-length diving stop to prevent early embarassment. At the other end, an inswinging corner from Mark Boulton had to be repelled from under the bar by Barfoot in the visitor's goal.

After a scrappy opening, the home side gradually developed a rhythm and once they got into their stride, there was no stopping them. With just over a quarter of an hour played, Leigh Phillips received the ball on the edge of the visitor's area and turning two defenders inside out, crossed hard and low to Richie Glenister who turned the ball in at the far post. Less than five minutes later and Leigh Phillips seized on namesake Brett's chipped ball into the penalty area, to score with a fierce low drive. A couple of minutes later and a sweeping crossfield move again involving both Brett and Leigh Phillips, concluded with a pass to Richie Glenister, whose shot went in off a post.

After such a purple passage of play and three goals to the good, it was perhaps not surprising that the Linnets eased up momentarily. This allowed the visiting side to develop some momentum of their own with first Doling, with a long-range strike, then Roberts, with a close range shot, ensuring that Stewart Kearn had work to do defending the home goal. This drew a response from Graham Kemp's men and Jason Stride's cross from right field was met by a full-length diving header by Leigh Phillips that failed to increase the score by a matter of inches. Just before half-time Phillips was again denied a second goal, this time by a reaction save from Barfoot to keep out the striker's shot on the turn.

Half-Time : L.&N.M. 3, B.A.T. 0

Picking up where they left off before the break, Lymington & New Milton continued to press for more goals. Again Leigh Phillips was close when his shot scraped the outside of the woodwork, while Barfoot earned applause from the home crowd for a fingertip save from Brett Phillips' free-kick. There were more heroics from Barfoot when Matt Town (recently recovered from minor surgery) came on in place of Glenister and almost immediately found himself in a one-on-one situation with the B.A.T. 'keeper but somehow Barfoot managed to block his effort.

With the match starting to drift both sides made changes, with James Bailey-Pearce and Scott Metcalfe coming on for the Linnets in place of Brett and Leigh Phillips. This did not alter the pattern significantly and the visitors from Totton struggled to create any meaningful possession despite some deft touches from player-manager Andy Leader. One notable exception was when they fashioned an attacking move down the left side. A perfectly weighted centre was met on the full by Roberts but unfortunately his effort just cleared the bar.

With five minutes remaining a passing move found Scott Metcalf with only defender Hodder to beat and he was unceremoniously upended by the B.A.T. player. Unfortunately for Hodder this took place in his own area and the referee showed no compunction in awarding a penalty. Having already been booked earlier in the game for dissent, the defender could have no complaints about the red card that was then issued, although he took a considerable time in leaving the pitch. Despite this distraction, Scott Metcalf kept his cool and slotted home the kick to exact maximum retribution for Hodder's indiscretion.

Although beaten by the penalty-kick, there was still enough time left for Barfoot to pull out another classy save when he deflected Paul Gazzard's powerful 25 yard effort over the bar. After the game, Graham Kemp pronounced himself "very satisfied" with his side's performance suggesting that the Linnets had effectively wrapped the result up in the first quarter of the match and had not seriously looked like allowing their opponents any way back.

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Gazzard, Wood, Kemp, Morris, B. Phillips [Bailey-Pearce], Boulton, Stride, L. Phillips [Metcalfe], Glenister [Town], Drew.

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.

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