Match Report 2001/2002

Three proves magic number for Linnets

Saturday 2nd February 2002 : Jewson Wessex League

Lymington & New Milton 3, Bournemouth 0

The number 'three' proved significant as Lymington & New Milton's hopes of getting their hands on the Wessex League Championship trophy were given a boost after a confident victory over Bournemouth Poppies at Fawcett's Field. Firstly, as the Linnets put three goals past Poppies without reply. Secondly, as this win gave them their third straight home win without conceding any goals and thirdly, because 3-0 was the scoreline by which local rivals Brockenhurst pulled off the shock of the day by winning away at championship favourites (and reigning champions), Andover.

That result at the other end of the county clearly gave L&NM's player-manager Graham Kemp considerable food for thought ; "Fleet drew their match and with Andover losing as well, it may have thrown the league wide open again," said Kemp, "It's getting a bit tighter now and Andover won't have it all their own way. They've got plenty of games in hand, but it's better to have points in the bag and they're going to have to play a lot of games in a short space of time. They've lost four now and they've got to come to our place, and we want to be there or thereabouts if they slip up again. Fleet, Totton, Wimborne and ourselves are all in a good position so that the pressure is on Andover to keep winning."

On the pitch, Mark Smith produced a man-of-the-match performance for the Linnets who took the lead after 25 minutes when from a corner, Ross Drew scrambled the ball home in a crowded penalty area. Ross will remember this goal as it was his first in serious action for the Linnets and came against his former team. Even the date was propitious - 02/02/02! Steve Tate was then brought down inside the Poppies' 18-yard box and Leigh Phillips rammed home the resultant penalty for a 2-0 cushion. Ten minutes into the second period, Steve Strong got on the scoresheet when he volleyed a tremendous right-foot effort from the edge of the box to grab number three and effectively kill the match off.

The Linnets gained those three valuable points against Poppies ahead of an important week as they prepare to meet Wessex rivals Wimborne Town three times on two separate fronts. On Tuesday night they entertain Alex Pike's outfit in a Wessex League Cup tie and then on Saturday they face the Magpies again in a crucial league clash at Cuthbury. Finally, they are scheduled to play the return leg of the League Cup tie at Cuthbury the following Tuesday. Kemp said: "For the league meeting on Saturday it really is winner takes all, because if either team loses that one then that will be a big blow to their title hopes. The big loss for us is that Leigh Phillips is now suspended for 42 days and he is devastated. I don't think he thought that when he came back from his last suspension we would go on the run we have and he obviously wants to be involved."

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Strong, Green, Kemp, Mooney, Gazzard, Drew [Keeping 70], Smith, L. Phillips, Tate [Glenister 65], Sheppard. Unused sub: Morrell.

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.

  Online with the Linnets © Paul Johns MMII