Match Report 2001/2002

Linnets given six of the best

Saturday 25th August 2001 :
AXA F.A. Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Lymington & New Milton 0, Burgess Hill Town 6

Any concerns about possible fixture congestion resulting from the Linnets' early involvement in this year's F.A. Cup competition were blown away in this match by an in-form team who out-thought, out-fought and outclassed their hosts. The Sussex League Division One leaders may have arrived late as a result of bank holiday traffic congestion but it was the Linnets who appeared to have "missed the bus".

The game started half an hour late, in very warm conditions, and the warning signs for the Linnets were there almost from the kick-off. With only a couple of minutes on the clock the Sussex side had the ball in the net only for it to be ruled out for offside. Five minutes later and another attack by the visitors ended with Carter firing in a 20-yard effort which beat Stewart Kearn to put Burgess Hill into the lead. The Linnets were struggling to find any sort of rhythm and, buoyed by their early success, the visitors pressed to increase their advantage. Almost immediately, Paul Gazzard was forced to clear off the line to keep the deficit to one goal but this merely delayed the inevitable when a seemingly harmless cross caught the Linnets' defence sunbathing and Carr was presented with a fairly simple tap-in from close range.

Before the half-way mark of the first half was reached, the game was virtually over as a contest when Carter put the seal on a excellent passage of play, receiving the ball on the edge of the Linnets' penalty area and firing in a powerful strike which beat Kearn all-ends-up to find the top corner of the net. Matt Town was introduced as an early tactical switch, coming on for Jason Stride, but there was no let-up in the pressure on the Linnets' goal and on the half-hour mark, Brown scored the visitor's fourth. Richie Glenister finally forced the Burgess Hill 'keeper into making a save but the Linnets' were finding it almost impossible to stem the flow of their opponents attacks and Brown notched his second and the Hillians' fifth when he was first to the ball and flicked his header past Kearn. As the half came to a close, Leigh Phillips did manage to conjure a shot on goal for the home side but it was blocked on the goal-line.

Half-Time : L.&N.M. 0, Burgess Hill Town 5

Having spent most of the first half giving a passable impression of King Canute, Graham Kemp must have hoped for a better performance from his team in the second period. Any such thoughts were quickly dispelled when Harper burst through the Linnets' defence to make it six. With neither side now having much to play for, the rest of the game became academic. Kemp brought on James Bailey-Pearce in place of James Wood and Stuart Metcalfe for Leigh Phillips and although they did not concede any further goals this may have been because their opponents were satiated with the six goals they already had and were more concerned with "seeing the game out". For Lymington & New Milton it was a case of avoiding further humiliation.

Although, as I forecast on this site, Burgess Hill were always likely to be tough opponents, this was an unexpectedly overwhelming defeat, the worst since the Lymington and New Milton clubs merged. The Hillians' provided a severe lesson by ruthlessly pressing their advantage and it is to be hoped that the Linnets learn quickly from this if they are to have another successful league season. Afterwards, Graham Kemp was reported to be distraught at being at the helm for the club's record defeat and vowed to make immediate changes to his side as they attempt to restore some pride.

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Gazzard, Wood [Bailey-Pearce 57], Kemp, Morris, B. Phillips, Boulton, Stride [Town 28], L. Phillips [Metcalfe 65], Glenister, Drew, unused subs : Keeping, Walker-Harris.

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 MMI