|LYMINGTON & NEW MILTON FC||Match Report 2001/2002|
Linnets benefit as Priory see red again
Saturday 16th March 2002 : Jewson Wessex League
Lymington & New Milton 3, Christchurch 0 [Attendance :150]
Recent matches between these two sides have certainly
been notable for events both on and off the field. In the reverse fixture
earlier this season (which the Linnets won 3-1), Christchurch had two players
sent off in match which also contained three penalties. Although not quite
reaching those 'heights' this game also had its disciplinary
Aside from that it was in the corresponding fixture, just short of one year ago, that Graham Kemp took over as player-manager of Lymington & New Milton and in a fascinating development this game was watched by long-time Wimborne manager Alex Pike who, it was confirmed after the match, has joined L&NM as Graham Kemp's assistant.
On the pitch, it took the home side only two minutes to signal their intentions when a lobbed effort from Steve Tate hit the woodwork. The Linnets maintained pressure on the the Priory goal for most of the first half and on the half-hour had an excellent chance to take the lead when Steve Strong was brought down in the box by 'keeper Frampton and a spot-kick was awarded. L&NM striker Leigh Phillips normally hits a mean penalty but this time his effort shook the crossbar before being cleared from the danger area.
With the pressure momentarily relieved, Christchurch nearly took advantage of Phillips' profligacy when Rhys Dear had a chance to give Priory the lead against the run of play but his shot from Lee Bellows' evasive cross was smothered well by Stewart Kearn in the home goal. Back came the home side and their concerted pressure clearly had the visitors rattled and this eventually told when, a few minutes from half-time, midfielder Ben Finnigan received his marching orders for apparently kicking out at Linnets' Steve Strong.
With the Priory players still questioning referee Malcolm Buck's decision to dismiss Finnigan, L&NM opened the scoring from the resultant free-kick as defender Paul Morris bravely headed home Brett Phillips' well-flighted cross for his first goal of the season. Graham Kemp's side then took advantage of Priory's enforced reshuffle and doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time. A mistake by Steve Hillyer allowed Steve Strong to nip in and plant his shot past the stranded Frampton.
Half-time : L&NM 2 Christchurch 0
Although Christchurch toiled admirably after the break with a Bellows 20-yard shot whistling past Kearn's upright shortly after the restart, they never really looked like overturning Lymington & New Milton's grip on the game. Steve Strong's pace in particular caused Priory problems throughout the match and it was no surprise that he was involved in the Linnets' third goal. After being forced wide by the visitor's defence, Strong took advantage of a lucky ricochet to unleash a shot across the face of the goal which hapless Priory substitute Antony Sykes turned into his own net.
With the result sewn-up and games against Andover and Totton due in the next seven days Kemp, who had rested himself for this game, took the opportunity to bring on his substitutes with Liam Green, Matt Town & Gareth Keeping replacing Brett Phillips, Steve Tate and the lively Steve Strong, while the game faded to its conclusion. Afterwards the Linnets' manager said : "I was really pleased with the way we performed. We passed the ball around well and showed how well we can play without having to hoof it."
Meanwhile Christchurch joint-manager Nigel Cripps was obviously disappointed with the outcome : "The sending off turned the game. It is so frustrating because although we weren't playing well, it was still 0-0 at that point and we were waiting for half-time so we could regroup."
Lymington & New Milton: Kearn, Liddon, Strong [Keeping 68], Gazzard, Morris, B. Phillips [Green 63], Sheppard, Smith, L Phillips, Tate [Town 65], Drew.
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