Match Report 2001/2002

It's ton-up Leigh as Linnets hit top form

Saturday 8th December 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Fareham Town 0, Lymington & New Milton 4

Since his return to the side following a lengthy suspension, Lymington & New Milton striker Leigh Phillips has seemed determined to make up for lost time and the goals have subsequently been flowing. This has been a welcome boost to a side whose form was erratic during his absence but who have now started to look more like the Linnets of the past few seasons during which their lowest final league placing has been second.

It all came good for them in a match which, on paper, might have seemed more difficult than it ultimately was. Their hosts, whilst not exactly setting the league alight, had nevertheless achieved some good results in the run-up to this match and with L&NM not exactly packing the "killer-form" of recent times, it might have been a hard game for them, coming as it did after five previous away fixtures on the trot.

Clearly however, the form-book got it all wrong as Lymington & New Milton set out their stall with some slick football during the opening period of the match and Glenister should have put them in front after only 3 minutes but his tame effort went wide. At the other end new signing Simon Harvey, replacing the suspended Stewart Kearn, had to make a smart save from a shot by Dutton. The Linnets generally had the better of the play however and it therefore came as no surprise when they opened the scoring. Some excellent build-up play by two of the Linnets' newest recruits, Paul Liddon and Liam Green, resulted in a cross from Liddon that was tailor-made for Leigh Phillips to head home and establish an early advantage.

The home side had barely time to recover from that initial blow when the Linnets went further ahead. Another spell of pressure on the Fareham defence saw a good run and cross by Green which found Richie Glenister who finished with some aplomb, side-footing the ball home from a good fifteen yards to double the lead. The home side were hard pressed to contain L&NM now as both Keeping and Smith went close with efforts on goal.

The game was virtually over as a contest when Lymington & New Milton went even further ahead and this was a goal of some statistical significance. More pressure from the visiting side resulted in a series of corners and it was one of these, taken by Green, which once again provided perfect ammunition for Leigh Phillips to head home at the near post. According to the record book this goal was Phillips' 100th for the Linnets in only 80-odd matches, a record of which he can justifiably be proud.

With the game effectively won at 3-0, it was no real surprise that the second-half performance did not match the first. Fareham were probably more concerned with damage-limitation than any serious attempt at getting back into the match although Harvey was forced to make a couple of good saves, while Graham Kemp's men were largely running on 'cruise-control' although the Fareham 'keeper did have to make an excellent save to keep out the irrepressible Smith.

There was, however, a final flourish to the proceedings. After the usual mid-period substitutions, in which Metcalf and Marwood replaced Glenister and Keeping, the Linnets began to move the ball around more. Marwood in particular looked lively and it was his run and shot that was beaten out, only for him to pick up the rebound and square a pass across the goal-mouth for Leigh Phillips to side-foot the ball home from close range and simultaneously complete his hat-trick whilst notching the first goal of what all Linnets followers should hope will be his second hundred!

Lymington & New Milton : Harvey, Liddon, Green, Kemp, Morris, Gazzard, Mooney, Smith, Keeping (Marwood 75), L. Phillips, Glenister (Metcalf 65), unused sub : McDonald.

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