Match Report 2001/2002

Keeping the pick of Linnets' six-pack

Saturday 15th September 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Lymington & New Milton 6, Hamble ASSC 0

After a number of recent results that had suggested that the Linnets were struggling to find the sort of form that has made them Wessex contenders over the past few seasons, it all came good in this match. Whether this was the result of experienced players getting back into a well-drilled pattern or because of some telling contributions by the younger players in the team it is difficult to say but whatever it was, it worked!

Whether it was because they were playing into a strong wind in the first half, Lymington & New Milton displayed an uncharacteristic lack of ball control in the opening exchanges, which made for an untidy period of play. Nevertheless, it only took them eight minutes to open the scoring when Matt Town prodded the ball home from close range during a goalmouth scramble. Buoyed by this early success, the Linnets started to put some good passing moves together and it came as no surprise when the lead was doubled ten minutes later. Again it was Matt Town, this time scoring with an excellent strike from just inside the visitor's area.

Despite these setbacks Hamble were by no means out of the game at this stage and it required an outstanding save by Stuart Kearn to prevent visiting striker Zammitt from reducing the arrears almost immediately. Encouraged by this, the visitors raised their game for a while causing the home side to work hard just to maintain possession, although the home defence was not seriously tested and this allowed them to move forward to bolster the midfield battle. So it was that, with ten minutes to go before half-time, the ball fell to player-manager Graham Kemp and his astute through-ball found Richie Glenister who took full advantage of some slack marking to score with an excellent strike.

Half-Time : L.&N.M. 3, Hamble 0

With the game now firmly in their grasp, the home side started to turn on the style in the second period and it was during this spell that Gareth Keeping made his mark on the match. The young midfielder, who broke into the first team during the latter part of last season, illustrated his growing maturity at this level by scoring two excellent goals. The first, a precocious lob over the Hamble 'keeper from just inside the visitor's half had watchers immediately drawing comparisons with David Beckham's often replayed strike for Man. Utd against Wimbledon, a couple of seasons ago. His second, a well struck volley from a corner by substitute Chris Marwood, was perhaps not as spectacular as his first but was nevertheless a fine strike from a young man obviously growing in confidence.

Having acted as provider for the fifth goal, Chris Marwood showed that he can also finish and did so with great aplomb after Stuart Metcalf found him with a precision pass by firing in a powerful strike to make it six. This was fitting reward for the young striker who had looked extremely lively after coming on in place of Matt Town. So a good result for the Linnets although the feeling on the sideline was that they could have scored more!

Graham Kemp was satisfied with the contributions made by his younger players. Commenting on Gareth Keeping's first goal he said; "That was the best goal I have seen in the Wessex League, it was as good as David Beckham's against Wimbledon." On the progress of his younger players, Kemp said "it is nice to have a number coming through and challenging for places in the team. You need to ring the changes a bit because at 18 or 19 they don't tend to produce the goods week in and week out and I am always looking to create the right blend of youth and experience." And on the match ; "all in all it was a good performance...we took our chances well which we have not been doing of late".

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Stride, Gazzard, Kemp, Morris, B. Phillips, Keeping, Bunyard (Boulton 75), Glenister [Metcalf 75], Town [Marwood 65], 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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