Match Report 2001/2002

Phillips double earns point for Linnets

Saturday 17th November 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Moneyfields 2, Lymington & New Milton 2

Having re-presented his credentials with a double-strike earlier in the week at home to Wimborne, L&NM striker Leigh Phillips was once again the focal point in a hard-earned result against a side that have been rebuilt following an influx of local players from outside the Wessex League. In the past the Linnets would have expected to come away from this fixture with all three points but it is a sign of how times have changed that taking anything from this game would be a notable achievement.

The initial portents were not good. Skipper Paul Morris was injured in the pre-match warm-up and this necessitated a hurried change to the visitors' line-up with Paul Gazzard moving into central defence alongside player-manager Graham Kemp. Despite this, Lymington & New Milton had the better of the opening exchanges but without creating a clear-cut chance. It was therefore slightly against the run of play when the home side took the lead after fifteen minutes when Stewart netted from close range following a well executed set-piece from a corner-kick.

This obviously lifted the home side and they pressed the Linnets back, looking for a further opening. This came half-way through the first period when, from another corner, the L&NM defence was unable to clear and Hill pounced to drill his shot into the net for 2-0. Despite this "double-whammy", the Linnets steadied their game and started to make some inroads into the home defence. This paid dividends on the half-hour when Leigh Phillips was quickest to react to a cross from fellow-striker Richie Glenister and netted his third goal of the week to reduce the arrears.

Suitably emboldened, Lymington & New Milton took the game to their hosts who seemed somewhat abashed by the visitors' positive approach. Although strikers Glenister and Phillips were unable to make further inroads into the scoreline, it was the visiting side which finished the half in the ascendant.

Half-Time : Moneyfields 2, L.&N.M. 1

If the Portsmouth side had been knocked out of their stride by the Linnets' response in the first-half, they were caught absolutely cold at the re-start as a swift incisive break by Lymington & New Milton found Leigh Phillips with time and space to coolly slot home an equalising goal and raise his own tally to four in two matches.

Not content with having gained parity, the Linnets continued to take the game to Moneyfields. In a real "purple patch" Chris Marwood hit a thundering drive against the home crossbar, Glenister managed to hit an upright and Leigh Phillips squandered a great chance to complete a hat-trick. It was not all one-way traffic but the revamped L&NM defence held firm after their first-half indiscretions and Linnets' 'keeper Stewart Kearn was relatively untroubled.

In an effort to maintain the pressure, Linnets' boss Graham Kemp brought on Macdonald and Keeping in place of the tiring Smith and Phillips and his side might have snatched all three points in the dying minutes but Glenister was unable to convert after some good approach work by Keeping and Brett Phillips. In the end a draw was probably just about fair although Graham Kemp said afterwards : "We showed a lot of character after going behind and we could have won it with the some of the chances we had."

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Stride, Gazzard, Kemp, Liddon, B. Phillips, Mooney, Smith [Keeping], Marwood, L. Phillips [McDonald], Glenister, unused sub : Morris.

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