Match Report 2001/2002

Brett's strike earns the points

Saturday 1st December 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Portland United 0, Lymington & New Milton 1

Report based on the Daily Echo/Dorset Echo

Despite Leigh Phillips' recent goal-spree, it was his namesake Brett who earned the points for the Linnets in a hard-fought game, although player-manager Graham Kemp said afterwards that the goal had been Leigh's for the taking! However the goal ultimately came, it ensured a triumphant return to the Isle for Kemp who once trod the Portland pitch as a player for the home side, before embarking on his long career with the Linnets and he marked the occasion by getting booked during the game.

Lymington & New Milton started without defender Paul Gazzard, absent through suspension but welcomed back fellow defender Paul Morris, recovered from injury. As a match it was all rather uneventful. Missing the services of their leading goalscorer, James Reeve, the home side struggled to create any clear goalscoring opportunities which in the first half were limited to a long-range shot from Perkins and weak header from Whyton, both of which were comfortably dealt with by the Linnets' defence.

Not that the visiting side were achieving much more themselves. With Leigh Phillips being closely and successfully marked by the Portland defence, the game became a dour struggle with neither side appearing able to gain any measure of control. That could have changed with the second half only a minute old when Myers, the Portland 'keeper, handled outside of his area. The resultant free-kick by Keeping was wasted however.

So it continued, with little to show for either side. Perhaps in an attempt to change the pattern, L&NM brought on Marwood and Glenister for McDonald and Keeping with a quarter of the match remaining. The home side then fashioned a move which led to Fitch striking a shot that grazed the top of Kearn's crossbar and so the the game appeared to be heading for a goal-less draw.

With roughly ten minutes to go however, the Linnets won a free-kick some yards outside the penalty area and to the right of goal. Brett Phillips took the kick and his effort beat the defence and despite the best efforts of Leigh Phillips and Myers in the Portland goal, it eluded everyone and nestled in the far corner of the net. This precious lead was nearly doubled minutes later when a well-directed half-volley by Glenister forced a full-stretch save from Myers to deny him.

Afterwards, Graham Kemp admitted that his side had been slightly fortunate in gaining the three points : "We got the rub of the green for a change and it was nice to have a bit of luck. I think both sides had about one shot each in the first half, while in the second we had two or three half chances and we probably just about edged it. It was a battle and it looked as though it was going to be 0-0 until Brett hit the target. Their goalkeeper also pulled off a great save from Richard Glenister right at the end."

Commenting on the goal, Kemp said : "It was a great delivery from Brett and Leigh should have got the final touch but missed it. Brett deserved to score because he hit the right area and it was a quality strike. Portland boss Nick Preston's view was : "It was a dull old game, which neither side deserved to win and I would have been happy to take a point. It had 0-0 written all over it until the free-kick's sneaked in the end. We played some good football and competed really well but to be honest I don't think we ever really looked like scoring."

Lymington & New Milton : Kearn, Grace, Green, Kemp, Morris, B. Phillips, Mooney, Smith, L. Phillips, McDonald [Marwood 67], Keeping [Glenister 67], unused sub : Metcalf.

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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