The Linnets travelled north on Saturday 8th May to take on Southern Premier League team Hartley Wintney in the Hampshire Invitation Cup Quarter Final.
They knew it was always going to be a tough day out facing a team 3 divisions higher than the Wessex League Division One side, but a challenge they were very much looking forward to.
The game started very quickly with both teams looking to settle into the game on the sloped pitch at the Memorial Fields Stadium, some snapped shots from Hartley Wintney in the first few minutes didn't trouble Harry Phillips in the Linnets goal. On the 4th minute Hartley Wintney were awarded a free kick near the corner flag after the big centre forward appeared to be helped onto the floor more by the wind than Linnets skipper Joe Kimber, a curled delivery was sent into the box and a glancing flick on from S.Argent fired the ball passed the front post and into the net to give Hartley Wintney the early lead. (1-0)
6 minutes later the Linnets were having a lot of possession moving the ball nicely, slotting balls through the Hartley Wintney defence for Tyrrell Sampson, Chris Long and Luke Stone to all get on the end of, Luke Stone picked the ball up on the right hand side outside of the box and got a deflected cross in which saw Tyrrell Sampson get a foot in front of the defender, the defender brought down Sampson and the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors. Hartley Wintney midfielder D.Morgan-Griffiths was given a yellow card for verbal decent to the referee arguing the foul, Morgan Turner stepped up to the penalty and slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner, the keeper went the right way but it was a tough one to get hands to. (1-1)
Morgan Turner could have had his second of the game in the 30th minute as his shot hit the crossbar and came back out onto the opposite side of the pitch, Linnets were creating plenty of chances and looking dangerous having the advantage of running downhill due to the sloped pitch.
Half time the teams went into the break all square. Hartley Wintney 1-1 New Milton Town
Second half saw Harry Phillips a lot busier with more testing saves to make, on the 58th minute B.Wright gave Hartley Wintney the lead after his front post run which he flicked on from a cross saw the ball nestle into the bottom left hand corner. (2-1) On the 69th minute Manager Paul Turner made the first change substituting Morgan Turner and replacing him with Matt Gane.
80th Minute saw S.Argent get his 2nd of the game as he slotted home into the right hand corner from the left side of goal, the testing uphill battle of the pitch saw the Linnets start to tire but a fantastic chance from Luke Stone on the 82nd minute saw his shot 15 yards out drag just wide of the goal. (3-1)
Paul Turner made his final changes bringing off Joe Kimber, Eliot Jones and Luke Stone and replacing them with Elliot Lines, Will Oakeley and Jason Dyer. 3 minutes later it was a mistake from Dyer at the back that gave Hartley Wintney their 4th goal of the game as his headed back pass that didn't have enough power to reach keeper Harry Phillips saw striker S.Argent poach in from behind to slot home for Hartley Wintney's 4th goal (4-1)
The game finished 4-1 but it really wasn't a true reflection of how well the Linnets battled and competed with a team 3 divisions higher. They have really enjoyed taking part in the Invitation Cup, especially in such a tough group.
Hartley Wintney 4-1 New Milton Town