New Milton Town got their Hampshire Invitation Cup Group 3 fixtures underway Tuesday night as they visited Brockenhurst FC who ply their trade in the Wessex Premier Division which is the division above from the Linnets.
The game started off very open with both sides getting shots away albeit most of them off target, it was a classic Wessex football game with tackles flying in and the referee having to use the whistle more than he thought, some first half chances saw Tyrrell Sampson's free kick saved by James Mayo in the Brockenhurst goal whilst new Linnets signing Harry Phillips (on loan from Poole Town) was also getting to work in his goal.
It was on the 40th minute that saw a penalty awarded to the Linnets after the referee deemed there was unnecessary holding from the Badgers centre back Patrick Wilson who also went into the referee's book with a Yellow Card. Morgan Turner stepped up to the penalty spot and slotted home into the bottom left-hand corner, James Mayo in the Brockenhurst goal went the right way but it would have taken something much more to get across that far to save it.
Half Time came and the Linnets headed into the changing rooms 1-0 thanks to that Turner penalty.
Second half got underway and it was a continuation of the first half with the ball moving quickly, strong tackles and shots to test both keepers, the Linnets seemed to move the ball around more fluently finding that dangerous possession game they have in their locker, making it really hard for the opposition to get something going.
It was a corner on the 55th minute that was delivered perfectly by the Brockenhurst player and smashed home eight yards out by James Marshall, Brockenhurst found their way back into the game. The efforts of a brilliant header from Marshall were undone just seven minutes later when super striker Conor Jevon put the Linnets back in front with a shot from the left-hand side of the box which was buried into the bottom right-hand corner, a very difficult angle to score from having to place it perfectly out of reach of the goalkeeper who saw the shot glace across the front of him.
The Linnets held on to seal the win and take all three points back to the JMC Stadium.
Full Time: Brockenhurst 1-2 New Milton Town
After the game Linnets Manager Paul Turner said "It was a great opportunity for the players that haven't played as much as they would have liked during the regular season to really kick on a get stuck into this tournament, we had a couple of work commitments last night with handful of injuries as well so there was plenty of rotations being made and I am so thrilled with the effort that every single played gave last night, they looked hungry and they looked determined to leave Brockenhurst with nothing else but a win.
It was a very physical game, you could tell Brockenhurst were up for the fight, it was probably the most physical performance i have seen the team put in this season , you could tell they were not going to be pushed around and in fact it was the opposite, we got stuck into challenges we showed the strength and grit and also showed that even though there was a division between us we were better than them in every way.
Starting off the game we were technically very advanced with how our football was played, but we showed great intensity off the ball to get into the right positions and structure, the hard work and togetherness was outstanding from the whole team and last night we saw the start of a group of players that really trusted each other on the pitch along with their footballing abilities.
We created plenty of chances during the game to walk away with more than the two goals, we dominated large parts of the game with ease but when we didn't have the ball, we had a fantastic core shape and structure and Brockenhurst found it very difficult to break through, defensively we were very well organised and solid.
Friday, away to Ringwood, we have to be brave again and have to continue the belief that this squad is very, very well organised and talented. We won't change too much but we must find the same quality, passion and togetherness that we displayed tonight."