|The welcome sign at the entrance to Lymington Town FC's Sports Ground.|
But what if the mums and dads of the beaver and duck families got divorced and remarried to a member of the other species? Would Mummy Beaver and Daddy Duck be able to have children in their second marriage? Unlikely, unless a satanic big brother "helped out" his sister by ripping the head off of one of the ducklings and stuck it on to the neck of a decapitated beaver (I am definitely NOT advocating that anybody try this, by the way). Some things just aren't meant to be.
On the other hand, various cat mummies could have new babies with other cat daddies, because they are the same species. This could potentially work out well.
|Spying the main stand through a hole in the away dugout.|
Lymington Town FC (0) 1 v 5 (1) New Milton Town FC
Saturday December 3rd 2011
Sydenham's Wessex League Premier Division
Club shop: No
Colours: Red / white / black v Orange / white / orange
National Grid reference: SZ3195 / SZ3295
|The back of the home dugout.|
|Beyond the dugouts, beyond the cricket sight screens, it's the Church of St Thomas.|
There were other clubs in both towns: New Milton had Bashley as rivals; Lymington had Wellworthy Athletic. In the mid-1980s, Bashley started becoming successful, and were promoted to the Southern League from the newly-formed Wessex League. New Milton were left well behind in the third division of the Hampshire League.
Four miles to the east, Lymington and Wellworthy both became founder members of the Wessex League. The latter club were a works team that played less than a mile from Lymington's Sports Ground. When they were denied the use of their own ground in 1988, they had no choice but to merge with Lymington FC. The new club became AFC Lymington.
|I know at least one cat who would love to climb up that fireman's tower!|
In the meantime, New Milton Town had moved in to a smart new ground. Members of each committee decided it would be wise to amalgamate the two clubs, so that Lymington's good team could play in a good ground and have a better chance of promotion. So they did. The new club became Lymington & New Milton FC in 1998, and they did eventually move on up. Unfortunately, the appetite for football at a higher level in the area was already satiated by the more established Bashley, and the new club struggled to gain enough fans to sustain them (beaver + duck).
Lymington's fans that didn't agree with the merger stayed at the Sports Ground and started Lymington Town again from scratch. They've gradually climbed their way back in to the Wessex League, where they now regularly face New Milton Town (the new name for Lymington & New Milton!). Both clubs claim the original Lymington FC's history. I think we need Pete Frame to create a football-themed Rock Family Tree especially for these two.
|Floodlights shimmering like 100,000 fireflies in the early evening sky.|
It was certainly a well-contested game between two evenly-matched sides. New Milton took the lead early on through the outstanding player on the pitch, Alex Baldacchino (who went on to score four of New Milton's five goals) - where others were unable to lose their markers, Baldacchino was clever enough to find space in the box and was also quick enough to shoot accurately before he was closed down. No surprise to see him near the top of the Wessex League's goalscoring charts.
|Along the benches of Lymington Town's stand post-match.|
The visitors went 2-0 up within a minute of the restart, but within another minute, the home side had pulled one back, so the second half promised much. Then Lymington had their best chance of equalising when what sounded like the crack of willow on leather (but was actually football boot on attacker's shin within the penalty area) sounded out across the ground. Unfortunately for them, penalty saved. Two minutes later, the home side walloped the woodwork, but after that, it was all New Milton.
|Floodlights sparkling in the darkness at Lymington.|
With confidence visibly percolating out of their bright orange kit as night-time's chilly fingers stretched out over Hampshire, New Milton added two more goals in the last five minutes (the last of which was described as "Playstation football" by one of their delighted players - and who am I to disagree?).
They would be dancing on the streets of New Milton when the result was announced in the town. But before then, the grumbling, mumbling and head-shaking of the Lymington Town fans as they headed for the exits made this neutral sad. "You work hard all week, and then they serve up this on a Saturday!" The reactions in defeat are the same for the fan of the small club as it is for the game's giants.
I bet they never feel like that in Sylvania.
|The sun goes down and the world plays football.|
I have now reached halfway in my quest for this season (the eighth match out of the planned sixteen). Who knows where I shall report from next?