New Milton win with last-minute Long strike
Sydenhams Wessex Division One
Downton FC 2
New Milton Town FC 3
NEW Milton picked up all three points thanks to a last-minute winner against a resilient Downton in a back-and-forth match away from home on Tuesday.
Despite being third from bottom, Downton battled throughout, and deservedly took a 37th-minute lead. Chris Long equalised before Conor Jevon put New Milton in the ascendancy, but the home side restored parity with a penalty. In the final minute of the match, Long scored his second to snatch the win.
Downton had the best chance in the opening 15 minutes when Will Makie’s 20-yard strike clattered the post as it flew past keeper Luke Dennison’s outstretched hands.
New Milton’s best chance of the half fell to Long whose free-kick narrowly crept over the bar.
As the first half neared its conclusion, Downton found the breakthrough. A ball down the right found number nine Thomas Moseley, the striker’s cross evading two New Milton defenders and finding Jamie Waters who fired in from eight yards.
The match exploded into life around the hour mark with three goals in five minutes. New Milton found a way back into the game when Long ran on to a ball into the box. The lethal attacker waited for Downton’s Matt Taylor to come to him before scoring with a lovely chipped a shot over the helpless keeper.
Just two minutes later, New Milton striker Jevon pressed the keeper, forcing him into a mistake. The number nine pounced to give his side the lead with a simple tap-in.
Downton levelled the match in the 65th minute after 19-year-old Louis MacArthur brought down Moseley in the box. Luke Dennison spectacularly saved, diving down to his left, but referee Carl Rooney ordered the spot-kick to be retaken after the gloveman stepped off his line too early. Moseley made no mistake with the second attempt to make it 2-2.
The visitors laid siege to the goal, and the pressure finally paid off in the 90th minute when Elliott Pearce-Eavis found Long, who cut across the edge of the box before firing off a left-footed strike which bounced awkwardly in front of Taylor before nestling in the back of the net.
New Milton face Longlevens at home in the FA Vase Second Round on Saturday.
New Milton Town: L. Dennison, E. Jones, J. Kimber, L. MacArthur, E. Pearce-Eavis, C. Turner, A. Scott, M. Turner, C. Long, T. Sampson, C. Jevon. Subs: M. Gane, H. McKirdy, A. Booker, A. Drodge, C. Parnell.