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Southern League Challenge Cup – Lymington Town lose to Paultons Rovers on spot-kicks after controversial late penalty

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Southern League Challenge Cup Round Three

Lymington Town FC 1
Paultons Rovers FC 1
(Paultons win 4-3 on penalties)

LYMINGTON Town were minutes away from progressing to the quarter-final until a contentious last-minute penalty allowed Paultons Rovers to force and win a shootout.

Lymington's Stephen Walker, recently re-signed by the club, scored the opening goal in the 48th minute. Then Leighton Thomas converted a 91st-minute penalty to level the match.

After Saturday's humiliating seven-goal defeat to the same opponents, Lymington welcomed Luke Churchill and Tim Stephenson back while Walker earned a place in the line-up. In goal, Joe Coombes stepped up from the reserves to replace the rested Ross Casey.

The typically prolific Freddie Bullard had an off night in front of goal (photo: Les Chase)
The typically prolific Freddie Bullard had an off night in front of goal (photo: Les Chase)

Paultons started well, and a neat move allowed Ed Butcher time and space to shoot, but Coombes brilliantly parried away his effort.

Lymington responded well with Freddie Bullard testing Rovers' keeper Aaron Sainsbury with a half chance. However, he missed another chance which he probably should have struck better.

The hosts then deservedly took the lead three minutes after the restart when Churchill crossed into Walker's path, who drove the ball home.

Lymington's yellow cards were beginning to stack up and, with time running out, referee James Robinson awarded a hotly disputed penalty, taking the game to a shootout.

Paultons missed their first penalty as Lymington scored their first two. However, the visitors went on to win 4-3, with the unfortunate Bullard missing the final spot-kick.

Lymington: J. Coombes, R. Fuller, L. Churchill, T. Man, S. Walker, T. Stephenson, R. Drake, B. Satterley, H. McGrath, F. Bullard, O. Dennett. Subs: R. Casey, D. Thelen, J. Brookes, A. Sheibatzadeh, C. Davies.

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