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Lymington upset Dorchester with second-half Southern League Challenge Cup heroics

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Southern League Challenge Cup

Lymington Town FC 4
Dorchester Town FC 1

LYMINGTON Town scored four second-half goals to secure a thrilling comeback to shock Dorchester Town and knock them out of the cup.

The Linnets fell behind just before the break when Sam Bayston put the Magpies in the lead. However, four unanswered goals, three of which came from substitutes, sparked a remarkable recovery.

The hosts made six changes, with Nathan Hurst, Sam House, Owen Fee, Sam Shearer, Luke Churchill and Craig McAllister coming into the side.

Toby Bailey puts Lymington into the lead (photo: Les Chase)
Toby Bailey puts Lymington into the lead (photo: Les Chase)

Dorchester dominated after the first 15 minutes until the half-time whistle. Keeper Ross Casey was quickly in on the action denying Harry Burns well.

After 40 minutes, Hurst picked up an injury and had to be replaced by 19-year-old midfielder Toby Bailey, son of former AFC Bournemouth player John Bailey who also played for Lymington Town and Brockenhurst.

With the half-time whistle approaching, good play down the left resulted in a decent ball being drilled across the box for Bayston to swipe home for a deserved lead.

Harry McGrath and Freddie Bullard came on at the break, and the latter scored within 90 seconds when he tucked home past Alan Walker-Harris.

Another substitute, Bailey, flipped the match on its head when he lashed home from the edge of the area to give the hosts a 53rd-minute lead.

The Linnets were now dominating the game, with Dorchester limited to hoisting hopeful crosses into the box.

In the final minute of regulation time, referee Brian White awarded a stonewall penalty, and Sam House continued his deadly spot-kick streak to kill the game.

McGrath then completed the scoring with a bullet which flew past helpless former Lymington Town keeper Alan Walker-Harris in the 94th minute.

Freddie Bullard on the ball for Lymington (photo: Les Chase)
Freddie Bullard on the ball for Lymington (photo: Les Chase)

After the match, Lymington co-manager Dave Lewis said: "We started the game well for the first 15 minutes, but to be honest, Dorchester battered us until the break. Although we went on to win the second, I'm just as pleased with the doggedness and courageousness we showed to only come in one goal down, which gave us the platform to come back in the second half.

"We made some substitutions due to injuries, and the additions made a huge difference. We also had a chat about what we expected, and the lads were brilliant. The lads should take all the credit for the performance.

"We came out and scored early and were dominant from then on. Similar to how Dorchester dominated the first, but we had more cutting edge.

"Every single lad was brilliant. Sam Shearer in midfield was particularly outstanding. He had courage on the ball, was brave and covered every blade of grass."

Lymington sit 14th in the Southern League Division One South, with two wins and two draws from eight games.

"The lads are acclimatising well to this level. They are all local lads who had only played at the Wessex Football League level, but we are getting to grips with this league. We aren't counting our chickens, but we think this result is proof.

"Every point we've dropped in the league has come against top-five sides until Saturday's draw with Bristol Manor Farm, which we played with 10 men for much of it. This is only the beginning of our journey."

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