Lymington Town clinch FA Cup progression with attrition battle win over Larkhall Athletic
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Larkhall Athletic FC 1
Lymington Town FC 2
LYMINGTON Town came out on top in a hard-fought encounter with a well-drilled Larkhall Athletic, thanks to two goals from new signing Harry McGrath at Plain Ham.
Lymington was able to field a strong side despite missing first-teamers Tim Stephenson and Owen Fee, and substitute Sam House working his way back to full fitness.
The two Southern League South Division sides created numerous opportunities, with Lymington threatening with a couple of speculative long-range efforts and keeper Ross Casey having to deny Larkhall by punching clear on multiple occasions from corners after coming through a maze of players.
Lymington could, and perhaps should, have taken the lead after a diving tackle ended Freddie Bullards' mazy run. The ball then trickled into the path of oncoming left-winger McGrath, but his effort when straight at keeper Shaun Semmens.
Larkhall's best chance of the first half came from Tom Fry, whose 25-yard effort curled around Craig Stanley, meaning Casey saw it late, the keeper doing well to push the ball past his post for a corner.
The breakthrough came after the break, and it was McGrath who did the damage. The attacker has flourished in a leading role in Dave Lewis' side since moving from Bashley. A diagonal ball found the head of number nine Craig McAllister, whose firm header across the face of goal was volleyed high into the net by McGrath.
Larkhall almost levelled immediately from the restart when Dan Demkiv ran clear onto a lovely through-ball. However, Casey did superbly rushing out to close the angle before diving to his right and saving.
There was nothing Casey could do moments later when Alex Lambert headed in from a corner to make it 1-1.
With four minutes left, Larkhall repeatedly failed to clear the ball, which allowed McGrath to pounce on a defensive error. His shot bounced fiercely to fly into the net, sparking wild celebrations.
Lymington Town: R. Casey, R. Fuller, R. Drake, T. Bailey, N. Hurst, C. Stanley, D. Thelen, B. Satterley, C. McAllister, F. Bullard, H. McGrath. Subs: A. Sheibatzadeh, S. House, C. Davies, A. Kerton.