Willand gain a good point from a draw at mid-table Lymington.
A close but very open game on Saturday afternoon saw Willand Rovers come away from Hampshire with a 2-2 draw.
Willand started this match looking very groggy and slow: the hosts on the other hand looked sharp and alert. Lymington, taking the initiative from the start only took 5 minutes to score their opener; a quick break down the left and some slick one touch passing the ball is crossed into the box, Burton in the Willand goal punches the ball away but it fell to Lymington No10, Freddie Bullard, who drove the ball into the net. 1-0 Lymington.
The half continued with the hosts totally in control, always being quicker to the ball and seeming to pick up every loose ball, but not creating many good scoring opportunities; Rovers just seemed unable to get their game going! Ht 1-0.
Willand started the second half as they finished the first, still second best. On 50 minutes Rovers slightly reorganising their formation by making two changes that changed the game and swung the pendulum more in the visitors’ favour. Noah Coppin & Keiran Ireland came on with Mani Skett & Archie Reay going off.
Coppin immediately made an impact, winning balls in the air and creating problems for the defenders down the right. Rovers were now getting more possession and were at last applying pressure on the tiring home defence.
On 57 minutes a Rovers attack was cleared by the home keeper, but he mis-hit his clearance from the edge of his area straight to Coppin who calmly lobbed the ball back over his head into the open goal. 1-1 and game on!
Willand were now in ascendency and putting the hosts under more and more pressure, Copping and strike partners Griffith, Cane & Kempster all making frequent driving runs forward.
On 71 minutes, and against the run of play, the hosts had a break: the clearance from Rhys Thomas fell to Lymington’s No 12, Thelen, who burst into the Willand penalty area and smashed a fierce shot past George Burton. 2-1.
Willand still looked the more dangerous, although the game had now opened up and was end to end entertainment. On 80 minutes Willand’s pressure paid off when a free kick was floated into the box by Coppin, headed back across goal by Kieran Bailey and bravely headed in by Ryan Guppy. 2-2.
Rovers should have pinched it at the death! Jagger-Cane raced through after some good midfield interchange play to leave himself ono-on-one with the keeper; he shot, beat the keeper but it went wide of the left-hand post.
A stuttering performance by Rovers and probably the right result on the day, with our second half performance giving Russell Jee something to work with. We will certainly have to do better next week if we want to progress in the Trophy!