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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Lymington & New Milton FC

Fawcetts Field, Christchurch Road, New Milton, Hants BH25 6QB
Telephone: 01425 6281910
Nickname: The Linnets 
Isthmian League

Note The present club came into being in the summer of 1998 as the result of a merger between AFC Lymington and New Milton Town. With Lymington’s home at the Sports Ground shared with cricket, New Milton’s ground at Fawcett’s Field was chosen as home for the new club. Despite winning the Wessex League in its first season, L&NM were unable to take promotion to the Southern League as the ground did not meet the necessary grading criteria. The Linnets finished as runners-up the following year, but again were unable to take promotion. As the club entered the new millennium there were rumours of a further amalgamation with near neighbours Bashley, and for the first time doubts were raised about the financial implications of accepting promotion, which further muddied the waters after they finished runners-up once again. When the championship was won for a second time in 2004/05 and promotion to the Isthmian League (a consequence of restructuring) was applied for, the club was controversially turned down, along with Walton Casuals of the Combined Counties League. However, both clubs successfully appealed.

I must admit to having rather mixed feelings about Fawcett’s Field. On one hand, there is a fine clubhouse, and excellent modern cantilever stand. The seating is quite steep and affords an excellent view of the action below. On the other hand though, the ground is extremely bland and uninspiring - a fault with so many ‘new’ venues. The remaining three sides are relatively undeveloped, save for hard standing and it is not a ground to get excited about. Having said that, it is hard to imagine how it was initially failed by the ground inspectors, unless it was a silly technicality like being a urinal short in the dressing rooms.  Some cover at either end would be welcomed by supporters though. DB