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Robins begin league campaign with defeat
Stockbridge 1 New Milton Town 3.
“When you create 14 chances and don’t take any and the opposition make five and score three then you know what went wrong.”
That was joint manager Terry Chapman’s reaction to Stockbridge’s disappointing opening Wessex League Division One defeat at the hands of New Milton Town on Saturday After a good first half, sloppy defending and missed chances cost the side in the second period. In an open first half the visitors went close in the first five minutes before a cross a Josh Harfield cross found Stuart Findlay who was unlucky to see his header go just wide.
Soon after the visitors kept the ball out of the net after a frantic goalmouth scramble then 15 minutes in Daryl Phillips’ effort was well saved.
Ten minutes later the visitor’s keeper pulled off a great save to deny Phillips once again but with two minutes of the half left New MIlton broke the deadlock to send them in 1-0 up at the break.
Stockbridge started the second half well and the keeper did well to push Harfield’s in-swinging corner over the bar. Phillips then went close once more and on 77 minutes Matt Freemantle levelled with a powerful header from a cross from the left. Things then went wrong when a shot cum cross somehow eluded the defence and landed in the back of the net then New Milton made sure of the three points when the Stockbridge defence went AWOL gifting them a third.
“It was just one of those days as they scored just on the break when Josh Harfield had sustained a head injury which deflated us.” said Chapman.
“We were camped in their half after we scored but the next goal was a disaster and when we pushed up they broke and that was that.”
Stockbridge play a hastily arranged friendly at home to Andover Lions on Tuesday, kick-off 6.45pm.
On Saturday Stockbridge are home to US Portsmouth and expect to have Dean Higgins back in the squad.