Giancarlo Bocchetti / Ross Millen
Poppies advance to the next round of the Hampshire Senior Cup after beating Gosport Borough on penalties
Bournemouth started the first ten minutes strongly, good runs being made into the final third of the
pitch and with both teams missing early chances.
Gosport took early the lead on the game. On the 15th minute, a strong header of Eddie Wakley found the back of the net
with a header from a corner which flew over the head of Sam Jones.
The local replied strongly with Ohameje, just three minutes later after the defender pushed the ball at the back post to find the equalizer. It was already a match of high emotions, very closely contested but it was always Gosport the team on the first half with the best opportunities, showing a very offensive football.
With almost half an hour played, Gosport took the lead again. Matt Tubs sent the ball to the back of the net after Sam Jones save fell kindly for a tap in. The visitor could have extended the lead but with Jones already beaten, Chris Speers dressed as a hero to save with a tackle and prevent the third goal.
The game became open for both sides and very physical as they approached the halftime.
A team with the heart of a lion
The manager’s speech on the changing room made its effect and showed Poppies as a completely different team during the second half. Strategy for boss Cuffie would give results as he substituted a very sacrificed Shiv Roushbaiani for the on-fire man Mickey Finch. It was all or nothing for poppies at this point. It was time to show the same heart and passion to play that worked with Hamble Club.
Build-up game started to show constantly for the local as possession of the ball was kept after the team set their lines forward with Frost, Ali, Lucas, Fawzi, Stephan and Finch, all trying to find association on the pitch, to beat the last wall of Gosport. A collection of different chances and opportunities followed as Bournemouth used every single resource to find the parity.
It was still a game of two halves as the opposition had a big physical presence and were dangerous on the counter-attack, but a well-deserved equalizer after a thrown in taken by Frost, found Finch inside the turmoil for the 2-2.
Miracle man Sam Jones saved on the last minutes of the stoppage time the last attempt of the opposition. A free kick by Gosport was whipped in from the left of the penalty area and flicked onto the crossbar by Jones, the ball rattled back onto the post but steered out for goal kick.
The Russian roulette finds its hero
With the game taken into penalties, emotions and hearts became difficult to control. It was the time to show and to forget the ghosts of Bristol Telephones and the missed penalties.
First taker was Finch who placed the ball far to the bottom left corner to past Gosport keeper. The opposition replied, taking their penalty on the same way.
Frost fired on the top right angle, far from the keeper for the 2-1. It was the time for Gosport to respond, but Jones would become the hero of the night for stopping the penalty by diving to his right. Stephan, Lucas and finally Fawzi all scored next to bring the joy to Victoria as the team reached the next round of the Hampshire Senior Cup.