Bournemouth Poppies blasted six past Newquay AFC to convincingly secure their spot in the second round of the FA Vase at Victoria Park.
Dan Davis. – The Winton-based outfit dominated the tie from the first whistle, and had they been more clinical would have swept beyond their opposition with double the eventual scoreline.
Prolific hitman Steve Flynn plundered an emphatic hat-trick, with strike partner Mickey Finch notching a brace. Midfielder Ali Zintany also appeared on the score sheet, rounding off a comfortable afternoon for Poppies.
Manager Michael Cuffie made two changes to the side that had been held to a frustrating stalemate at Bemerton Heath Harlequins.
Left back Charlie Langston was restored to the starting XI, as Rob Head dropped among the substitutes, and Zintany replaced Harry Cooper in midfield.
Finch and Flynn, who boasted 12 and 13 goals respectively this season before the clash, once again led the line for the Wessex Premier side.
It was the latter who almost fired Poppies into the ascendency in just the first minute. A ball hooked over the top of the Newquay defence was well controlled by the target man, whose lash towards goal was stopped at the second attempt by Adam Dower.
On four minutes, the ever-versatile Manny Ohameje wriggled free of visiting pressure deep inside Poppies’ half, before releasing Stepan Neronski. The wide-man cut inside, but an effort aimed towards the near post was smothered by Newquay’s gloveman.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure, and should have broken the deadlock moments later. Fawzi Saadi’s corner looped invitingly towards the far post, but the unmarked Finch could only inadvertently stab off target.
Langston’s delivery on nine minutes caused further chaos inside the visiting penalty area, but the rising Flynn was unable to guide a header towards goal.
When the fates weren’t conspiring against Poppies, the woodwork was. Flynn was teed up on the outskirts of the box, but his driven effort cracked against the left-hand post and fell behind harmlessly. And just a minute later another golden opening fell the way of the striker, but Flynn could only blast over the crossbar after being delicately picked out by Finch.
Neronski then chanced his arm twice in quick succession, but could only curl the first effort into Dower’s grateful clutches before bending another strike wide of the target.
The home side’s growing frustration was almost further compounded on 23 minutes, when home goalkeeper Sam Jones twice had to be alert. A shot rocketed from inside the box was parried wide by the plunging shot stopper, before Jones quickly recovered to divert the rebound behind for a corner with his legs.
But finally, on 24 minutes, Poppies edged into the lead. Incisive build-up play around the edge of the visitors’ penalty area fell to Saadi in the left-hand channel, and the experienced winger floated in a delicate ball for Flynn to power a header beyond Dower.
Two minutes later, and the home side had moved even further in front through a moment of sheer majesty. Full-back Langston evaded the attentions of Newquay’s Jose Perez, before delicately scooping a delivery over Archie Fryer’s head and into the penalty area. Finch latched superbly onto the pass before flicking the ball away from his marker, swivelling and flashing a drive into the top corner.
The visitors posed a threat on the counter, and looked to immediately halve the arrears. Hayden Turner whipped an enticing cross into the six-yard area, but Alex Cole’s effort was bundled behind by the sprawling Jones.
Poppies would soon ease into the ascendency in the final five minutes of the half. Captain Ron Frost’s drive from distance was parried onto the crossbar by Dower in another warning shot for Newquay, who soon capitulated on the stroke of the interval.
On 42 minutes, silky interchanges from Poppies saw the ball at Saadi’s feet. The attacker spotted Langston’s race into the box, and the full-back lofted over Dower for Finch to slam home into the unguarded net.
There was still time for Zintany to open his account in the FA Vase, as Frost’s long throw floated towards the midfielder, who steered a header into the visitors’ net for four. Finch then headed over the target after Langston’s pin-point delivery before the half-time whistle rang around Victoria Park, a welcome sound for a demoralised Newquay outfit.
After the break, a flurry of Poppies chances should have seen the home side comprehensively confirm their spot in the next round. Flynn rounded Dower on 52 minutes after Frost’s incisive pass, but hesitated to pull the trigger and a combination of a covering defender and the resolute gloveman saw the visitors repel the danger.
Frost was then denied by Dower at the near post, before Finch twice cut inside after driving into the box and fired over. The in-form striker should have wrapped up his hat-trick soon after, but Finch could only divert Langston’s cross over the target from six yards on the volley.
Newquay battled valiantly to snatch away Jones’ clean sheet in the second period, as Jack Bray-Evans lashed narrowly over the crossbar before Cole’s half-volley from close range was bravely marshalled behind by Harvey Elsom.
Poppies were again left red-faced in front of goal in the tie’s latter stages. Flynn failed to trouble Dower when slotted through one-on-one, with the striker blazing handsomely over the target from close range. It was Finch’s turn to miscue next after being denied by a plunging stop from Dower, before substitute Lucas Gelschleichter forced the visiting shot stopper to tip over from the rebound.
But three minutes from time, Flynn had blasted home his brace. Gelschleichter’s clever pass was tapped into Flynn’s path by substitute Shiv Roushbaiani, and the striker rounded off the move by ruthlessly dispatching beyond Dower.
With time rapidly running out, Flynn’s race to complete his hat-trick looked over. But deep into stoppage time, a delivery floated towards the far post was hooked back across goal by Roushbaiani, and the unmarked Flynn slotted home to secure his trio.
POPPIES: Jones, Aldahayan, Elsom, Ohameje, Langston, Saadi, Zintany (Gelschleichter), Frost (Cooper), Neronski (Roushbaiani), Finch, Flynn
Unused substitutes: Head, Speers
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