High-flying Poppies prepared for Christchurch derby

Bournemouth Poppies have the opportunity to move into third as they take on local rivals Christchurch in tonight’s Wessex Premier derby.

 

 

Dan Davis. – The two sides meet at Victoria Park in contrasting form, with Poppies flying high in sixth place and Priory lying in 16th.

However, tonight’s visitors travel to Winton off the back of their most crucial victory this season.

Max Wilcock cropped up with the winner for Ollie Cherrett’s side, as they downed a resurgent AFC Portchester 2-1 at Hurn Bridge. Jack Satterley was also on target, as Priory recorded their third win of the new campaign.

The clash at Victoria Park promises to be a high-scoring affair, with both teams having no trouble finding the back of the net.

Poppies’ lethal strike partnership of Steve Flynn and Mickey Finch has seen the duo record 15 goals between them. Midfielders Ron Frost, Ali Zintany, Harry Cooper and Fawzi Saadi have also broke their ducks for the season.

Christchurch’s joint top scorers this season are Scott Joyce and Josh Kirkham, who have both notched three goals in Priory’s league clashes.

And despite their shaky start of the year, Priory have recorded two victories in their last three games – Wilcock’s heroics against Porchester were complimented by a Russell Cotes Cup penalty-shootout victory at Bemerton Heath Harlequins a week ago.

The previous meeting between Poppies and Christchurch came earlier this season, in an FA Vase clash at Victoria Park. A hat-trick from Mickey Finch was enough to down Priory, and send Poppies through into the competition’s first round proper, whilst James King slotted home a late consolation from the penalty spot.

Finch’s second goal was a snapshot of brilliance, a volley lashed into the top right corner after Frost’s floated cross into the penalty area – and the striker is once again in red-hot form to face Priory after tucking another goal past Andover New Street at the weekend.

Poppies emerged from Foxcotte Park 3-1 victors, despite a second-half scare against the division’s basement side.

Flynn had plundered his tenth league goal of the season to open the scoring on the stroke of half time, before captain Fawzi Saadi’s ambitious drive doubled the visitors’ lead. Finch robbed possession from home gloveman George Baxter on 82 minutes to slot into the unguarded net and fire Poppies into sixth.

Manager Michael Cuffie once again has the bulk of his squad to choose from tonight. Midfield talisman Frost may return to the starting line-up, after missing Saturday’s trip to Hampshire through suspension, whilst former Christchurch man Marcus Cullen is also available for selection against his old side.

Kick off at Victoria Park is 7:45pm.

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