When the River meets Speers to beat Lymington Town

An early goal from River Smith and a second-half header from Chris Speers was enough to overcome the visitors.


The result takes the Poppies up to fifth in the table and only four points off of second place. They also face Lymington in the Bournemouth Senior Cup semi-finals on the 28th November.

After a quick change of sides at the start of the game, the poppies kicked off and looked really threatening from the very moment the game began.

It only took two minutes to break the deadlock as Sam Jones sent a long ball over the top towards River Smith which evaded the whole of the opposition defence leaving Smith to run onto it. He took controlled and slotted it past the keeper to give the Poppies an early lead.

Smith was looking for a second goal within the first five minutes as Fawzi lifts a ball over the top past the defence but the lines puts his flag up on the far side.

Almost a second goal in the sixth minute as another long ball over the top confuses the Lymington defence as the keeper and defence collide it almost falls for an open net but it cleared for a corner.

The corner is whipped towards the back post of the goal and it finds Stepan Neronski who heads it into the side netting


Mike Gosney had a drive at Charlie Langston towards goal and tried an ambitious chip towards Sam Jones, but he wasn’t even off his line and it’s an easy catch for him.

After loads of build-up play Shiv Roushbianai put a low driven cross in from the right hand side but it’s finds nobody and goes out for a goal kick.

The visitors almost had the chance to equalise after a low ball across the face of goal was almost tapped in at the near post if it wasn’t for Sam Jones. His save tipped the ball onto the post before it was cleared away.

Michael Cuffie got spoken to by referee Michael Ballard after kicking the ball away and giving his vocal opinions a few too many times.

Half an hour had gone of the match and it looked quite even despite the early dominance that the Poppies had. The main problem for both sides seems to be long ball over the top and following the bounce.

Huge penalty calls go around the ground as Neronski beats one man within the penalty area and appears to be tripped by the next man, however the referee waves all the appeals away and play continues.

Neronski was causing havoc down the left hand side of the pitch and took on a couple of defenders, he played a low ball through the middle of the defence which slipped through everyone and found Shiv at the back who can’t finish it.

Another long ball over the top was played from the defence onto River Smith who again had himself presented with a one-on-one opportunity but this time was a ball bouncing, unfortunately for him it smashed against the keepers chest and got cleared.

Some lovely play down the left hand side of the pitch finds Ali Zintany who tries to curl the ball into the bottom right corner of the net but Nic Jones comfortably saved it.

A corner whipped in by the Poppies captain finds Manny Ohemeje in the middle of the box and he tries to loft an effort over the keeper but it lands on the roof of the net.

As half-time drew close, Lymington had a couple of chances after a collection of deflections and the ball goes out for a corner.

The resulting corner got delivered it and found the head of Jake King at the near post who brought the game back to a deadlock as he calmly headed it into the back of the net.

There was no time to get the game back underway as the referee blew the whistle for half-time as soon as the ball was rolled off the centre-circle for the restart.

It could be considered a fair result going into the break as Lymington had a couple of chances to equalise earlier on in the match, especially when they hit the post, but after the early dominance from the Poppies, they’ll feel disappointed to be behind.

Everything was to play for in the second half as the team came back out, both looking for an opportunity to win the game.

Quick start to the second half by the Poppies as they looked to start it the same as the first one as Stepan Neronski drilled a shot just wide of the left post.

Ali Zintany somehow works his way past three defenders inside the penalty area and slides a ball to River Smith who calmly placed it past the keepers left hand side into the net, however the linesman quickly had his flag up to rule it out.

It’s another goal ruled out for offside but this time for the visitors after a shot on goal is deflected inside the box and bounces into the corner of the net, however the attacker who deflected it was in an offside position.

In the 59th minute the Poppies made their first substitution and it’s the return of the Mak. Sammi Makloufi has come back from Blackfield and Langley to play two games for the Poppies.

The Poppies managed to restore their lead after a powerful free-kick whipped into the box finds our defender, Chris Speers, who puts a bullet header past the goalkeeper in the 61st minute.


A failed clearance from the Bournemouth defence sees the ball land at the feet of Mike Gosney on the edge of the box. He tried to fire a shot towards the bottom right corner but it goes wide.

Sammi Makloufi dribbles his way past several defenders and plays a great through ball to Stepan Neronski in front of goal, unfortunately, came to nothing but he’s made a great impact.

Despite only being 20 minutes left of the match, the Poppies were looking to add to their two goals as Fawzi plays a brilliant through ball past all of their defence to River Smith but he was unfortunately just offside.

Marcus Cullen came on to replace Ali Zintany in the 73rd minute of the match and only moments later Charlie Langston had to hobble off the pitch after a late tackle and Chia Khider came on to replace him.

A quick counter attack from the Poppies after a Lymington Town corner saw four players take on just two defenders but the visitors defence did excellent to track back and slow down the play in the box denying a shooting chance.

Stepan Neronski had a golden opportunity to kill off the game with only five minutes left as he intercepts the ball from the defence to be one-on-one with the goalkeeper but he rifles his shot high and wide.

Only minutes left of the game and it’s the most end-to-end the game has been all 90 minutes. The Poppies again look to counter attack and what looked like the winning shot was saved brilliantly by Nic Jones.

Despite the home side looking far more dominant in the final ten minutes, it was the linesman who made the decisive call in the 93rd minute.

He raised the flag for offside seconds before Jake King slotted it past Sam Jones in goal and correctly ruled the goal out. There was a massive sigh of relief from the home side as they deserved to win.

Moments later the referee put the whistle to his mouth and blew for full-time. It was a victory that the Poppies deserved after coming out in the second half the much stronger side and could have scored several more goals on a different day.

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