Poppies overcome Christchurch in tight local derby

Report by Carlo Simone (@CSimoneJourno) at M A Hart Stadium

Bournemouth Poppies edged past local rivals Christchurch 2-0 in a tough Wessex Premier encounter at the M A Hart Stadium.

In a game low on quality and chances, a River Smith strike put the Poppies in front in the first half, but it wasn’t until right at the end of the second that the points were secure thanks to Manny Ohameje’s contribution.

Poppies were unbeaten against Christchurch in their two previous fixtures this season and looked set to continue that on their first half showing.

However, it was Christchurch who had the first meaningful chance as Ash Pope shot straight at goalkeeper Sam Jones from twenty yards.

Fawzi Saadi then was close to setting Aziz Aldahayan through on goal, but a Christchurch defender got ahead of him to snuff out the danger.

Saadi tried to turn provider again, as he laid the ball off to Chia Khider after he was played into the area, but the midfielder’s effort was blocked.

Pope then tried his luck from a free kick, which smashed into the Poppies wall, and from another set piece saw the cross elude his fellow players.

The visitors then should have taken the lead a few minutes later.

Falco had a shot across the area which unintentionally happened to be a great pass to River Smith, but his effort was blocked on the line by Harvey Wright.

In the 32nd minute Smith this time found the net. A over the top through ball aimed for Falco had been shielded away by a Christchurch defender only for Smith to run onto it instead and finish through the legs of Max Frampton.

This goal imbued Bournemouth with further attacking impetus, as Khider cut inside on his left foot but could only curl the ball into the arms of Frampton.

Just a minute later Smith found Saadi just a few yards out, but his effort was agonisingly scuffed past the near post.

Half time was reached not long after, and on the balance of play Poppies deserved their lead.

However, Christchurch were not going to give up without a fight.

They came out in the second half with renewed energy, as substitute Max Wilcock did well to create a crossing opportunity, only to see it just elude an onrushing Pope.

Pope then went close twice more in quick succession, firstly he flashed a long-range strike wide before he hit a bouncing free-kick which Jones dealt with.

From then on in the game turned quite scrappy for the next twenty minutes as few chances were created in increasingly blustery conditions.

It wasn’t until the 78th minute that Christchurch fashioned another shot on goal, as Wilcock volleyed over after a cross was only partially cleared.

Falco had a shot deflected wide, whilst substitute Ohameje forced a save from Frampton from a tight angle, but the effort wouldn’t have counted as he had ran the ball out for a goal kick.

The Poppies then had a scare as Jones had to tip over an attempted clearance from defender Mark Cullem for a corner.

However, in the 90th minute Poppies’ defensive efforts paid off as they struck a crucial blow.

Nasim Meddah’s cross found Ohameje, who did well to turn and send Frampton the wrong way.

The full time whistle blew a few minutes later, as Poppies claimed all three points in a stubborn, but by no means perfect display.

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