It was a determined display despite defeat to Alresford

Written by Carlo Simone (@CSimoneJourno)

Bournemouth went down 4-2 at home to Alresford Town, despite a hard-working performance against the league leaders.

Poppies took the lead after Howard Nhemachena slammed home from six yards, before Mike Gosney restored parity just two minutes later.

The Magpies then took the lead when Duarte Martens slotted in, but Lawrence Healey’s deflected effort brought it back to 2-2.

Luke Dempsey’s header made it 3-2 just before half-time, and Craig Harding then added gloss to the scoreline after sweeping home five minutes from time.

Manager Leonardo Cabeleira made a raft of changes from Tuesday night’s defeat at Shaftesbury.

Liam Harris, Rafael Santos, Patrick Wilson, Jamie Trimble, Edgar Zanin and Jake Harvey were brought into the Starting XI, replacing James Mayo, Dan Hill, Claudio Carvalho, Nathan Wildish, Jack Voisey and Lewis Coulson.

The match was seen as a huge challenge considering Alresford’s position in the league, but it was Poppies who struck the first blow.

After Karol Rog had won a free-kick, Lewis Harvey’s shot was spilled by goalkeeper Joroi Valero. Nhemachena was first to it and slammed home from about six yards.

This snapped Alresford into action, and they equalised just two minutes later. Mike Gosney’s curled effort found the bottom corner.

A period of play then began which saw no clear-cut chances created. Alresford sent plenty of crosses and corners into the Bournemouth penalty area, but the defence always dealt with them.

The Magpies then eventually took the lead on 31 minutes as Gosney’s strike from range was saved by Harris, but Duarte Martens was there to slot in the rebound.

However, it was then the turn of the Magpies to lose their lead as Poppies equalised almost instantly.

Lawrence Healey allowed the ball to roll across him, and his shot took a big deflection past Valero.

Harris was then called into action again to stop Martens’ 25 yard effort, and the midfielder went close again soon after, narrowly shooting over after being found by an over the top through ball.

Bournemouth then should have arguably taken the lead, as Healey set Karol Rog through on goal, but Valero came out to make a huge save.

This was to cost the Poppies as Alresford took the lead once again just before half-time. Luke Dempsey headed home from a cross.

Alresford then could have had a two-goal advantage moments later, but Harris denied Martens as he ran through on goal, before Gosney’s follow-up effort was blocked.

Despite that setback Bournemouth were still encouraged by how they had kept pace with Alresford and had overall defended well.

This determination to match the league leaders was demonstrated by a nice piece of passing play that set up a shooting opportunity for Rog, but he was quickly closed down.

Healey then undoubtedly should have brought Poppies on level terms, as he took on a pass and drove past a defender, but his touch was too heavy and Valero beat him to the ball.

Alresford were playing the more controlled football at this point, but were not causing Harris or the defence too much trouble.

It was only in the 80th minute that another meaningful chance was fashioned as Harris got down to deny Martens.

However, the Magpies struck the final blow just a minute later.

Martens’ shot was parried by Harris, but only into the path of Craig Harding, who swept in easily.

The remaining ten minutes or so concluded without any major developments.

Bournemouth’s winless run continued, but this was a far more disciplined and determined performance than the last few games, and gives encouragement for the future.

Poppies Starting XI: Harris, Carkeet, Wilson, Santos, L.Harvey, Trimble, Zanin (Wildish), Nhemachena, Rog (Coulson), Healey (Voisey), J.Harvey