Written by Carlo Simone (@CSimonejourno)
Bournemouth were knocked out of the FA Vase last night, as they went down 3-1 to United Services Portsmouth.
Poppies did initially take the lead against the run of play, as Jack Kinge-Phillips’ cross went straight in.
However, the Wessex Division One side deservedly equalised midway through the first half as Dec Seidon scored.
Andy Todd then put the RN in front minutes later, and James Franklyn rounded off the scoring early on in the second half.
The original tie, on 30th October, was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, so it was rearranged to be played on the last day before a month-long national lockdown began.
The venue was also changed to nearby AFC Portchester’s Crest Finance Stadium, so a larger crowd could be accommodated.
USP opened the match with confidence as Seidon, Todd, Harry Sargent and Callum Glen all sent efforts wide of Sam Jones’ goal.
Jones also had to be in top form to deny two efforts from Tom Cain, as USP piled on the early pressure.
It was perhaps unsurprising to see the attacking prowess from USP, considering they had already defeated Wessex Premier Division sides such as Tadley Calleva, Brockenhurst and AFC Portchester in cup competitions this season.
It was perhaps a surprise then when, against the run of play, Poppies took the lead.
Kinge-Phillips was in possession on the left-hand side, and sent an innocuous-looking cross into the penalty area.
However, it sailed over the head of goalkeeper Tom Price and nestled into the net.
This began a better spell of play for Poppies, who broke up USP’s attacks in far more often.
Liam House then went agonisingly close to scoring a second, as his strike across goal whistled past the post.
Dan Seymour then saw his lob over Price be cleared off the line by a USP defender, after the goalkeeper had dropped a ball under pressure near the edge of his area.
USP grew back into the match though as they deservedly equalised on 33 minutes.
Seidon received the ball on the edge of the area, took one touch and fired home, with Jones getting a hand to it, but being unable to keep it out.
Just four minutes later and USP had their second. Franklyn played in Todd who drilled across goal into the bottom corner.
Bournemouth needed to up their game in the second half if they were to win the tie, but USP carried on in the same vein after the restart.
Jones denied Liam Kyle’s effort across goal, and Sonny Harnett-Balkwill headed against the crossbar from the following corner.
Todd then should have scored his second of the match, with his effort from three yards being deflected onto the crossbar after some heroic last-ditch blocking.
Martin Warren saw Bournemouth’s best chance of the half fall his way, with his header hitting the crossbar.
Inevitably, USP’s third came moments later. A ball was flicked on to Franklyn who slotted past Jones in the one-on-one.
The rest of the game went by with little attacking threat from Bournemouth, as USP looked to add to their scoreline.
Seidon’s dink over Jones hit the side-netting, Glen fired over, and Jones denied Franklyn with his legs in a flurry of chances.
In the end Bournemouth denied USP from scoring any more, but the scoreline could have been far greater in USP’s favour.
When the season hopefully resumes in December, Poppies will have Wessex Premier Division action to focus on.
Poppies Starting XI: Jones, Seymour (Chambers), Proudley, Nicholls (C), L.Harvey, Trimble, Kinge-Phillips, Wilson (Matthews), Warren, Norrish (Fishlock)
Subs: Phelps, Chambers, Matthews, Fishlock, J.Harvey