Tag: BournemouthFC

“Portchester is another game we want to win”

Bournemouth Poppies manager Michael Cuffie believes that Saturday’s clash with Portchester is another chance for his side to pick up three points.



Dan Davis / Giancarlo Bocchetti.   The high-flying visitors AFC Portchester travel to Victoria Park in second place in the Wessex Premier standings, having suffered just one defeat since the start of the season. However, Poppies are just three points behind and host Saturday’s clash aiming to extend their unbeaten run in the league.

Last season, Saturday’s visitors recorded a comfortable sixth-place finish, whilst Poppies rounded off their campaign near the foot of the table. However, the change in Poppies’ fortunes has seen Mike Cuffie’s side suffer just a single defeat since August. “We have a bigger squad now and that helps when you look at the whole season we got ahead of us“, highlighted the assistant manager, Leo Cabeleira.

Last games

Recent fixtures between Poppies and Portchester leans heavily in the visitor’s favour, with the Winton-based outfit often failing to pick up a victory against the Royals. In August 2015, Portchester emerged comfortable 3-0 victors in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, before keeping another clean sheet the next season in a 2-0 win. The most recent clash between the two sides came in March this year, which resulted in a tightly-fought goalless stalemate.

When asked about the match,  boss Cuffie admitted: “It’s just another game, actually. That’s the way we’re looking at it. It’s another game we want to win.

Poppies enter the clash on a high after beating higher-league opposition in Gosport Borough on Tuesday. The Boro, currently contesting in the Southern Premier, took the lead twice under the floodlights before Poppies battled back to clinch victory on penalties. We had a really hard game on Tuesday, so it’s about recovery at the moment. The fact is that we’re doing well, and we’re attracting a lot of people.”

Tough decisions

The boss admitted that the Hampshire Senior Cup tie was tough on his squad, but that Poppies’ resurgence had also attracted several potential signings, Ive got some new signings at the moment. Whether they’ll be involved on Saturday or not, I’m not sure. The signings have made the squad stronger and have made my job more difficult.”

Bournemouth FC will recover midfielder Harry Cooper for this match, “We got Cooper back from his holidays and Ali (Zintany) is getting his fitness back. He started the season well, but he will become even better”, confirmed Cabeleira.

The season is long and competing on so many competitions at the same time, is something that the coaching staff is very aware of to keep the fitness in the squad ,  “You can’t just perform with eleven players, you need 18, 19 to compete. Obviously, you’ll have injuries and suspensions and you need to make your squad as strong as possible, so you don’t miss the players that have to step out the side for whatever reason” explained Cuffie

Kick off at Victoria Park on Saturday is 3:00pm. Tickets are available from the office at Victoria Park. Adults £6, Concessions £4, Programme £1, Children free admission. Come and join us! #UpthePoppies.

Cuffie “This is how far we’ve come”

Poppies manager Michael Cuffie reflected on the progress of his side after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Gosport Borough.

Despite trailing to the Southern Premier side until the final three minutes, Poppies capped off another Hampshire Senior Cup comeback to triumph emphatically on spot-kicks.

The second-round clash looked set to end in the visitors’ favour, before a last-gasp Poppies equaliser sparked scenes of jubilation at Victoria Park. Fawzi Saadi then smashed home the decisive penalty to send the Winton-based outfit into the third round.

Cuffie admitted that he was confident about his side’s chances heading into the clash: “What a game. What a result. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty confident before the game. I was also confident during the game, we played some really nice stuff.”

The manager also emphasised the improvement among his ranks, as Poppies ensured another late victory to surge forward in another cup competition. But this is how far we’ve come. Two leagues above, and they were hanging on at 2-1. We scored in the last three minutes to take it to penalties – job done!

It’s nice. All our hard work, all the work behind the scenes, everything we’re putting together, it’s all working very well. It’s about enjoying it when you win.” also said with enthusiasm.

Gosport twice edged into the lead during a relentless showing at a windy Victoria Park. On 15 minutes, a corner whipped into the Poppies’ penalty area was headed beyond Sam Jones.

Manny Ohameje then cropped up at the far post to prod home the leveller, before the visitors retook the lead after Jones’ superb parry was slotted into the empty net from close range.

Cuffie revealed what he said to his players during the interval: We were 2-1 down, and I told them at half-time how pleased I was. They were sitting with their heads down because they don’t have the losing mentality.

We’re not used to losing, and that’s what keeps them going. Fair play to them, they got what they deserved because they deserved to win the game.” admitted Cuffie. 

Déjà vu

A tightly-contested second half saw Poppies squander several fine openings, with  Fawzi Saadi, Mickey Finch and Ali Zintany all forcing the Gosport goalkeeper into a string of fine saves But on the stroke of 90 minutes, chaos in the visiting penalty area ensued and a red and white shirt was on hand to smash home and send the tie to penalties.

Similar to the first-round drama at Bashley, a last-gasp goal was capped off with five unerring spot kicks. A plunging stop from Jones down to his left sealed Poppies’ spot in the next round.

After his heroics, including a breath-taking stop as Gosport searched for a winner in additional time, goalkeeper Jones admitted he was ‘ecstatic’.

I’m feeling great. I had a feeling he was going to place his penalty, and as soon as it came off his foot I knew I’d save it. It feels brilliant to be in the next round.