Photo credit: Southampton FC photographer James Bridle
Report from Berk Uyal at Victoria Park
Bournemouth Poppies are out of the Hampshire Senior Cup after a 2-0 loss against Southampton at Victoria Park in the quarter finals.
It was a cold Tuesday evening at Victoria Park, with the Poppies looking to continue their journey in the cup.
In the early stages of the game, Southampton looked more dangerous coming forward. The visitors had a shot which flew beyond goalkeeper Sam Jones, before being cleared off the line.
Poppies defender Manny Ohameje then gave away a free kick outside the penalty area, and was booked for the offence. Saints’ captain Tom O’Connor curled the ball past the wall and past Jones, putting the visitors into the lead within 15 minutes.
Dom Falco had almost responded to the opener within five minutes after the ball was flicked towards him, but his lofted attempt went wide.
The away side continued to pressure, forcing a Poppies defender to lose the ball. Jonathan Afolabi sent his shot straight into Jones’ hands, however.
Before the half-time whistle, the host’s skipper Ron Frost flashed the ball just centimetres wide from a header.
With that action came the whistle for the interval, the difference between the two sides slender but with the visitors showing more quality than Poppies.
As the second half commenced, Poppies came close to an equaliser with Fawzi Saadi, but the veteran wideman fired an effort just wide.
Southampton continued their dominance from the first half into the second period of the game.
Poppies made their first substitution in the 56th minute, with Ali Zintany on for Shiv Roushbaiani.
The hosts then increased their pressure through Frost, after an impressive cross into River Smith, but the captain missed the ball narrowly – an important chance which would have drawn Poppies level.
Poppies then appealed for a foul after a crunching challenge on Aziz Aldahayan, but the referee was unmoved and waved play on.
With the last few minutes of the game ticking down, Southampton looked to be the better side and duly sealed their semi-final spot after Jamie Bradley-Green converted from a corner.
In added time, Poppies made a second substitution – Jake Harvey replacing midfielder Chia Khider.
And the referee then blew the final whistle, forcing Poppies to say farewell to the Hampshire Senior Cup.
The hosts gave a courageous performance, but Southampton’s quality proved the difference throughout the 90 minutes.
Poppies will now be looking to bounce back with three points next week at Horndean.
Poppies: Jones, Aldhayan, Elsom, Wensley, Ohameje, Khider (Harvey), Frost, Roushbaiani (Zintany), Saadi, Falco, Smith
Unused subs: Stacey, Garcia, Huston-Mendy