Report by Carlo Simone (@CSimoneJourno)
A 6-2 defeat to Hamworthy United on Wednesday night was swiftly forgotten as Bournemouth secured a 3-0 win over Cowes Sports.
Two efforts from River Smith and one from Ali Zintany were enough to get the three points.
Michael Cuffie made three changes to the side that faced Hamworthy United in midweek. Langston, Makhloufi and Saadi made way for Elsom, Khider and Frost.
The Poppies made the perfect start and took the lead within the first 20 seconds. River Smith was played through on goal and hit a smart finish low to the goalkeeper’s right.
This seemed to kick the Yachtsmen into gear as they almost found a response. A measured cross found the head of Jez Conway who could only hit the post.
From a corner in the sixth minute Cowes almost found a way in again. Another header was cleared off the line from the set piece.
Conway proved to be a difficult problem for the Poppies defence to deal with. Firstly, he attempted a speculative effort from 40 yards which Sam Jones easily dealt with, before playing a smart pass through on goal to captain Gareth Bricknell. Thankfully Bricknell’s effort was soft and Jones made the save.
Cowes were truly in the ascendency in those first 20 minutes, and once again almost found an equaliser when Conway connected with an audacious scissor-kick. Fortunately for Bournemouth it flew just wide of the post.
Poppies made Cowes pay for their missed chances by extending their advantage on 31 minutes. Zintany hit a soft effort from range that the Cowes goalkeeper, Edwards, should have dealt with. However, he could only get one hand to it and it rolled in.
The Yachtsmen were far more muted in their attacking play after that, with their last meaningful effort from the half coming from a cross from Connor Furnidge, after some great trickery on the left- hand side, but Jones comfortably claimed.
In the end Bournemouth ended the half stronger. Firstly, Smith did brilliantly to make room for himself to have a run at goal, but he dragged his shot wide. Then he had another effort superbly blocked by Charlie Allen after room opened up for him in the penalty area.
In the second half, Poppies picked up from where they left off. Khider had a deflected attempt go out for a corner, from which Ron Frost headed just over.
In the 59th minute, Cooper played a lovely pass into Zintany, who could only fire straight at Edwards from a tight angle. When the clearance came back to Frost his effort hit the bar.
Zintany had another chance soon after, as controlled passing down the right-hand side was shifted over to him on the left, but his low shot was blocked.
Frost again almost scored a third, as a hit a free-kick low to Edwards’ right-hand side which he saved superbly. Edwards had to get down low again soon after, after a cushioned Speers header.
As the game became tighter in the closing stages, Smith finished the game as a contest with his second of the afternoon. The ball was played along the area for the striker, and he finished smartly across Edwards.
In those final ten minutes, Furnidge tried his luck again from range, hitting his shot high and wide, whilst substitute Langston went closer with a long-range effort from the outside of his boot.
The final whistle blew soon after, the memories of the defeat to Hamworthy United soon fading after a confident display from Bournemouth Poppies.