by Carlo Simone (@CSimoneJourno)
Two late goals were needed for Bournemouth to overcome Blackfield & Langley in the Hampshire Senior Cup.
Firstly, River Smith equalised in the 77th minute after Charlie Urry had put the Watersiders in front just before half time. Then Charlie Langston struck past the goalkeeper deep into added time after being played through on the counter.
Blackfield & Langley play one division above the Poppies, and their quality was immediately apparent as the game got underway.
There was a real zip and urgency to their attacking play, which saw some nice pieces of inter-passing on display.
However, Bournemouth were resolute defensively and were able to fend them off, and began to fashion their own chances.
A long punt upfield from Sam Jones found River Smith, whose attempt to lob the goalkeeper went over the crossbar.
Blackfield and Langley then went close, as a great cross was headed narrowly headed over by Urry.
Jones was then called into action on 25 minutes, as a defence-splitting pass required him to come out and deny the Blackfield & Langley attacker.
Bournemouth then arguably had their best chance of the half as a delightful cross from Ali Zintany was met by Fawzi Saadi, but unfortunately River Smith unintentionally blocked his effort.
The Watersiders then flashed another shot just wide, after their number 8 tried his luck from 25 yards.
As the half drew to a close, Blackfield & Langley edged in front. Urry was played into the area, where he cut inside and finished beyond Jones.
This was a sucker punch to Bournemouth right before the break, but their resolve was not broken.
Stepan Neronski managed to intercept a pass and drive into the penalty area before being outmuscled off the ball, and River Smith’s strike from 20 yards was straight at the goalkeeper.
Blackfield and Langley then missed a great opportunity to double their advantage. A pinpoint cross found the number 11 six yards out, but he somehow hit his volley over the crossbar.
Chris Speers was then required to clear a downward header off the line from a Blackfield and Langley free-kick.
The Poppies used those let-offs to attack with reinvigorated energy. Neronski was played in on goal but his powerful low effort was denied by the feet of the goalkeeper.
Neronski was then tripped in the area minutes later and a penalty was awarded.
Substitute Charlie Langston stepped up, but his effort to the left of the goalkeeper was well-saved.
Instead of being disheartened by this setback Bournemouth then found a way to equalise.
A lofted ball found River Smith, who controlled in brilliantly and struck a powerful effort across goal to continue his great scoring streak.
Just as it looked as if the tie was going to penalties, Langston redeemed himself for the penalty miss deep into added time.
Neronski kept the ball in following a clearance, and shifted the ball after to the left-hand side on the counter where Langston was in acres of space.
The midfielder ran onto it and smashed his effort low to the goalkeeper’s left, to send the players into ecstatic celebration.
The final whistle blew moments later, and Bournemouth could be proud of their determined display against higher league opposition.