|FRUSTRATED: Poppies |
boss Ken Vaughan
AS much as Bournemouth Poppies will be sick of the sight of Lymington Town for one season, Ken Vaughan’s underachievers could learn a lot from the Southampton Road strugglers.
Andy Leader’s men completed a Wessex Premier double over the Poppies to put back to back league wins together for the first time this season and move out of the bottom two.
Their six point haul from matches against Bournemouth doubles their win tally for the campaign as the hard working New Foresters turned their visitors over through sheer determination.
Town shocked the Poppies with a 3-0 win at Victoria Park on the opening day but failed to win again in the league until December.
Leader was forced to completely rebuild his new side over the summer and is finally starting to reap the rewards, but in truth this was another Bournemouth display that was well short of what was required as inconsistency continues to frustrate Vaughan.
Having reached the FA Vase quarter-finals last term, Poppies were expected to mount a serious challenge this season with the likes of Scott Joyce and Fawzi Saadi on their team sheet.
But Joyce’s injury woes, along with the loss of dependable defender Wayne Crutcher to work commitments and popular keeper Max Frampton to Christchurch have left Vaughan juggling players at an alarming rate.
And the inconsistency in selection has made its way to the pitch, a fact proved by Poppies’ latest setback.
The visitors’ defence were absent without leave as Roy Viner and Luke Watts missed gilt-edged chances with close range headers in the opening ten minutes before Sam James flashed a shot narrowly wide of the far post with Kenny Vaughan Jnr stranded.
Former Bashley midfielder Matt Vokes waltzed through the middle of the park with ease to flash a shot just wide as the Poppies rarely looked like competing and it came as no surprise when Lymington finally got their breakthrough via another gift.
A poor clearance came back into the penalty area where Fawzi Saadi needlessly clattered into Vokes to concede the softest of spot-kicks which James duly despatched.
Watts cut into acres of space and floated an effort just wide and Poppies failed to heed the warning as another Viner effort whistled across goal on the half hour.
Bournemouth finally found their composure, stringing some passes together before the break but made little impact until the restart.
But Lymington were left to rue missing their multitude of chances two minutes after the break as Poppies hit back and seemed set to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Saadi made up for his earlier aberration by planting Connor Phillips’ cut back low to Stuart Williamson’s left, levelling the match much to the relief of the visiting contingent. Poppies had got away with their first half pummelling, or so they thought.
The visitors were on the front foot but got caught by a sucker punch just after the hour as a long throw found Viner at the near post to turn Ollie Phillipson-Masters and rifle home via the crossbar.
It was another preventable goal and it hit Poppies hard. Vaughan’s men never recovered from the setback as a buoyant Town sought victory with gusto.
And the win the hosts craved was finally sealed with seven minutes to play as a half cleared corner fell to defender James Fry on the edge of the penalty area whose tame effort should have been saved but crept past Vaughan Jnr.
However, there could be little argument that both teams got exactly what they deserved and the contrasting looks on the players' faces as they trudged off the pitch told its own story.
While they have struggled this season, Lymington have never thrown in the towel and their recent run is testament to that. As for Poppies, the white flag has been waved too often by talented but, at times, half-hearted players. Those behind the scenes at Victoria Park deserve better.
*POPPIES boss Ken Vaughan blasted his players in his post-match interview for the Bournemouth Echo. His thoughts can be found here.
LYMINGTON TOWN: Williamson, Baker, Blake (Gray 90+2), Fry, Ansell, Rizzo, James (Sen 70), Vokes, R Jones, Viner (Fairhurst 80), Watts.
Goals: James 25(p), Viner 62, Fry 83.
BOURNEMOUTH: Vaughan, Ayrton, Lockyer, Ward, Batchelor, Saadi (Bautista 85), Martinez (Warren 73), Phillipson-Masters, Joyce, Caslake (Clarke 64), Phillips. Unused subs: Watt, N Jones (g/k).
Goal: Saadi 47.
STAR MAN: Rhys Jones (Lymington Town)
Hard to pick anyone out from a fine team display, but Lymington’s pocket rocket worked tirelessly and showed more desire to win the ball against players with greater physical stature. Watts and James were a thorn in Poppies’ side all night too.