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Thursday 22nd March 2012 ko 7.45pm

Wessex League Premier Division

BOURNEMOUTH FC 1 (Ewen 90p)

TOTTON & ELING 0

Att 72

Entry & Programme £6

I wonder why Bournemouth don’t rename themselves Bournemouth Poppies. They must have heartily sick of being mistaken for AFC Bournemouth, who after all used to be Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic. Still the Poppies plough their furrow on the Poole side of the Dorset Town, which according to a a 2007 survey by First Direct was found to be the happiest place in the UK, with 82% of people questioned saying they were happy with their lives. The comedian and actor Tony Hancock lived in the Winton area of Bournemouth for much of his early life.

Victoria Park, retains the feel of a public park, despite hosting Step 5 football. There’s no turnstile or pay box, the entrance fee is collected in the bar, where the excellent programme is sold. The stand is worthy of note, being a part of a single building encompassing the changing rooms, and bar area. Its highly unusual and works well, with the bench seating affording a good view of the action.

Except on this occasion we didn’t get much! The reason for the Thursday fixture was good old fashioned end-of-season congestion, caused by the Poppies’ FA Vase exploits. In a poor game both sides were thankful to their goalkeepers in the first half as Poppies stopper Kenny Vaughan made three saves, while his opposite number Steve Mowthorpe clawed debutant Sean Leadbetter’s header out of the bottom corner. Phil Ward kept out another Leadbetter effort with a goal-line clearance before half time.

In the second half, Mowthorpe’s brillance was all that kept the Poppies at bay. He produced two first class saves, the second, from Dave Ewen, was worthy for a far higher level.  Luke Ingram was denied a Poppies penalty seven minutes from time but when the hosts were handed a late spot kick for the weakest of challenges, Ewen made no mistake to seal the points. That was harsh on the visitors, and especially on young Mowthorpe who deserved a clean sheet. Seconds later, it was full time, and one of the linesmen had to intervene as one of the Totton & Eling coaching staff took exception to a comment from the stand and decided to negotiate the point by physical means. He was led away before anything untoward happened.