Perhaps it was a case of nerves, or maybe the steely resolve of the visitors from county Durham. Whatever the explanation, Bournemouth blew their chance for a semi final trip to Wembley in the FA Vase. In windy conditions, on a pitch dappled with sunshine, Bournemouth’s second largest and longest established club fought tooth and nail for an outing on the hallowed turf of London’s Wembley stadium.
Playing in red, Bournemouth Poppies took on the all-whites of West Auckland, a club steeped in world-cup winning history: They were crowned Sir Thomas Lipton trophy winners in 1909 and 1911, a competition dubbed the first world cup.
Poppies Manager Ken Vaughan painted his outfit as the underdogs in the match-day programme, despite their home advantage. During large spells of the first half, kicking with the wind, the Poppies looked anything but, displaying creativity from the flanks and muscle in midfield.
All that was lacking was a spark in front of goal, and the match remained goalless at the break.
The Poppies found themselves penned in their own half after the interval, a combination of desperate defending, committed goalkeeping and wayward finishing keeping West Auckland from taking a deserved lead.
Ten minutes from time Bournemouth finally capitulated; a red card followed by two goals in quick succession from the visitors. The disgruntled home support quickly dispersed following the final whistle, with the FA Vase out of the reach of Bournemouth, for another year at least.[portfolio_slideshow pagerpos=bottom navpos=disabled]
Photos: Mark Wilson