Monday, 24 September 2012

Report: Christchurch 3-0 Bournemouth - Wessex Premier

100% RECORD: Graham Kemp
CHRISTCHURCH are made of sterner stuff these days as their latest victory, a 3-0 success over local rivals Bournemouth Poppies, proves.

The same fixture last season saw Graham Kemp’s men lose 2-0 as the Poppies worked hard to stifle Priory’s passing game before preying on their defensive frailties.

It was a different story this year, though, as the Hurn Bridge outfit stood up to be counted in a clash where the Wessex Premier’s only 100% record remained intact.

Russell Cook’s hat-trick secured the points, but it would be harsh on his team mates to single out the former Poole Town frontman – indeed there was much more to Cook’s game than his goals on the day.

Bournemouth were clearly up for their derby day, hoping to upset the host’s perfect start to 2012-13 with ex-Priory striker Martin Warren spurning a decent chance after only 18 seconds, shinning his effort wide after James Wilson’s throughball.

Christchurch quickly upped the ante though, bombarding Poppies’ centre halves Steve Llewelyn and Charlton Clarke with a series of testing crosses from all areas.

Sam Griffin was in the thick of the action, seeing a goalbound shot cannon off Llewelyn and drift agonisingly wide before drawing two point blank saves from stopper Kenny Vaughan.

Scott Joyce wasted the visitors’ only other clear opening of the half as his low daisy cutter rolled wide of the far post after a slick one-two with early substitute Sam Purdy.

Cue more incisive Priory passing with man-of-the-moment Harry Cornick harassing everyone in his wake with pace and purpose – the wonder winger’s mazy run was just about halted by Wilson in the 38th minute, but he turned provider soon after, taking full advantage of some static defending.

Clarke had two chances to clear a Christchurch corner but only nodded as far as the 17-year-old maestro who crossed for Cook to plant his header inside the near post with ease.

That goal, three minutes before half time, opened the second half floodgates as Bournemouth were battered into submission.

Veteran Mark Smith pelted the crossbar with a 20 yard free kick, Griffin saw another deflected effort creep wide of a gaping net and Cornick skewed wide after some sublime footwork on the edge of the box within ten minutes of the restart.

The Christchurch of old would have rued so many missed chances, but Cook’s second doubled their lead, neatly finishing across Vaughan following Smith’s measured throughball into the right channel.

Cook was in the mood for more and Poppies struggled to handle his movement as their stoic resistance tired as the match went on – another clever run saw Priory’s number nine peel into the left channel and curl his finest effort of the day around Vaughan for number three.

Griffin missed a sitter and Smith’s shot squirmed wide as Christchurch didn’t let up in the closing stages – this was a clear signal of intent.

Poppies, in many ways, looked better than some of their early season showings – they certainly competed for 45 minutes, but the plaudits stay with the Priory. Are Christchurch title contenders this year? It is early days, but as their soft centre gradually gets tougher it becomes harder and harder to rule them out. 

*Post match thoughts from Priory boss Graham Kemp and Poppies assistant Stuart Underwood with the Bournemouth Echo can be found here

CHRISTCHURCH: Collins, Thompson, Legg, Crutchley ( c ), Lloyd (Burt 82), Yelland, Smith, Griffin (Cullen 79), Cook (Osborne 72), Burden, Cornick.

Unused subs: Kittle, Hicks (g/k).

Goals: Cook 42, 56, 68.

BOURNEMOUTH: Vaughan, Wilson ( c ), Lockyer, Llewelyn (Saadi 72), Clarke, Corby, Maguire (Purdy 31), Phillipson-Masters, Joyce, Warren (Swann 82), Jackson.

Unused subs: Coverley, Frampton (g/k).

STAR MAN: Russell Cook (Christchurch)

Okay, so he has to take the man-of-the-match award, but only just – so many sparkled for the home side in a real, physical test. Sam Griffin, Harry Cornick and James Burden were unplayable at times, while old fox Mark Smith whipped so many teasing crosses into the box and Jason Collins dominated his penalty area at the other end, but scoring all three goals decides it in favour of Cook after his surprise inclusion at the expense of Ben Osborne. 

1 comment:

  1. Does it look like the Cooky of old has finally got his edge back?
    I do hope so.
    Lovely guy.