MATCH REPORT: Hampshire FA Senior Cup Final sponsored by BSA Regal
A.F.C. Bournemouth 2 Eastleigh F.C. 2 - Bournemouth won 5-3 on penalties
The Hampshire Football Association Senior Cup competition sponsored by BSA Regal for season 2019-2020 kicked off on 13th August 2019 and finished at A.F.C. Totton's Snows Stadium on Tuesday 4th May 2021. This long awaited clash between between A.F.C. Bournemouth and Eastleigh F.C. was played on an extremely good pitch provided by the host club. Unfortunately the weather did its best to spoil the game with high winds and cold heavy rain. The very fact that the game was played behind closed doors because of the currant Covid-19 restrictions, it was expected to be without much atmosphere, how wrong could that be! A few avid Eastleigh fans managed to either find or bring a ladder along the the ground and climbed on top of a steel container situated just outside the stadium where they had a pretty good view of the game. Despite their encouragement they went home disappointed after all their efforts. The game turned out to be a classic with Bournemouth's goalkeeper winning the Man of the Match Award sponsored by BSA Regal. It is quite rare for a 'keeper to win this award and very rare for one to win the award for scoring a goal and not for saving one!
Although Bournemouth had the majority of the possession throughout the match they looked as if they would rue their missed chances whilst Eastleigh grabbed their few attempts on goal. It was Bournemouth who started started the strongest and it is fair to say at this early period of the match Eastleigh took the lead in the 4th minute with their first attack and against the run of play. A cross came in from the right and Abdulai Baggie headed home from close range.
Bournemouth hit back and Corey Jordan headed over the bar and a few minutes later they appealed for a penalty from a corner that Eastleigh failed to clear after three attempts. The Referee, however, turned down their appeals. Bournemouth continued to push and Christian Saydee shot from just outside the penalty area only to have the ball deflected for a corner. In the next attack Keelan O'Connell put in a run and shot across the keeper only for him to get a hand to tip it over the bar. In the 19th minute Eastleigh had a chance to double their score when awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, Baggie stepped up but put the shot just wide.
Bournemouth now had another chance to equalise when Saydee sent in a cross but Jordan Zemura headed just wide. Their breakthrough came in the 32nd minute when they were awarded a free kick which Gavin Kilkenny curled home.
With their tails up Bournemouth sought to go ahead and Jaidon Anthony skipped passed a couple of defenders but his swerving shot was just wide of the far post.
It was Eastleigh, however, who had the best chance to go ahead when a clumsy tackle by Dinsh Gillela on Lewis Beale in the 38th minute resulted in a penalty. Dan Smith took the spot kick but 'keeper Mark Travers managed to get a hand to the ball low down to his right and clear.
Eastleigh started the second half like the first and scored early on when Ben Scorey shot powerfully and found a gap in a crowded penalty area to put them 2-1 in the 47th minute.
In the 59th minute Bournemouth made a substitution bringing on Ryan Glover for Saydee and a minute later the Eastleigh 'keeper Ross Flintey denied a good shot from Bournemouth's Anthony.
As Bournemouth continued to press Flintey once again saved Eastleigh when he scrambled a shot away from O'Connell and again saved from Anthony.
In the 79th minute Eastleigh made a change bringing on Harris Feltham for Tom Blair.
With time ticking away the match suddenly took a fantastic turn. Bournemouth were awarded a free kick in the 89th minute and their 'keeper Travers, throwing caution to the wind ran up into the enemy's penalty area and calmly headed home the equaliser! And so ended the match thus initiating the dreaded penalty shoot out.
Bournemouth were the first to go and went one up and then Travers strolled into the goal and saved Eastleigh's first penalty which it turned out to be the cup winning save as all the other penalties were scored giving Bournemouth the win 5 – 3.
The Referee was Rob Ablitt and his two Assistants were Tom Berry and Steve Hawkes. The Reserve Official was Marcus Carmichael.
A.F.C. Bournemouth: Mark Travers, Dinesh Gillela (captain), Jordan Zemura, Luke Nippard, Corey Jordan, Ben Greenwood, Brooklyn Genesini, Gavin Killkeny, Keelan O'Connell, Christian Saydee, Jaidon Anthony, Ryan Glover, Joe Besant, Matt Burgess, Jake Adams and Abdi Mohamed. Manager, Shaun Cooper and Physio, All Barlow.
Eastleigh F.C.: Ross Flitney, Callum Baughan, Jack Torniainiaen, Dan Bradshaw, Tom Bragg, Ben Scorey, Tom Blair, Tom Bearwish, Dan Smith, Abdulai Baggie, Lewis Beale, Charlie Phelpott, Archie Wilcox, Aime Camden-Fotso, Harris Feltham and Josh Taylor. Manager, Ben Strivens and Physio, Andy Cook.