BOSS Ken Vaughan felt the arrival of veteran midfielder Taffy Richardson had been a key factor in helping Bournemouth Poppies climb away from the Wessex Premier drop zone.
Poppies completed an indifferent campaign with a 5-1 victory over Whitchurch United at Victoria Park – their biggest victory of the season.
Richardson, who made five appearances after dual registering from Poole Town earlier this season, was instrumental as Poppies hauled themselves out of trouble after losing their first nine league games.
Vaughan said: “Taffy was an inspiration to everyone. He has been a winner throughout his career and was just what we needed, both on the pitch and in the dressing room. I can’t thank him enough for his input.”
Fawzi Saadi’s opener, coupled with a double from former Cherries apprentice Elliot Ward, gave Poppies a 3-0 interval lead before Sam Pekun struck to make it 4-0 on the hour.
And although Louis Macey pulled one back for Whitchurch, Saadi, another steadying influence on Poppies, added his second and their fifth to complete the scoring.
Poppies: Vaughan, Martinez, Jackson, Hales (Bassiriki, 70), Jacobs, Robinson, Rowley, Ward, Saadi, Pekun, Phillips. Unused subs: Pearce, Ayrton.
- Boss Graham Kemp was left to rue the final five minutes of the season as Hamworthy United surrendered the lead and went down 2-1 against AFC Portchester at the County Ground.
Dominic Allen’s penalty, awarded after Russell Cook had been brought down, looked set to see Hammers finish the campaign with a morale-boosting win.
But Jamie Musselwhite’s 85th-minute spot kick and a late winner from the same player saw the visitors battle back to take the points.
Kemp said: “The season went on for five minutes too long. But I don’t want it to take away from how we have finished though because it has been a great effort from the players during the second half of the season.”
Hammers: Ackerman, Penny, Legg, Brian, Walker, Corby, Allen, Hubbard, Osborne (Cole, 75), Cook (Diaper, 65), Hester. Unused subs: Haysom, Sturgess, Thomas (g/k).
- Depleted Christchurch were sunk without trace during a forgettable day trip to the Isle of Wight after hat-tricks from Charlie Smeeton and Tom Scovell spearheaded Newport to a 12-0 win.
Although Priory named a 16-strong squad, it is believed they journeyed across the Solent with just 10 men before their numbers diminished further following injury to Marcus Cullen in the second half.
Christchurch, however, avoided the ignominy of suffering a Wessex League record defeat with Newport unable to emulate Fleet’s 16-1 hammering of Petersfield in 1994-95.
Priory's named team: Field, Doe, Sullivan, Taylor, Steers, Cullen, Smith, Fairbrother, Barnes, Saul, Steer. Named subs: Burden, Baker, Owen, Dodd, Sidley-Adams.
- Verwood finished their campaign with a 0-0 draw against relegated Romsey Town at Potterne Park, while Ringwood were thumped 7-0 by Division One runners-up Andover Town.
Potters: Lynch, Evans, Murray, Molyneaux, Gajic, Hampton-Brown, Dyer, Rutten (Eaton, 75), N Saxby, Lovell, Elysee. Unused subs: Joy, D Saxby, Satterley, Hill.