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Non-league: Vaughan delighted after fine Poppies victory
JUBLIANT manager Ken Vaughan saluted his Bournemouth Poppies players after watching them go from chumps to champs in the space of just five days.
Poppies, who had plumbed the depths by losing at struggling Lymington in midweek, scaled the heights by registering a superb 3-2 win over Wessex Premier leaders Downton.
The Robins had started the day three points ahead but were rocked after Scott Joyce and Elliot Ward had netted inside the opening 20 minutes to give Poppies a 2-0 lead.
Although Dan Western halved the arrears midway through the second half, Martin Warren struck to restore Poppies’ two-goal cushion with 16 minutes remaining.
Poppies goalkeeper Nic Jones pulled off a top-drawer save to keep out Western’s penalty before Matthew Holmes bagged a late consolation for the hosts.
Vaughan told the Daily Echo: “It was basically the same side as Tuesday. I think the lads realised just how badly they had performed and took it upon themselves to put it right.
“We went 2-0 up and were running the game. We had to dig deep after they had got one back and everybody worked really hard.
“We had to keep our concentration during the last 20 minutes because Downton threw everything at us. But it was a deserved win in the end.”
Vaughan had special praise for defender Gareth Batchelor and striker Connor Phillips: “Gareth was my man of the match. He kept it solid at the back and didn’t miss a thing all game.
“Connor ran himself into the ground and certainly had a battle on his hands. He worked off his tail and played a starring role in the win.”
Poppies: Jones, Ayrton, Lockyer, Ward, Batchelor, Saadi, Watt (Hales, 82), Phillipson-Masters, Joyce, Warren, Phillips (Turner, 90). Unused subs: Lepage, Martin, Vaughan (g/k).