BOURNEMOUTH Poppies suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of league leaders Winchester City on Tuesday – but not before they had come close to staging an unlikely comeback at Victoria Park.

The visitors had a two-goal lead at the break and looked firmly in control before Jack Swann’s strike 15 minutes from time handed Poppies a lifeline. And it took a last-gasp effort from substitute Mark Lilley to seal City’s win.

City took the lead with their first attack of note on 12 minutes when Adam Roberts threaded a ball through for leading marksman Jamie White to prod home.

Chances were few and far between but Max Cream wasted a presentable opening after Luke Ingram’s through ball and City soon made Poppies pay when Andrew White finished Charlie Smeeton’s precision pass two minutes before the break.

The match appeared to be petering out until Swann rounded off a slick passing move for Poppies by drilling a low shot to Anderson’s left and the contest picked up pace in the closing stages.

Poppies went close to a leveller through Kane Daysh but were caught cold in stoppage time with Lilley bursting down the right and applying a simple finish.

Poppies: Vaughan, Crow, Jackson, Byrne, Daysh, Ingram, Cream, Rowley, Ewen, Swann, Hogan. Unused subs: Crutcher, Mena, Pinder, Phillipson-Masters, Frampton (g/k).