Poppies’ narrow 3-2 win over Baffin Milton Rovers showcases how far the team has come following a poor 2017/18 campaign which saw them finish just outside the bottom three.
Since the turn of the year, the Winton-based team have suffered only one defeat in all competitions, that being a 4-1 home defeat to Bashley last month.
Last night’s 3-2 win against Baffin Milton Rovers, merely demonstrated the team’s new found resolve since the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
The Poppies’ finished the 2017/18 season in 18th place, narrowly avoiding the threat of relegation into the tenth tier of English Football.
They ended the season with a meagre 42 points from 42 games played.
Nine months later, and the side has already surpassed that total with last nights victory meaning the side reached the 50-point mark for the season.
Now up to third in the league, fans are looking forward to seeing where the remainder of the season takes them.
So what has changed?
Last nights performance showed to all fans in attendance, just how much confidence the side are currently playing with.
The Poppies went into this game looking to build on Saturday’s 2-0 win at Christchurch.
They dominated the first-half at Victoria Park and were rewarded with a three-goal cushion at the interval.
Striker River Smith’s goal on the brink of half-time had an air of arrogance about it as he rounded the keeper to score Poppies’ third goal of the night.
It was almost as if there was never any doubt in his mind that he was going to score.
You could sense in the ground just how much the fans were loving what they were seeing from the team in red and white.
Despite conceding two late goals, the home fans never seemed to panic with them having a new found belief in their team to get the job done no matter what.
Manager Michael Cuffie echoed these opinions saying: “The boys are enjoying their football so much, there is confidence throughout the side that they can win matches even if they succumb to going a goal down.”
So just how high can this Poppies team finish this season?
Their best ever finish in the Wessex League came back in 1995 when they achieved second place missing out on promotion to Fleet Town.
I’d love to stay in that top three but it is not going to be easy, there are some top teams in and around us.”
When asked about expectations for the remainder the season, Cuffie refused to get carried away when he said: “I’d love to stay in that top three but it is not going to be easy, there are some top teams in and around us. If we do it will be a fantastic season for us.”
It’s clear how proud Cuffie is of his players, and on such a low budget, if the Poppies were hold on to a top three spot, it would be an outstanding achievement for the club.
History of the club:
The timeline below looks at the clubs history since its formation back in 1875.