Classy Cherries pick up promotion
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sean O'Driscoll's men showed pace, skill and finish to dispatch The Red Imps at the Millennium Stadium in a entertaining seven-goal contest on Saturday.
The early stages saw plenty of commitment but little cutting edge, with Bournemouth's Wade Elliott going closest to scoring but his cheeky backheel was deflected away.
With the match starting to bog down into a tight contest, Bournemouth's Steve Fletcher made it 1-0 with a great volley from a Marcus Browning knockdown past Lincoln City goalkeeper Alan Marriott.
Their lead lasted just six minutes as The Red Imps equalised when Stuart Bimson's corner found Ben Futcher, who powered his header home to make it 1-1.
However, Bournemouth finished the half strongly and restored their lead when Lincoln failed to clear their lines.
From the left, Garreth O'Connor's teasing cross into the six yard box found an unmarked Carl Fletcher and the Cherries captain glanced his header home to make it 2-1 at the break.
The second saw a four-goal feast with Bournemouth breaking out to a secure a three-goal lead, starting with Stephen Purches's goal after The Cherries broke from their own box and Elliott's run to the Lincoln byline saw him play the ball back for the finish.
Four minutes later, they made it 4-1 as O'Connor got the ball on the left and after getting past Futcher in the Lincoln box, his low shot drove past Marriott into the far corner of the net.
Keith Alexander's side suffered more frustration after striker Dene Cropper rounded Cherries goalkeeper Neil Moss but with the net gaping, his weak shot was cleared on the line by Carl Fletcher.
But the Sincil Bank side got a goal back with a fine header from Mark Bailey after substitute Chris Cornelly crossed in from the right.
However, any hopes of a Lincoln fightback were dashed when Carl Fletcher scored his second goal a minute later with another glancing header from a free-kick to make it 5-2.
Lincoln nearly made it a bit of a grandstand finish when substitute Simon Yeo had a close-range header saved by Moss's feet and from the rebound, Paul Mayo headed the ball agonisingly off the crossbar to safety.
The final whistle brought Bournemouth's deserved promotion back to Division Two while credit should be given to Lincoln City, who went from near bankruptcy a year ago to near promotion this season.
Click below for match stats:
Division Three play-off final
Bournemouth 5-2 Lincoln