Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Brentford 1 Cherries 0

Date: 9 February 2002

This was a better game than versus Cardiff, but there was no sign of the spirit the team had shown against Stoke seven short days earlier.

This was really a dreadful game for spectators. Neither side shone, the high winds sent the ball flying all over the place and no-one could seem to control it on the day. For visiting fans (now back on the open terrace in Ealing Road) the experience was made worse by the seriously inadequate refreshment and toilet facilities, the exposure to gale-force winds and - the final straw - a severe downpour just after the solitary goal, seven minutes before the end of the match.

The match began with a one minute silent tribute to Princess Margaret, who had died at 6.30am. The Bournemouth team, in a fitting gesture, kept their black tracksuit tops on for the silence. They then removed their tops to reveal that the "Bees" were wearing cherry red stripes while the "Cherries" were dressed in yellow and black like bees!

Bournemouth's goal chances were few and far between. The best opportunity was probably the one Holmes mis-hit in the second half. But as early as the eighth minute of the first half there had been a Feeney shot that went high and wide. A goal at that point could have resulted in a very different game.

The team was changed from recent games in several respects. Carl Fletcher was injured but Hughes was back. Elliott and Hayter were both rested. Foyewa wasn't even on the bench, presumably because he is not fit enough, but the presence of Kandol in the starting line-up suggested that there may have been an intention to use Amos and he was replaced by Tresor after the game plan had been agreed.

As usual I've listed the starting line-up, with my scores out of ten. Hayter replaced Feeney early in the second half, and towards the end the team's shape changed to a more familiar 3-5-2 when Elliott and Thomas were brought on as wing-backs, Holmes and Purches making way :

Stewart (7);
Tindall (7), Maher (7), Howe (7), Purches (7);
O'Connor (7), Hughes (8), Stock (7);
Feeney (8), Holmes (8), Kandol (7).

My 'man of the match' : Feeney.

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