Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

QPR 2 Cherries 3

Date: 6 January 2024

Bournemouth overcame a 0-2 half time deficit to win this match 3-2.

I had a straightforward trip to the ground, had a good seat with a good view, but was surprised to see so many empty seats amongst the home stands. Evidently a home match against a Premier League team in the FA Cup isn’t sufficient of a draw for QPR fans.

In addition to the absence of some players involved in the Africa Cup of Nations, we rested several others. Neto, Smith and Solanke didn’t travel at all. Brooks was our Captain for the day (or, at least, until he was substituted!) which was nice to see. We played well first half and had the most scoring chances; Aarons and Scott both getting forward well and looking dangerous on Bournemouth’s right. And Travers looked like a safe pair of hands until – against the run of play – QPR scored two goals around the 40th minute. First Armstrong got the better of Senesi to score; then a second QPR shot deflected off Aarons. Both goals had come from QPR’s left. Needless to say, the mood wasn’t great among away fans at the break! 2-0 to QPR.

Iraola made two changes at half time. Kluivert came on for Brooks, playing on the right as Brooks had. More surprisingly Mepham was replaced by Cook in defence, with Scott moving to the left of the two holding midfield positions and Christie coming in to his right. It was Christie who made the biggest difference and surely we’d score now? Which we did, within three minutes of the restart! A Scott corner on Bournemouth’s left found Billing, who passed to Tavernier, who made it 2-1. A set piece. Ten minutes later, another corner from Scott – from the same side – went in off the head of Moore. 2-2. And twenty minutes from the end, a pass from Billing on Bournemouth’s left was met by Kluivert charging in from the right. 2-3, with all five goals being scored at the Bournemouth fans’ end of the pitch.

Late on, Moore was replaced by Zabarnyi, which resulted in a massive reorganisation: Zabarnyi for Cook, Cook for Scott, Scott for Christie, Christie for Billing, and Billing for Moore leading the line until he himself was replaced on the 88th minute by our number 51, Adu-Adjei.

In the last minute of added time QPR’s keeper, Begovic, went up for a free kick. It came to nothing and the referee blew her whistle for full time. QPR were out of the Cup. Begovic immediately ran back the length of the pitch to stand and applaud our fans – which went down well. But there was still to be one further (unexplained) incident – when Sinisterra gave his shirt to a group of QPR supporters! “What the f***ing hell was that?” sang the Bournemouth fans – but we never got an answer!

The team lined up as follows at the start of the game:

Aarons, Mepham, Senesi, Tavernier;
Scott, Cook;
Brooks, Philip, Sinisterra;

By the end the line-up was:

Aarons, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Tavernier;
Scott, Cook;
Kluivert, Christie, Sinisterra;

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