Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Colchester 2 Cherries 1

Date: 27 April 1999

Another disastrous night for the Cherries, leaving most supporters with the view that reaching the play-offs is no longer a realistic possibility.

The team started well and had a good scoring opportunity shortly before Gillingham's opener. But Colchester were quick on the break, only Hayter managed to get back into defence in time, and somehow he netted the ball.

Bournemouth's goal was an own goal too, but at least this one was with the run of play. We had just been awarded four consecutive corners and then a throw in. Then we were awarded another corner, and the ball went in. This was well deserved because by then the Cherries had recovered from the disappointment of Hayter's goal and were showing some good touches. Huck was particularly impressive with his speed and the quality of his passing. Cox was also fast in getting forward, but Bournemouth supporters inevitably get nervous about the defence situation when he does so. Howe also showed some good touches in both defence and attack. Indeed no Bournemouth player had a particularly bad first half, although Hughes was disappointing compared to his form the previous Saturday.

I would have substituted Rawlinson for Hughes at half time, but actually he remained on the bench for the full ninety minutes. The other two substitutes were both used as Bournemouth "went for broke". (Indeed both teams did, because Colchester were hovering near a relegation spot.) Unfortunately Lovell didn't really get involved and Griffin - replacing Hayter on the right - was useless. He spent half the time in too wide a position on the touchline, being ignored by the other players, in the style of Jason Brissett(!); and the other half playing so close to Neil Young that passing between them was pointless.

Someone muttered in my ear that one team or other was going to clinch it, but you couldn't tell which one; unless you've seen it all before!

Huck was exhausted soon after the break, but in fairness he is apparently still carrying an injury.

Fans were divided afterwards as to whether the run of poor results is down to the absence of Bailey or of Vincent - hopefully it's the former because at least he will return!

The team lined up as follows (my scores out of ten):

Ovendale (6);
Young (7), Cox (7), Howe (7), Warren (6);
Hughes (5);
Hayter (6), Robinson (6), Huck (7);
Stein (6), Fletcher (6)

My 'man of the match' : Huck.

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