Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 1 Cardiff City 0

Date: 6 November 1999

After a long run without a win the Cherries must be pleased to have, at last, scored a three-pointer. But there is growing frustration, among the fans, that a 1-0 win at home against a struggling opposition side is the best that we can achieve at the moment. The attendance figure of under 4,500 amply reflects this mood of pessimism.

The game was played 'fast and furious' by both sides. But speed alone can't win a game, and so - although both sides had chances to score - the hard work was mostly to no avail.

Bournemouth's first good opportunity came twenty minutes into the first half - i.e. 4:20 on the South End clock that was still set to summer time! Robinson fired a strong ball towards the net but narrowly missed. Five minutes later, in a goalmouth scramble, Cox actually found the back of the net. But the goal was disallowed. The Cherries were to have two more goal attempts before half time. The first, a gentle shot by Hayter, was easily saved by the Cardiff 'keeper because it wasn't directed at the empty end of the net. The second, by Carl Fletcher, was much stronger and it was disappointing that he didn't score.

Just before the break, Cardiff found the back of the net. And their goal, too, was disallowed - causing the crowd to wonder whether the referee had put his money on 0-0, at least as a half-time score! For thus it was, and indeed this was a good result for the Cherries who had played into a low sun for forty-five minutes.

No such problem for Cardiff in the second half, as the sun was now below the horizon. But once again most goal-scoring opportunities went the way of the Cherries. Watson and Stein both had shots, in addition to Stein's goal for which most of the credit must go to Jorgensen. Winning the ball in the centre of the park, Jorgensen took on two defenders and - when everyone expected him to pass - magnificently sidestepped both of them and ran on. Getting into a position which afforded a half decent scoring opportunity for himself, he again surprised most observers by quickly passing the ball to Stein on his left, who fired home. The goalie may have got a touch to it, but this only helped the ball into the net. Quite rightly, the other players rushed to congratulate Jorgensen for some quite outstanding play.

It was disappointing to see the Cherries become very defensive towards the end of the game, apparently willing to sit on the narrow 1-0 margin. Seven minutes from time O'Neill was brought on for Watson, to pile five players into the midfield.

For the first 83 minutes of the game, Bournemouth opted for a flat 3-4-3 system that actually looks more attacking on paper than it did on the field. This surprised most of the crowd, as we couldn't recall seeing such a system employed before. It also meant that there was no room for loan-player Forbes nor for Day who'd been 'man of the match' in the previous two games.

So the team lined up as follows (I've shown my scores out of ten). In practice, Watson was given quite a free role, so Steve Fletcher played in front of Robinson and Stein in front of Carl Fletcher :

Ovendale (6);
Young (6), Cox (6), Warren (6);
Hayter (5), Robinson (7), C Fletcher (5), Jorgensen (8);
Watson (8), S Fletcher (5), Stein (7).

The sponsors chose Cox as 'man of the match', so I'm not sure what match they were watching.

My 'man of the match' : Watson.

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