It seems incredible that 2 years ago many thousand fans were in Reading for the biggest game in many years to witness Bournemouth take a 3-1 lead, only to let it slip, draw 3-3 and miss out on a chance for the play-offs.
Then 12 months ago, more or less the same squad were relegated on the final day of the season in Wrexham – something that had probably been coming for a few weeks.
Here we are approaching the end of another season, and another cliff hanger is on the cards, as the final day show down at Brunton Park looms large!! It seems likely that Carlisle could well need 3 points to escape the drop to the Conference just as much as we might need 3 points to gain automatic promotion, or just qualify for the play-offs. What ever the outcome, AFC Bournemouth certainly know how to put the fans on a roller coaster ride!! Here’s hoping for a happier outcome this time round.
Interesting to see that some of the Clubs who beat the drop to Division 3 last season, have been struggling for much of this season.
One aspect, which has been SO frustrating, has been the poor away record. It seems incredible that we’ve not won away from Dean Court since November 23 (0-1 v Southend United), even though we’ve played some super football on our travels – witness the Rushden match. Here I think we’ve missed Alan Connell big time. His goal poaching ability, coupled with speed has been missed, and should have netted some +20 goals or more – exactly what any side with promotion ambitions needs. Goals have been a problem this season, but when hasn’t that been true in Bournemouth sides over the years!!
Although Sean O’Driscoll and Peter Grant have had their critics, given the lack of finances, and resource available to them, I do believe that they’re doing a good job, even though I do have to question whether match tactics are always right, and whether the introduction of substitutions are done too late in the game. Several people who sit around me often berate a change, which is too late, or in their opinion, the wrong change to make. But hey, that’s football; everyone has an opinion to voice!!
As for the play-offs, having spoken to the Dean Court Ticket Office, the prospect of 3 HUGE matches in less than 3 weeks will be a big challenge for all concerned – me included!!
Cheers and UP THE CHERRIES – IN ALL DEPARTMENTS
Andy Burton - Exiles Chairman