Feature by Andy Burton
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2003
A penalty shoot out success AT LAST. But not before the heartache of a missed penalty and a last gasp equaliser!!The joy of all Bournemouth supporters was clear to see on Tuesday evening. All those agonising away trips we've all endured in past years were put to bed at Gresty Road as a determined Bournemouth derailed Crewe and headed for the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, and an encounter with ex-manager Tony Pulis.
The win meant so much. Not just because of the prestige of being one of three Third Division survivors in the Fourth Round, but also the financial rewards are more than welcome. At the start of the season the Club would not have dared budgetted for the £100k prize money now gleaned from the FA Cup, or the boost in gate receipts, club shop sales, programme sales etc. This has helped no end to generate operating profits in October, November (£49k), and helped to guarantee operating profits in December and January.
Now we've claimed an excellent win against a good Second Division side, we must not let potential Cup glory cloud our ultimate objective of bouncing back to the Second Division at the first attempt.
So even though we are progressing in the FA Cup, have a realistic possibility of success in the LDV Trophy, the resources available to Sean and Peter will be severly stretched if injuries and suspensions bite any deeper than they already are. With the likes of Gareth Stewart, Neil Young, Shaun Maher and Alan Connell out through injury, and Marcus Browning recently suspended, it can only make promotion more difficult to achieve, but we can do it. The win up at Crewe proved that when the odds are hoplessly against us, the right result can be acheived.
I have often been critical in EXILED of Sean and Peter, but credit where credit is due, they are doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstancs and applaud them for what has been achieved so far this season. Naturally there is more to do, and come the final away day trip to Carlisle, we can all look forward to life back in Division Two, and reflect on a season which has seen many changes at Dean Court - on and off the field.
UP THE CHERRIES,
Andy Burton - Exiles Chairman