Apr 17 AFC Bournemouth 1-5 Tranmere Rovers Att: 7063

Last updated : 21 May 2004 By Steve Hunt
But I arrived at the ground to find out we would play a 5-3-2 formation with Carl Fletcher and Warren Feeney back in the squad.

Tranmere, unbeaten in 7 games, kicked off towards the North Stand.

The first few minutes saw both teams a bit edgy, but then after a good build up, a perfect ball for Holmes saw Feeney caught off-side. We then wasted a good free kick chance just outside the box. Just after Tranmere wasted a good move with the final ball. Feeney was caught offside again. Tranmere had a good spell when Feeney broke clear with a good ball in to Hayter in the box, he pulled the ball back to the invisible man. Feeney was caught off side again, which must have been a close call as he was through 1-on-1 with the keeper.

Feeney won a free kick just outside the the box. Unfortunately Carl Fletcher shot just wide. We then had a good spell, a move involving 20 passes which ended in winning a corner. Big Fletch shot wide from the corner. During this period of pressure, we also won a free kick (Jones of Tranmere was booked for dissent). Fletch (again) picked the ball up in midfield kept going to the edge of the box and then let loose with a left foot screamer which hits the post with the keeper rooted the spot.

Tranmere then had a spell with a tame shot which was followed bwith a cross from the right which Jones managed to get on to to head home, despite a clear push to get there on 42 minutes. Just before the break, Rovers brought on Connelly for Loran.

Even though we went in 0-1 at the break, we did have the better of the half. But where are they finding refs from? He blew for everything, except for the push which led to the goal. Ref-ing standards have to improve, most of them shoudl stay at home and do their gardening - Mr Kettle should have!

On the restart, Bournemouth made a change - Elliott on for Hayter. Again we started better but with any advantage was not rammed home as the crossing was poor. One from Cummings, who had the full length of the pitch with the ball. Unfortunately, the final cross was poor.

Then the turning point. Feeney received the ball in the box, and with his back to goal was fouled. Inexplicably, the ref booked Feeney for diving????!!!! While this was happening Tranmere had played the ball to the far end to play the ball across goal for Harrison who shot low in to the far corner on 51 minutes.

We were all, over the place.

Feeney had a tame header before a hopeful ball played in to the box for Tranmere players to head to one another for hall to head home on 56 minutes. It was soon 0-4 when Jones (unmarked) had an easy side foot shot (58 minutes).

We did pull ourselves together enough for Holmes to chest down to produce a volley on the edge of the area, which was tipped over. Purches then had an effort palmed away by the keeper. Then a good cross from Elliott was missed by Feeney, but Graham Allen put past his own keeper on 71 minutes. We had gone to a 4-4-2 just before with Young coming on for Buxton, quickly followed by O'Connor coming on for Jorgensen. We then won a free-kick which saw Connelly booked. Tranmere cleared the free kick to Purches (somehow he was still on the pitch depite having a poor game) lets Beresford rob him of the ball, braking clear to place the ball past Moss (81 minutes). Feeney did make their keeper to make a rare save from a header, but after 3 minutes of added time, it end 1-5!!

We did we try hard, but Holmes didn't take his chance from the start. Purches is not playing well. But I also think that O'Driscoll should know what our best line up and strengths are by now. I still think that Tindall should have started instead of Broadhurst.

We did not play too badly - we have played worse and won. Jorgensen did well, but Browning shades it for me as he chased and never gave up.

AFCB: Moss, Purches, Browning, Broadhurst, C Fletcher, Feeney, Hayter, Holmes, Buxton, Cummings, Jorgensen
Subs: Stock, Tindall, Elliott (for Hayter on 45 mins), Young (for Buxton, 65 mins), O'Connor (for Jorgensen, 76 mins)
Steve Hunt, Shaftesbury