Apr 19 Hull City 3-1 AFC Bournemouth Att: 15816

Last updated : 25 April 2003 By Pete Wicks
Several eclectic beverages & solid trough set us up for the 15-minute walk over old railway lines to the ground – a dedicated walkway built across waste land to the new stadium. The KC Stadium – a more creative version of the JJB at Wigan – named after Kingston Communications, the privatised local telephone company. Presumably KC means the home side is the Sunshine Band…? Cloudy but dry, & a decent view as per Reading's Madejski. Big crowd for a mid-table side; evidently the new board has instilled confidence in the town & public. Peter Taylor's manager's notes in the programme referred to "Sean Odinscoll (?)"! Cherries kicked off playing away from our end, in red/black shirts & white shorts; Gulliver started for the first time. Elliott hit an early shot wide, then won a free with Cummings putting it just over the far corner of the woodwork. Cummings & Elliott put Hayter into space, across for SupaFletch to hit it past the 'keeper's right hand, 0-1, 5 mins!! (Wiltord scored an identical one later that afternoon for Arsenal at Middlesbrough, not that I'd want to draw comparisons…) Gulliver appeared solid & looking to distribute the ball – although not too well mostly. Young headed off the goal-line in a sequence that saw BabyFletch felled, with concussion a likely consequence. From then on, we were not quite the same, although BabyFletch completed the 90. Tigers' passing was abysmal – more often back to us or into touch – allowing Elliott to put in several crosses but Hayter was offside twice. A good left-wing cross saw the header into Moss's hands, followed by Purches snr. playing in Thomas who shot hard at the keeper. Elliott, Hayter & Thomas, all too lightweight, were easily bundled off the ball. Impending doom saw Moss come too far for the ball, Young headed away for a corner. Purches snr. put in Thomas for a cross but Elliott's head was under the ball & it flew over.

The No.9 on loan from Notlob had been a handful so far, but contained. This time he was able to turn near the "D" & smack it past Moss's left hand, 1-1, 31 mins. Then he crossed too far; back over it came for No.7 (expensive Stuart Elliott) to throw himself at the ball by Moss's right-hand post. 2-1, 35 mins. Defenders claimed offside; I think they moved out just too late. Tigers now were, well, tigerish, quicker to the ball, stronger, direct. Too often we passed back to Moss, as the home side closed us down. In this period, Cummings took a knock on the ankle. Half-time 2-1 and after queuing for some time the snack-bar appeared to run out of food. Sounds familiar?.

From the restart, the ball went into the struggling Cummings's area, the cross came over & No.7 had a free header. 3-1, 46 mins; should Young have come across to mark him, or BabyFletch have organised it better? Elliott responded with a good Thomas cross but it ended easily with the 'keeper. Stock replaced Cummings on 54, the logical change given the injury, with Purches snr. returning to left-back. The home net-minder had to up his game, dealing well with a good right-wing cross & a shot from Stock from the 18-yard line. No.7 had a long shot palmed away, but Stock was creating more movement; we were having a go but no end-product. Hayter put in Elliott who shot over from wide; Hayter was running well, but so were the home forwards. The rest of their team was reading us all too easily; changes were necessary: McDonald & O'Connor for Hayter & Thomas on 71.

Hayter had run his heart out as per, but was seemingly always chasing after scraps, whereas McDonald at least tried to make things happen, being eager & mobile. Elliott put him in for a cross; Stock glanced it with a header needing a good save. Then McDonald put a left-footer over. He, Elliott & Stock continued to work well together the rest of the game. BabyFletch shot from a corner; it was slapped out & Stock hit the return over. SupaFletch missed out on all this; other plays saw the ball lumped forward to the home 'keeper. Late on, Browning was yellowed for seemingly going through the player. Full-time 3-1.

We've now used 7 goalies & 8 central defenders & we've had a player embargo, against which we have to look at tactics & delayed substitutions. On this basis I have to give the management team the benefit of the doubt being 4th, but… They'll need at least a course in obstetrics if they're to deliver us out of Div.3 this season; we can forget about automatic promotion after Wrexham's Easter results.

Stock & McDonald jointly for trying to make things happen right up to the final whistle, rather more than the others did.

AFCB (4-4-2): Moss, Young, C. Fletcher, Gulliver, Cummings (Stock, 54); Elliott, Purches, Browning, Thomas (O’Connor, 71); Hayter (McDonald, 71), S. Fletcher.
Subs unused: Stewart, Holmes
Peter Wicks, Greenford