April 12 AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Bristol Rovers Att: 6867

Last updated : 12 April 2008 By Andy Burton
As Cherries/Gas encounters go, this was not the brightest, or best, encounter we've ever witnessed over the years; but it was one AFC Bournemouth simply had to win to maintain their slim chances of keeping their League One status, so in that respect, the Cherries did what they had to do.

The opening stages of the match were nothing to write home about. The Cherries did earn themselves a free kick on the edge of the area towards the corner flag in fron to of the main stand and open end, but it came to nothing, and eventually ended up going via Forde in the Cherries goal!

Rovers did create a clear cut chance for themselves a few moments, later, but with a clear sight of goal, Lines managed to pull his shot well wide of the left hand upright - much to the amusement of the North Stand.

The break through came in the 18th minute when Anderton somehow managed to avoid being flagged off-side, even though he was clearly a mile off-side, to neatly slide the ball between the legs of Phillips in the Rovers goal to open the scoring.

Rovers tried to break back, but a lack of clinical finishing on their part suggested it wasn't going to be their day, even though they probably had the better possession and the better chances. But it was noticeable that Forde was largely untested with any meaningful saves to make throughout the game.

It was also clear that the Cherries were not firing on all cylinders either ..... too many passes were going astry, Gradel was finding it difficult to beat who ever was in front of him. Not that Rovers were doing much better!

Try as they might to break through, Gowling and Pearce had the better of Rovers throughout the game.

HT: 1-0

The second half was marginally better ....... but the pattern of play was much the same as the first half as both sides almost cancelled each other out in their average-ness!

The second half livened up just before the hour mark ...... Jo Kuffour had what looked like a simple tap in from 12 yards following a scramble in the Rovers area in the 55th minute.

Moments later, Rickie Lambert was found with a cross from the left hand side, leaving him with a free header to pull one back in the 56th minute.

After that, there was not any real chances to shout about. Sure there were half chances - which mainly fell to Rovers, but nothing to test Forde to any great degree. Even fewer for Phillips to deal with as both sides battled away to no great effect.

The most notable chance that went bagging fell to Danny Hollands, whose rasping shot well and truely rattled the cross bar. Vokes tried to chip the keeper, but was unable to get enough power, or lift on the ball with just the keeper to beat. To be fair, he was trying this with the outside of the boot.

Overall, the performance was not pretty, but 3 points at this stage of the season is the only important thing to worry about, and that's what we achieved today.

Mam Of The Match
My man of the match is Jason Pearce who hardly put a foot wrong throughout the match.

AFCB: Forde, Cummings, Cooper, Gowling, Bradbury, Pearce, Gradel, Anderton, Hollands, Kuffour, Vokes
Subs: Pryce, Partington, Pitman (for Anderton, 63), Young (for Gradel, 85), Garry (for Cummings, 89)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth