April 26 AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Crewe Alexandra Att: 8621

Last updated : 26 April 2008 By Andy Burton
Would you believe it! The dream to remain in League One is still very much alive after this dramatic, and emotional game at Dean Court this afternoon!

After the player of the season awards were presented to Danny Hollands (Evening Echo award), Sam Vokes (Vice Presidents) and Max Gradel (Exiles and Junior Cherries), there was an emotional presentation to Neil Young who was in the squad for his last match at Dean Court.

The match started brightly as both sides tested and probed for an opening. Crewe won an early corner, which was easily dealt with by the commanding Forde in the Bournemouth goal. At the other end, Vokes pressured the visitors defence, without any great effect.

Cooper and Hollands combined well on the quarter area mark, which saw an effort go wide, plus a Cooper header which was not quite well directed, leaving the Crewe keeper to make a save.

Kuffour caused problems for the visitors defence, but no no effect during the first half, even with his trickery at times.

Danny Hollands produced a great run from midfield, but eventually run in to too many Crewe defenders, to cause any problems on the Crewe goal.

The Cherries should have been 1-up on 25 minutes. Cummings managed to wriggle out of trouble deep in his own half, finding Hollands in midfield, who in turn fed the ball through to Gradel. His shot was pushed around the post by the Crewe keeper for a corner.

Even when Crewe did try and probe forward, they simply ran in to a brick wall of determined and committed defending by our back four. Even the dangerous Maynard was kept largely pretty quiet as he was crowded out time and time again.

HT: 0-0

The second half started with the Cherries in equal determination in their attempts to break the deadlock.

Anderton produced a rasping shot from distance, which went straight to the keeper in the 50th minute.

Their reward came 10 minutes in to the second period when Vokes was played on side after O'Donnell mis-directed a header in to Vokes's path. Vokes, clear of his man, calmly slotted the ball past the Crewe keeper to claim a vital goal. Cue mass celebrations from the home support, including a few who spilled on to the pitch.

Rather than sit back, the Cherries still pressed forward, but had to resist some Crewe pressure as well which saw Forde produce a great save to deny our visitors an equaliser.

Gradel squandered a great chance ....... rather than spread the play wide to his left where Hollands was free, he tried to beat 3 players. Needless to say it was the wrong option as the chance came and went.

The last 20 minutes were saw the Cherries in determined mood NOT to surrender their advantage. Thankfully Crewe's efforts were somewhat muted and easily dealt with by Forde.

Anderton found Hollands with a superb ball with 10 minutes to go. Hollands in turn produced a high cross, which Kuffour had absolutely no right to get on the end of. An acrobatic chance was created, but fell to safety from a Crewe perspective.

Forde was called in to action with a couple of minutes left on the clock as a low shot was parried, thankfully the ball went wide of the left hand upright, but could have gone anywhere.

Even with 4 minutes of time added, and the North Stand edging closer to the pitch, there was no chance of our visitors denting the pending celebrations. The match finished in some confusion. With 4 minutes of time added already played, Crewe won a corner. With the corner taken, the ref blew up for what seemed like a foul. But with the ref pointing towards the centre circle, the fans massed on the edge of the pitch took that as their cue to invade the pitch! It took a PA announcement to confirm that the game had actually ended!!

Man Of The Match
My man of the match is Danny Hollands who was commanding in the midfield. The distance and committment was for all to see.

Overall, every player wearing red and black put in a committed performance.
Forde dominated his penalty area and pulled off a couple of good saves.
Bradbury didn't put a foot wrong at right back.
Gowling also didn't put a foot wrong in the centre of defence.
Pearce - brave defending at times and one of the most consistent players in recent weeks.
Cummings - not the best performance, but did well to get out of some tricky situations at times.
Anderton - did enough this afternoon, putting in a solid performance.
Hollands put in a commanding performanceand is a joy to watch where committment and running is concerned.
Gradel's trickery causes defences trouble, but at times was a tad too greedy when better options were available.
Vokes was simply outstanding, causing the opposition all sorts of problems. The goal was icing on the cake.
Kuffour is simply too hot for the opposition to handle with his upper body strength and trickery.

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