Aug 11 CARLING CUP FIRST ROUND Millwall 4-0 AFC Bournemouth Att: 3552 (away 339)

Last updated : 24 August 2009 By Clive Loader
On a balmy summer's evening at the New Den Bournemouth were mauled by a much stronger Lions side who, on this evidence, should give the rest of League One a run for their money this season.

There were 2 changes from the side at Bury with Jeff Goulding coming in for the rested Steve Fletcher and fit-again Ryan Garry replacing Scott Guyett, who was excellent on Saturday with virtually no pre-season training.

The early stages were fairly even with Goulding having a half-chance following a mistake by the Millwall 'keeper and the Lions' Dunne scuffing a shot that was comfortably saved by Shwan Jalal.

Jalal was called into more difficult action after 20 minutes when he tipped round a 20-yard effort from Ali Fuseini which had seemed destined for the top corner of the net.

On the half-hour the deadlock was broken. A mazy run from Hackett drew Jalal off his line to make another fine save but this time Gary Alexander was following up and blasted the rebound into an empty net.

A scrappy goal to concede doubled the lead 10 minutes later when Alexander turned provider. His header across goal from a right wing cross evaded 3 Cherries defenders and Neil Harris snuck in at the far post to put the home team 2-0 up.

Lee Bradbury had a chance to get one back just before the interval but put the ball wide with his right foot when his left would probably have been a better option. H-T 2-0

Big Fletch replaced the ineffective Goulding at half-time and our best chance to get back into the game came just before the hour. A well-worked step-over corner found Pitman whose shot just curled past the far post in front of the Cherries supporters high up behind the goal.

The Lions began to turn up the heat with some impressive passing football and it was a superb one-touch break which brought the third after 70 minutes. It was Harris again who completed a lovely move which would have been a pleasure to watch if it wasn't against us!

With the game effectively over, Harris completed his hat-trick with a thundering volley from wide on the right following a route one punt from the goalkeeper. He was then substituted to a thunderous ovation from the home fans and respectful applause from the visitors. Remarkably these were his first League Cup goals in a long and distinguished career.

It was a thoroughly deserved victory and a salutary glimpse of the quality we need to aspire to if we can achieve the ambition of getting back up to league one. As Eddie Howe said after the game though, we shouldn't be ashamed of losing to a team who played so well on the night - and anyway, we're concentrating on the League!

Man Of The Match
Shwan Jalal
- Despite the scoreline he couldn't be blamed for any of the goals and made several good saves to stop it being even worse.

AFCB: Jalal, Cummings, Garry, Pearce, Bradbury, Robinson, Igoe, Molesley, Feeney, Pitman, Goulding
Subs: Pryce, Guyett, Fletcher (for Goulding, HT), Bartley (for Molesley, 55 mins), McQuoid (for Igoe, 72 mins)