Aug 16 AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Stevenage Borough Att: 5574

Last updated : 17 August 2011 By Andy Burton

There is no disgiusing the fact that this was a disappointing outcome to a match where, on paper, the Cherries should have gained at least a point.

In the first minute, the Cherries won a corner, showing early intent to build on Saturday's win. Sadly the corner was easily dealt with by the towering Borough defence.

Stevenage, came back at the Cherries, even managing to turn Barrett in the Cherries back line. Thankfully the resulting shot was way off target, being collected by the massed ranks in the North Stand.

Much of the rest of the half was pretty even. The Cherries managed to keep possession for periods, but couldn't find a way though a visiting defence which closed down quickly. Meanwhile Stevenage had their period of pressing, but couldn't find their range when the opportunity presented itself.

One thing that was noticeable (Bradders take note) was the gap in the centre of midfield, which our visitors was exploiting more, purely because we have not got an Anton Robinson-type player to thwart the opposition. For the first time since returning, Molesley ran his socks off chasing every lost cause, even if it was a lost cause, to try and will possession back.

The game livened up enormously a few minutes before the break when Stevenage broke nicely feeding the ball through to Reid, who was clearly in an off-side position. The Cherries defence were expecting a flag, none came, allowing Reid to slot the ball home past a non-existent back line. Needless to say there was an enormous protest from fans and players alike, resulting in Pugh being shown a yellow card.

HT: 0-1

Deciding to bring Arter on at half-time Bradders must have read the riot act at half time, as there was an immediate change in tempo and a goal!

A Stevenage free-kick on the edge of the area was dealt with by Feeney, then via Pugh and Malone, the ball was fed towards Doble who left it for Arter to slide the ball home - this just 90 seconds after the restart. Sadly this was as good as it got for the Cherries.

If the Cherries had any ambition to win at least a point, then that was all but snuffed out in the 65th minute. A Stevenage break managed to avoid the entire home defensive line. With an open goal, a goal-bound ball, albeit from a narrow angle, was blocked by Barrett. My initial thought was that Barrett had done well to get back to block the chance. Sadly the assistant on the far side started waving their flag like it was going out of fashion, indicating that a penalty needed to be awarded, presumable for Barrett handling. After the obligatory red card was shown to Barrett, Mousinho dispatched the penalty kick to restore the visitors advantage.

After this the Stevenage front line pressed forward, thankfully their finishing was hardly clinical to cause too many problems, but Borough did pressure Bryne at every opportunity, who was increasingly looking out of his depth.

It was perhaps no surprise that Stevenage netted for a 3rd time, from an attack which Byrne couldn't cut out. The ball eventually fell to Beardsley to score from close range.

Overall, a disappointing performance from the Cherries after such a promising performance on Saturday. I guess with quite a few youngsters in the squad, and quite a bit of inexperience, we've got to be patient *sighs*

Man Of The MatchMy man of the match has to go to Mark Molesley for tireless running from start to finish.

AFCB: Flahavan, Bryne, Cooper, Barrett, Malone, Feeney, Molesley, Gregory, Pugh, Taylor, Doble
Subs: Jalal, Cummings, Arter (for Gregory, HT), Baudry (for Taylor, 66 mins), Fletcher (for Pugh, 81 mins)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth