Injuries to Elliott (out for a month with a broken toe), Browning and Holmes meant that Gareth O’Connor and Alan Connell got their first starts of the season, with Neil Young returning at right back.
Bare bones or not, we gave a good account of ourselves in the first half, with O’Connor in particular catching the eye in midfield. However,
At the other end we managed a few attacks of our own, mainly involving Cummings down the left flank, but without creating a clear-cut chance. O’Connor intercepted a loose pass and shot narrowly wide, and near the end of the half Connell went close with a header. However, we were battling well, particularly in midfield, and the players left the pitch at half time to well-deserved applause.
After the break, it was again the home side who were looking the more dangerous, but the best chance of the game fell to Alan Connell in the 57th minute when Beresford miscued a goal kick straight to him. The Cherries striker found himself one-on-one the Hatters' keeper, but stabbed his shot a yard wide. Not a good day for the lad, as he was getting roughed up by the home defence and was laid out on one occasion following an off-the-ball incident. All good learning experience, no doubt…
At the other end Moss was playing a blinder and looked unbeatable, tipping a Howard drive round the post and saving with his legs from Vine who found himself clean through after a rare mistake by Howe.
Our attempts to hit our opponents on the break were becoming more and more sporadic and we were now giving the ball away too cheaply once in possession. Fatigue may have been a factor, but the manager (perhaps understandably) was loath to bring on fresh legs. Nevertheless, it was beginning to look as if we might frustrate the home side and hold on for a point.
But it was not to be. With just 9 minutes remaining, Nicholls tried his luck from a good 25 yards and his shot curled sweetly into the net with Mossie nowhere near it. There was no coming back. Deadly was risked for the last minutes, and Ryan Moss (no relation?) was introduced to the bafflement of the Cherries’ fans, many of whom had never heard of him.So a disappointing result, but hardly surprising in the circumstances.
Neil Moss who kept us in the game
AFCB: N Moss, Broadhurst, Howe, Moss, Maher, Young, Cummings, C Fletcher, O'Connor, Stock, Hayter, Connell
Subs: Stewart, R Moss (on for Connell, 90), Holmes (for Young, 85), Coutts, Rowe