Aug 30th Wrexham 0-1 AFC Bournemouth Att: 4929

Last updated : 13 September 2003 By Phil Nesbitt
It was soon apparent that both teams were there to play football the right way but also that Wrexham were not in for a good day. They looked sluggish right from the start. So much so that after only 8 minutes we took the lead. Fletch knocked down a cross from the left and Purches, playing right wing back, placed a scuffed shot past the right hand of the ancient Dibble who should have got down quicker but probably wasn't able to. Purches had already miskicked from a similar position.

Wrexham tried to up the tempo and haul themselves into the match but with little success. Moss had to make 1 good save and a couple of easy saves and made 1 good punch and Carlos Edwards skipped past Cummins and sent in a fine cross goal pass but this was missed by all and sundry in the box but that was about the sum of Wrexham's creativity in the first half. Our game appeared to be to protect the lead and push forward quickly whenever possible. Feeney had a shot saved by Dibble and Broadhurst had a firm header from a free kick well save and the follow ups from Feeney and Browning were blocked. Despite our tactics we still looked the more threatening team. Half time arrived as a bit of a relief after the first half meander with us comfortable at 1 0 up.

Surely Wrexham must make a better fist of it in the second half. Nope! In fact they were probably worse although there was a brief spell at the start of the half when they had a hint of menace. Moss had to make easy saves from 2 poor free kicks and was left helpless when Wrexham's only real chance was put over by Jones after a good move. Just before this Browning had been booked, he's got 3 of our 4 bookings this season, for a silly pull back. As the match wore on we looked more and more secure and started taking the initiative. O'Connor had a shot deflected for a corner and elsewhere Browning and Hayter were running midfield, the former in breaking up Wrexham's pretty pathetic by now moves and the latter by holding up the play and using the ball intelligently. Maher was replaced by Young who's first contribution was to blast a shot over from a slightly amended miss move from a corner. Feeney was replaced by Holmes, who unfortunately again did little to put himself in the frame for a first team place, but gave 100% as always. The 2 Carls at the back (yes I know that 1 is spelt with a K) continued to snuff out the by now rare Wrexham forays into our box. They look a solid and cohesive partnership. The final moment of note was a flying save by Dibble, didn't know that he still could get off the ground, from a Hayter curler from the left. It would have been a goal of the season contender if it had gone in.

This was a strange match with very little atmosphere and a lack of passion from the terraces, or seats rather, from either sets of fans. True there was little to get really passionate about but I don't think that I have every been to a league game like it. So much so that the home fans could not even be bothered to pour the usual vitriol on their players for a poor performance. After such a long unbeaten run maybe complacency had set in as there was no excuse for so many misplaced passes but who cares as we got the very necessary 3 points.

Man of the match had 3 main contenders; Browning for a masterful midfield display but this was marred by his booking and his propensity to fall over when challenged near their goal, a strict ref could quite correctly have sent him off for a second booking, Carl Fletcher for another solid performance but he was caught out twice by a Wrexham player and made a couple of poor passes which means that Karl Broadhurst is man of the match for in particular 3 superb tackles when one on one.

AFCB (3 5 2): Moss, Maher (Young, 75), Carl Fletcher, Broadhurst, Purches, Browning, O'Connor, Hayter, Cummins, Feeney (Holmes, 85), Steve Fletcher.
Subs unused: Stewart, Elliott, Thomas
Phil Nesbitt, Reading