Dec 21 AFC Bournemouth 0-0 Hull City Att: 6098

Last updated : 29 December 2002 By Ellis Griffin
And indeed there was a disbelieving silence just a few minutes into the match when Tardif lay prone in the penalty area after diving to intercept a low cross from the right and apparently receiving a kick on the head from Neil Young for his pains. Everyone began looking in the direction of Marcus Browning who had donned the jersey during the Brentford WC game. After receiving treatment, Tardif gamely tried to play on and even made a good catch, but it was clear that he was in trouble, holding his head and unsteady on his feet. Soon the stretcher was on the field and the Cherries' keeper was on his way to Poole Hospital, leaving Browning with the daunting task of keeping the Tigers out for a good 75 minutes! Jason Tindall took his place in midfield.

Until the injury, we had looked by far the more enterprising side with a couple of dangerous attacks. Young got behind the Hull defence and pulled the ball back from the byeline, but the strikers failed to capitalise. Then Danny Thomas had a shooting chance on the left after a run by James Hayter, but Musselwhite saved. Although we remained firmly in control as the half wore on, I felt we were somewhat inhibited by the knowledge that we had a 'dodgy' keeper in goal. Strangely this knowledge didn't seem to dawn on our opponents, who hardly managed a shot at goal except for one which Browning nonchalantly allowed to land on the roof of the net. Indeed the midfielder looked poised and confident, though reluctant to use his hands at times!

HT 0-0

We assumed that at half-time Peter Taylor would enlighten his team to the fact that we had an outfield player in goal who might well have trouble with crosses, shots, lobs, etc. However, judging by their second half performance, he must have said to them "Keep it tight at the back, lads, mark Elliott closely and we'll get a point here." That certainly seemed to be the extent of Hull's ambition after the break. Wade always had two men in close attendance and failed to get into the game. The Hull defence was well organised and we played into their hands by overhitting too many passes upfield. At the other end, the Tigers managed a few sporadic attacks, but not a lot to trouble our stand-in keeper, although on one occasion Steve Fletcher had to make a last ditch tackle to clear the danger. Hull's best chance came when Stuart Elliott headed into the side-netting when well placed.

Our best chance came when Feeney (who had replaced Elliott) back-heeled the ball into the six-yard box, but the ball was scrambled clear. It was all one-way traffic by the end, but the Hull defence survived a few close calls. At the final whistle, Browning looked deservedly chuffed at keeping a clean sheet and got a standing ovation from the home fans. I imagine the Hull fans were a bit disappointed at their team's lack of ambition, but grateful for an away point. However, credit has to go to our defence for keeping the Hull attack so quiet.

MoM Browning was a hero.

AFCB: Tardif (Tindall 16), Purches, Young (Narada 87), C. Fletcher, Broadhurst, Elliott (Feeney 73), Browning, O'Connor, Thomas, S. Fletcher, Hayter.
Subs not used: Holmes, Stock
Ellis Griffin, Chertsey