Dec 2 Luton Town 3-3 AFC Bournemouth Att: 6773

Last updated : 16 January 2009 By Clive Loader
It certainly goes to show that fun can be had from watching two poor defences.

Matt Tubbs was given his first start following his loan move from Salisbury and McQuoid and Ward returned to the line-up with (significantly as it turned out) Darren Anderton remaining on the bench throughout.

Cherries started brightly and were obviously determined to have a go at the only team below us in the 92. Mark Molesley in particular made a couple of good runs down the right.

It was the Hatters who took the lead though as Ryan Garry failed to deal with a cross from the right and could only turn it into his own net. Garry had another disappointing game and I think if he has a future it's at centre-back and not on the left.

Another run down the right from Molesley got us back into the game just 2 minutes later when he beat his full back and managed to turn it in at the keepers near post to complete his first goal for the club.

Tubbs had a chance saved by Luton's keeper Logan and then McQuoid was unlucky with a rasping drive against the post. Further chances followed for Tubbs and Bradbury and despite a couple of half-chances at the other end, one from a dodgy back pass from Guyett, Bournemouth were unlucky to go into the break all-square H‑T 1-1.

The away side kept up the momentum at the start of the second period and five minutes in it was Molesley again who capitalised on a quick break from McQuoid. The former Grays man picked up the ball just outside the area on the right hand side and as he switched the ball onto his left foot sent 2 defenders and the goalkeeper tumbling like skittles to leave him with a simple finish.

This time the lead lasted 6 minutes as the Hatters were awarded an indirect free kick just outside the 'D'. It was tapped to Gallen who somehow managed to get it through the wall and a rather weak attempt by Jalal to score in almost the centre of the goal. I'm not sure whether the wall was in the right place but the Baghdad born stopper [how often do you get the chance to write that!] should certainly have done better with it.

This gave the home side a bit of heart and they started to impose themselves more on proceedings with chances for Gnapka and Talbot but it was Cherries who restored their lead on 75 minutes. Matt Tubbs somehow found himself unmarked on the edge of the six yard box from Bradfury's cross and, despite his distinct lack of height, was able to nod it past Logan.

Unfortunately that wasn't the end of the scoring. With 5 minutes to go Martin went down like the proverbial sack of potatoes inside the box and referee Gavin Ward gave what looked like a harsh penalty. We discussed the award with a few home fans in the Bricklayers Arms later and most were non-committal, which I think speaks volumes. The spot-kick was duly converted by McVeigh and both sides then seemed to settle for a point as the game drifted to a conclusion.

It was interesting to see us play with a bit more freedom as a result of not having to direct everything through Anderton and it certainly seemed to give Molesley more of an influence on things.

Despite the enjoyment, the single point is not really very helpful to either side but at least we are back to zero. The season starts here!

Man Of The Match
Mark Molesley - Worked tirelessly and his shimmy to beat 3 defenders was the highlight of the night.

: Jalal, Guyett, Garry, Pearce, Ward, Cooper, Hollands, McQuoid, Tubbs, Molesley, Bradbury
Subs: Pryce, Anderton, Igoe (for McQuoid, 68 mins), Pitman (for Molesley, 90 mins), Symes (for Bradbury, 90 mins)
Clive Loader, Wimbledon