Feb 14 AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Accrington Stanley Att: 4109

Last updated : 14 February 2009 By Andy Burton
Seven days ago we saw a less then pretty match against Shrewsbury Town, and once again, the Cherries had to dig deep and be patient to grind out a win against our visitors from Lancashire.

The opening period of the match was relatively quiet as both sides found their feet in the sun at Dean Court. The Cherries were clearly showing confidence with their recent run of form, with Steve Fletcher flicking the ball on to team mates, and making it look rather easy too!

Jake Thomson was causing problems down both flanks. His first chance saw his charge down the left with the Stanley defence backing off in a manner we've been used to seeing our defence do in the past. His attempted cross/pull back (or was it a shot?) was a little too close to the keeper to cause any major problems in the Stanley penalty area.

Neither side were in the mood to take prisoners either ....... several compromising challenges went in during the game, the first of which saw Bartley floored (in the 16th minute) by Ryan just outside the Cherries penalty area, which produced the first yellow card of the game.

Following another flooring, this time on Pitman, the resulting free kick found Steve Fletcher who flicked it on to Danny Hollands whose over head kick saw the ball rebound off the left hand upright and eventually to safety. It was a brilliant effort, and one that deserved a goal.

Accrington then hit a purple patch themselves, during which Jalal played a key role in keeping the ball out. First he tipped over his own cross bar in acrobatic style, then he made an instinctive double save, the second part being right on the line to prevent our visitors from taking the lead.

The ref was also playing his part too with some strange decisions. For some inexplicable reason he pulled play back with Pitman breaking clear down the left, clearly we had advantage, so why did he pull play back for a Cherries free kick on the edge of our own area? Very odd Mr Phillips!

HT: 0-0

The second half was equally entertaining/frustrating (depending on your point of view) as the first.

Pitman had a rasping shot which had to be beaten away by the Stanley keeper for a corner in the 51st minute. The resulting corner from Pitman didn't cause too many problems as Stanley managed to clear any danger.

Danny Hollands was a man possessed throughout the match, covering vitually every blade of grass on the pitch as he battled throughout, getting through an enormous amount of work.

From a corner, the ball was laid off to Thomson, his cross across the goal was met by Steve Fletcher at the far post whose header was goal bound, but was denied by an inspired save by the Stanley keeper.

The ball wasn't falling for Pitman when in the 65th minute the ball was fed through to him .... a firmer touch would have seen the ball head towards goal, but it seemed to take a glancing touch, and out for a goal kick.

Try as they might, the Cherries could not find a way through. Neither Molesley or Thomson could find a way to goal as shots were blocked by a determined Stanley defence. One such block set up a 3-on-3 break for Stanley which saw ex-loanee Lindfield shoot high and wide of the Cherries goal. Pitman missed another chance when Fletcher flicked the ball on to him .... was this going to be our day?

Then disaster seemed to strike in the 79th minute as Wiggins was adjudged to have committed a foul inside his own penalty area, where as it looked from our vantage point that it was outside the area. Anyway, a penalty it was which was blaster high and wide in to the car park by Proctor!

This miss galvanised the Cherries, and the home support in to renewed efforts to claim the win.

The discipline of the visitors went to pot as Bell put in a disgusting challenge, which only draw a yellow card for his efforts. Everyone one was shouting for red.

Reward for the Cherries persistance came in the 86th minute when the lively Thomson crossed in from the right, which was sweetly met by Pitman who volleyed home, to the delight of every one wearing red and black!

An agonising 4-minutes of added time had to be endured before everyone could celebrate a vital win. Greeted by even better news as it was confirmed that everyone else around us in League Two lost.

Man Of The Match
It wasn't pretty, but it was a determined, professional and ground out win, which we deserved on the balance of play. Tough to pick out a man of the match as there were many good performances across the pitch .... by my nomination goes to Danny Hollands.

- great goal keeping display when called upon.
Robinson - didn't do too much wrong at right back even though it's not his natural position.
Pearce - a steady performance as we've become acustomed to.
Partington - unusual to see him in the centre of defence, but did well never the less.
Wiggins - a fine performance at left back.
Bartley - did okay, but not quite the Bartley we know and love.
Igoe - an industrous performance.
Hollands - got through a huge amount of work all over the pitch.
Thomson - great footwork at times, putting in numerous crosses, one of which led to the winner.
Fletcher - some great flick ons and was encouraging other around hi throughout the match.
Pitman - worked hard throughout the match, deserved the winner.
Molesley - did well when he came on at half time.
Feeney - caused problems down the left when he came on.
Cummings - came on for the final couple of minutes.

AFCB: Jalal, Robinson, Pearce, Partington, Wiggins, Bartley, Igoe, Hollands, Thomson, Fletcher, Pitman
Subs: Pryce, Connell, Molesley (for Bartley, HT), Feeney (for Igoe, 74 mins), Cummings (for Pitman, 90 mins)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth