Feb 15 Bristol Rovers 0-0 AFC Bournemouth Att: 6347

Last updated : 17 February 2003 By Rob Mann
The game started off very slowly on what looked a terrible playing surface that Bournemouth struggled to adapt to for the whole game. The first half was really a non-event. Neil Moss didn’t have a shot to save in anger. At the other end Feeney had three half chances all which were sadly spurned by him.

On the 18 minute mark an attempted punch out by the Rover’s keeper came to Feeney on the edge of his area but under strong pressure he could not get the shot in.

On 19 minutes Soupa Fletch came off with a knee injury to be replaced by Deadly Derek.

Two more chances were to come to Feeney before half time, both through defensive mistakes - one an awful backheader from Kevin Austin which Feeney did well to get to but he could only shoot into the side netting. Then again Feeney was through one-on-one with the keeper but a weak looking shot was easily collected.

HT: 0-0

The second half started with the Cherries kicking towards their travelling fans and we were soon to see another bizarre refereeing decision, the like of which we have been well used to this season. From a long goal kick by Moss, Holmes laid the ball off to Feeney whose shot was parried by Howie in the Rovers’ goal. The ball seemed to be in the air for an age before the onrushing Hayter powered a header goalwards. A Rovers’ defender trying to clear helped it into the net - GOALLLLLLL!!!! Wild celebrations followed for about 20 seconds, which then began to fizzle out as the realisation went round it had been disallowed. Apparently it was for pushing by Hayter, but to call the decision harsh would be putting it mildly!

This let-off woke up the Rovers’ crowd and team for about 10 minutes and Bournemouth’s defence had its one and only scare when Tait rolled a shot past Moss and wide of the post.

The last half an hour relapsed back into mediocrity broken only by a good header from Marcus Browning which was well saved by the Rovers’ keeper.

On the hour mark, Danny Thomas came on for a very quiet Brian Stock who had struggled to get into the game. Ten minutes from time O’Connor replaced Wade Elliot whose input for the game had been zero as the match petered out tamely. The final whistle was greeted with a smattering of applause from both sets of fans - a point apiece not being ideal for either group of supporters.

On the plus side, other results went for us leaving us clear in third a position. I believe we can consolidate or improve - Rushden definitely being catchable. GOING UP THOSE CHERRIES!!

Neil Moss

AFCB: Moss, Elliott, C Fletcher, Tindall, Buxton, Cummings, Stock, Browning, Feeney, Hayter, S Fletcher
Subs: Tardif, Foyewa, Holmes (for S Fletcher, 20 mins), Thomas (for Stock, 61), O'Connor (for Elliott, 84)
Rob Mann, Newton Abbott