Feb 28 AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Oldham Athletic Att: 6594

Last updated : 01 March 2004 By Vinny Goodfield
Oldham have hardly been without troubles of late, but like many clubs in that position, and like our own tribulations of ’97, they have stuck together, dug in and attained some useful results of late. To be honest, they could have gone in at HT two goals to the good were it not for Neil Moss. I imagine most of the other match reports in this issue will be eulogising at his performances of late and today was no different. Early on the Cherries number one excelled when saving smartly from Latics striker Vernon at close range following some nice interchange play from the visitors attacking the North, sorry Fleet Personnel Stand. During most of the first 45 we failed to really assert any authority on the game and it was Oldham’s midfield that was doing much of the running. Neil Moss made another couple of excellent stops following bright play from Oldham, and I imagine O’Driscoll would have been pleased to get his charges in at half time still on level terms.

The second Half was a different story. One-way traffic with AFCB clearly on top. The 2 kids that had climbed the tree at the open end didn’t see much of the action in this game! Straight away it was clear that the formation had changed and we had reverted back to the wing back system deployed with such devastating effect the previous Tuesday. Most noticeable was Warren Cummings who marauded down the left flank non-stop putting in some tremendous balls now that he was freed from the shackles of much of his defensive duties.

Feeney pulled a shot wide following a good flick from Steve Fletcher, the strike partnership linking up well and working tremendously hard to breakdown the Oldham rearguard. Shortly afterwards the deadlock was nearly broken from a corner routine, not the one with the dummy on the edge of the box, but the one where Hayter chips a diagonal ball half way between the corner of the 6 and 18 yard boxes. Carl Fletcher ran on to the ball and smacked a superb volley goal bound but the exquisitely named Pogliacomi was alert to the danger and reacted smartly to tip the ball away.

Just after the hour mark AFCB’s sustained period of pressure was justly rewarded. Fair play to Steve Fletcher (who is not usually my favourite player) for never giving up and chasing a ball into the corner when others may have given up. Fletch hooked the ball over, eventually the ball was worked back out to the left flank where the impressive Cummings delivered a killer cross, whipped in with plenty of pace just slightly coming away from the keeper. This inviting ball was way too good to turn down, and the man of the moment James Hayter gleefully headed home with a tremendous header into the top corner of the net. No stopping that one. An Alan Shearer style header!

Encouragingly we didn’t settle for that and shut up shop but went looking to double the lead. Cummings getting further and further forward hit a left footed rasper that Pogliacomi did well to keep out. Jorgensen (improving with every game since the commencement of his loan spell) then did a super piece of quick footed trickery, controlling the ball and then shifting it from one foot to the other all in one movement and the keeper did well again to keep the shot out.

Oldham then went up the other end and nearly snatched a point. Jermaine Johnson who seemed to have plenty of tricks up his sleeve did well to wriggle free of Cummings and dinked over a lovely cross but neither of the two incoming Oldham forwards were able to make a connection and convert.

Near the end Cummings still bombing forward ran half the length of the pitch and had another good effort on goal from just outside of the box. Hayter had a further effort on goal, ambitious to say the least on the half volley but who could blame him for trying what with the last few days he has just had! All in all a good home win (5 on the bounce now) against a well-organised Oldham side. Only two points away from the play offs so things are looking fairly rosy, as per the norm we could do with a couple of away wins to get us in the top six mix I feel. Myself and Justin awarded the side a good 8 on Radio Solent’s the Verdict after the game for an excellent second half showing. Willo, as usual, went with a 7 as he always does!

Cummings – tremendous display on the left hand side, added real impetus in the 2nd half to provide the thrust that was lacking from the 1st 45. Special mentions for Mossy and Claus who both had excellent games too.

AFCB: Moss, Buxton, C Fletcher, Maher, Cummings, Purches, Browning, Jorgensen, Feeney, S Fletcher, Hayter
Subs: O’Connor, Stock, Holmes, Elliott (for Feeney, 84), Tindall (for Jorgensen, 89)
Vinny Goodfield, Uxbridge

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