Feb 7 Plymouth Argyle 0-0 AFC Bournemouth Att: 13371

Last updated : 16 February 2004 By Rob Mann
Ninety minutes of inspired keeping saw the Cherries come away from Home Park with a well deserved point, despite at times in the second half having to survive a barrage of pressure.

The game kicked off relatively quietly with little to excite a strangely subdued home crowd until the 21-minute mark when Nathan Lowndes beat two Cherries defenders but amazingly scuffed his shot wide. Bournemouth were easily absorbing Plymouth pressure, cheered on by a vociferous away support of about a 1000. However, half chances kept coming for the Greens with Moss saving well from David Norris, and David Friio sending a header over the bar from a corner.

Whilst all this was going on, Barry Knight was proving yet again why he is such a fans’ favourite with some strangely erratic decisions bemusing both sets of supporters!

Just before half time on the 38 minute mark saw the first real chance for the Cherries with James Hayter sending a 25 yard screamer just wide. You could start to sense the unease among the home fans, and their anxiety was heightened by Barry Knight failing to give what I saw as a cast iron penalty when Browning hand balled to stop a cross minutes just before half time right in front of the away support! A few fans around me thought it was ball to hand, but I was still pinching myself that it wasn’t given when the half time whistle went.

HT: 0-0

The second half was a tale of 3 crossbars, a post, a penalty and a 15-minute period when we really had Plymouth defending desperately. However, it started with pinball in the Cherries’ area and Mickey Evans hitting the post with a fierce drive when he really should have done better. Minutes later Mossy pulled off yet another fine save from David Norris. Suddenly it was the Cherries who went up a gear and for about 15 minutes really put the Greens under intense pressure. We had a series of corners from which a superb header from Jorgensen was matched by an equally good save from the Plymouth stopper McCormick. An incredible goalmouth scramble followed with the Cherries unable to force the ball home.

The 76-minute mark saw a fine individual effort from James Hayter from about 20 yards, but yet another great save. Back came Plymouth with Mickey Evans hitting the bar from close range, and then disaster on the 84 minute mark: penalty, with Marcus Browning adjudged to have fouled Keith who had come on as a sub. To me it looked less of a penalty than the one that was turned down at the end of the first half. Up stepped Wotton, it was hit hard and low to the right of Moss who guessed right and saved well!

Surely there was no more drama to come? The Bournemouth fans were in full voice again by now, urging the Cherries on. But back came Plymouth with both Friio and Norris hitting the bar yet again, Norris’s effort coming in injury time! However the remaining minutes of a long 4 added on by the ref eventually passed to the delight of the Bournemouth fans and team alike.

Neil Moss
- an inspired performance. Though James Hayter had a great game also.

Chant Of The Game: “Top Of The League You’re Having A Laugh” - started just before half time by just a few of our fans but by the end of the second half the whole away end was singing it!

Prediction For Rest Of Season: keep this run going for another 10 plus games at least and I see no reason why we can’t make the play offs!

AFCB: Moss, Buxton, C.Fletcher, Broadhurst, Cummings, Hayter, Browning, Purches, Jorgensen (O'Connor 90), Feeney (Elliott 86), S.Fletcher (Maher 89)
Subs not use: Holmes, Cooke
Rob Mann, Newton Abbot