Jan 13 Crewe Alexandra 2-0 AFC Bournemouth Att: 4739

Last updated : 22 January 2007 By Exiles Reporter
Their style is a little more direct than previously, capitalising on forwards with pace in Varney and Maynard, but they still have a midfield capable of good passing and movement. Bournemouth, once (pre-Bond) a decent passing side, now have a midfield that neither passes well (Anderton excepted) nor is much good at making things difficult for their opponents when not in possession. But at least they're quite tall, seemingly an important consideration for Bond, which would also account for his decision to start with Fletcher and Vokes up front, not the most natural of combinations (come to think of it, Fletch and anyone is a bad combination these days).

From the ninth minute when Varney caught Moss of his line with a speculative but well executed dipping volley Bournemouth did nothing to suggest that they had the capability to get back into the game. Crewe almost added a second on the 32nd minute after Browning lost possession and a Crewe break ended with Maynard's curling shot hitting the inside of the post. Bournemouth's best attack consisted of a good run by Wilson and a cross from Anderton, but Hayter was unable to direct his header on target.

Crewe had three decent chances early in the second half before the game was ended as a contest (not that it had ever been much of one) in the 62nd minute. Young's attempted clearance struck a team mate and fell nicely to Bignot. He placed a weak shot to Moss' left, but the keeper was slow to react and could only palm the ball to Maynard for an easy tap-in.

After this Bournemouth had a lot more of the play, probably because Crewe rightly assessed that on what they had seen so far they would be able to defend a two goal lead with little difficulty. Given Crewe's poor defensive record this season our inability to cause them problems was depressing. Anderton was a constant if solitary creative force during this spell, but Vokes and Pitman (on for Fletcher) were comfortably contained by the Crewe defence. A volley from Hayter saved by the Crewe keeper was our only worthwhile end product of the entire game. Crewe could easily have added a third in the closing minutes, but Moss made a good block after fumbling the initial shot.

This win was every bit as routine for Crewe as the scoreline suggests, and unless Bond gets lucky in the loan market lottery we can start looking for directions to Spotland.

Man Of The Match
The back four did well individually and needed to, but I'll go for Darren Anderton, who never stopped kept trying to provide quality balls however many times his colleagues squandered them.

AFCB: Moss, Young, Purches, Howe, Wilson, Hayter, Anderton, Browning, Lawson, Vokes, Fletcher
Subs: Stewart, Cooke, Gowling, Pitman (for Fletcher, 60), Hollands (for Lawson, 68)
Richie Barker, Leyton