Jan 15 AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday Att: 8847

Last updated : 17 January 2005 By Andy Burton
It was an open start to the game as both sides tested each other in the opening stages of the game. But it was Bournemouth who made the most of the opening stages. Steve Fletcher set Wade Elliott off down the right wing, who crossed to find Fletcher whose headed knock down in turn found O'Connor who swept the ball past the Wednesday keeper for the first goal of the game on 11 minutes.

The game seemed to peter out for a bit as both sides seemed to cancel each other out in the passage of play just after the goal. Both sides threatened (ish), but neither side seemed capable to making the most of the few half chances that were being presented. A good case came on the half hour involving Fletcher and Elliott, whose cross found Jamie Hayter in plenty of space. Unfortunately either the pace of the ball, or Hayter's position meant that the chance to put the ball in to an empty net went begging. How expensive would that miss prove to be?

The much vaunted threat of on loan Southampton man Jones failed to materialise. Sure he has pace, sure he clearly has ability, but this afternoon he mis judged the bounce of the ball, and made to look very ordinary by a determined Bournemouth defence.

HT: 1-0

The second half seemed to be going much the same way as the first - two good sides cancelling each other out, with few chances between them.

On the hour mark Bournemouth had their best clear cut chance of the match. Browning found O'Connor in a move that involved 3/4 players. Eventually the ball made its way to Steve Fletcher who in turn laid the ball off to Wade Elliott who was seemingly through on goal. Elliott opted to go direct for goal, seeing his goal bound attempt blocked by the Wednesday keeper at the second attempt. Pity actually, Hayter was clear and unmarked to his left, whether Elliott would have been able to thread the ball through is another matter! So frustrating!!

The missed seemed to the spur for both sides to push forward. The first to do so were our visitors as Neil Moss was the first keeper to be called in to athletic action as he was forced to make a save low down and to his left hand side. All of a sudden the pace of the game picked up - not too many clear cut chances - just more impetus! Passing not brilliant, and shooting boots definitely elsewhere!! Browning missed a near post header from a corner on 73 minutes! Was O'Connor's 11th minute goal going to be enough?

As time ticked away, we seemed to be defending ever deeper, as Sheffield Wednesday searched for a last gasp equaliser. Amazingly the 4th official held up 3 minutes of time was left to play!! There were 2 subs and no sign of the physio's .... I made it 1 minute, NOT 3!!

Predictably we conceded a corner in the 3rd minute of added time which saw Heckingbottom equalise. Sadly at this stage a Sheff Wed fan made himself known in the North Stand, and somehow made his way on to the pitch. Sadly the home fans reacted, as the Police and stewards needed to as well. It was incredible that the stewards tried to take the away fan out through the home support!!!! We're they stupid or what!! In the end common sense prevailed as he was taken across the pitch and down the players tunnel. In the end 8 minutes of added time were necessary while the fan was removed!

Even when the game did kick off again, we still had a chance to try and snatch a winner, but it was not to be.

Okay, it was a mystery as to where the extra 2 minutes of time added came from .... but we really need to defend to the final whistle, take our chances in the mean time and be able to deal with set pieces. Sadly none of which we could do!

No one really stood out for me this afternoon, but I'll give it to Browning for a decent midfield performance.

AFCB: Moss, Young, Broadhurst, Maher, Cummings, Elliott, Browning, Spicer, O'Connor, Fletcher, Hayter
Subs: Stewart, Rodrigues, Holmes, Connell, Howe
Andy Burton, Portsmouth
Opened The Scoring