Jan 2 AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Scunthorpe United Att: 6259

Last updated : 03 January 2006 By Andy Burton
Right from the start it just seemed that this match might be 'one of those days', especially with 3 enforced changes. Surman recalled back to Southampton, Foley injured and Young suspended saw the return of Howe, Purches and Rodrigues to the starting line up. This means Coutts and long term absentee Tindall being recalled to the bench!

After a fairly nondescript start Scunthorpe United broke down their right hand side. The cross from Billy Sharp ended up dropping over Stewart's head and in off the far post - and that after 6 minutes! It WAS going to be one of those days!!

One moment of excitment came in the 8th minute when the Scunny keeper picked up a back pass. Sadly the resulting free kick didn't come to much as Scunthorpe dealt with the danger.

But it was Scunthorpe who looked the more likely to score. Sharp was looking particularly lively down the right, and could have claimed a hat trick before half time. Thankfully poor finishing and fortunate defending prevented the scoreline from advancing for the visitors. One of those chances saw Stewart produce a great one handed save, which even drew applause from Sharp himself.

Bournemouth did manage to force one save from the Scunny keeper. Hayter was fed with a great defence splitting ball from a quick Stock free kick. His sweeping shot could only be parried by the keeper, but his defence cleared the danger.

An equaliser seemed unlikely, especially when Hayter managed to hit the cross bar with one chance 8 minutes before the break.

HT: 0-1

The less said about the second half the better as it was truly dire!

It seemed clear that Bournemouth had left their shooting boots elsewhere. There were a couple of chances cleared off the line but neither side could get into their stride.

The equaliser, when it came, was ably assisted by substitute Coutts. His surging run saw a shot, which wasn't held by the Scunny keeper (not for the first time). This time Hayter was on hand to shoot from close range to ensure an unlikely share of the points.

There was even time for a winning chance for Bournemouth. A cross from out left almost found both Hayter and Coutts at the far post. Neither could make contact.

On another day, we might have claimed a win. First time touches were lacking, little flicks were not working, and the passing was poor - very disjointed! There also seemed (at times) to be a lack of understanding between the players and a huge gap between the defensive line (including a deep midfield) and the forward players. In between Scunthorpe players were filling the gap and making better use of any loose balls that came their way!

Man Of The Match


: Stewart, O'Connor, Cooper, Hart, Howe, Purches, Browning, Stock, Rodrigues, Fletcher, Hayter
Subs: Moss, Coutts (on for Rodrigues, 69), Pitman (on for Browning, 81), Tindall (on for Howe, 85), Rowe
Andy Burton, Portsmouth