Mar 11 Rochdale 1-1 AFC Bournemouth Att: 1958

Last updated : 26 March 2003 By Phil Henstridge
Another one of those very annoying away performances. Quite clearly the better side from the start, Bournemouth started off at a pace, forcing 5 corners in the first quarter of an hour and eventually forcing the breakthrough after 30 minutes.

A free kick from the left hand side was whipped into the near post where Carl Fletcher got in front of his marker to glance the ball home. Nothing more than was deserved as Rochdale looked decidedly ordinary, with every attack being predictable and targeted at the lanky Clive Platt.

This surely should have been the first goal of many, however, like so often the foot was taken of the peddle, the tempo slowed and we lost our way. From having a position of dominance through playing attacking football the tactics changed and we started to defend deeper and deeper to try to hold onto the one goal lead.

Shortly after half time a decent cross from the Rochdale right was headed past moss by Grifiths to restore parity. From that point on, it was anybody's game. Cherries were unable to get back into their stride as Rochdale's direct approach proved more and more difficult to handle. Rochdale were taking control of the midfield and holding a high line up the field to squash the width out of Bournemouth's play.

A couple of chances came Cherries way when Hayter and Elliott got free of their markers and had efforts saved by Gilks in the Rochdale goal. In the fullness of time it may prove to be a valuable point gained, however these are the sort of games that have to be won if you are thinking of a serious promotion challenge… Only time will tell.

Warren Cummings (at last a left back with a left foot!)

AFCB: Moss, Purches, C Fletcher, Buxton, Cummings, Elliott, Browning, O'Connor, Thomas, S Fletcher, Hayter
Subs: Tardif, Young, Stock, Foyewa, Holmes (for Thomas on 86 mins)
Phil Henstridge - Tysoe, Warwickshire