March 17 AFC Bournemouth 4-1 Bradford City Att: 4847

Last updated : 18 March 2009 By Andy Burton
The match had barely kicked off, and with everyone in their seats, when all bar the City fans were back on their feet again to celebrate the first Cherries goal of the evening!

In a sweeping move involving Fletcher, Pitman and Goulding, it was Goulding who slipped the ball through for Fletcher, who was in acres of space inside the penalty area who neatly fired a low shot in by the far post!

City showed why they are in contention for a play-off place as they tried to hit back shortly afterwards. A Conlon header was denied by a great save from Jalal.

Reward came for City in the 25th minute when the ref awarded a contentious free kick to the right of the Cherries penalty area. Law delivered a pin point cross for Clarke to head home with a bullet of a header from close range to equalise.

The home support was back on its' feet on the half hour mark when the ball found its' way in to the back of the net - seemingly straight from a Pitman corner. Sadly the ref blew up for pushing in the penalty area. There seemed little wrong to me, but I wasn't the man with the whistle!

But it wasn't too long before we were celebrating another goal. Another good move, again involving Mark Molesley, allowed Fletcher to sweep the ball home in the 39th minute.

City, by now were at 6's and 7's, which allowed Goulding to extend the lead a minute later. A Fletcher ball forward was not dealt with by two City defenders, which in turn enabled Goulding to nip in, nick the ball and slide the ball home. At this stage we were wondering how big a rout we could inflict on our Yorkshire visitors!

After the break, the Cherries turned the screw yet further. A long ball from the back, was flicked on my Fletcher to Goulding who was charging forward. Even though he had two defenders in close attendance, and the keeper ruching out, he still slipped the ball past the keeper for his second of the night! Cue celebrations and even more chants of "We Are Staying Up".

Again, to their credit, City tried to push forward and did create a number of chances for themselves. Again Jalal had to be alert and in top form to deny City.

Mention also to Danny Hollands, and Jason Pearce, who commanded their own positions. Hollands ran his socks off throughout and hardly put a pass wrong; Pearce was solid and dependable at the back ..... just what we need in the heart of one of the meanest home defences in League Two!

After Fletcher and Molesley were substituted, the game fall a bit flat, but that didn't stop the Cherries almost nicking a 5th deep in to injury time. Unlucky for Feeney that the keeper *just* managed to clear the ball in time before the youngster would have caught him in possession!

Overall, this was a sparkling team performance with many great individual performaces, with a thoroughly deserved outcome!

My man of the match ..... tough one to be honest. Even coming home on the train last night I still couldn't make my mind up, so have decided to split it between 5 players ..... Fletcher, Goulding, Molesley, Hollands and Pearce.

AFCB: Jalal, Bradbury, Garry, Pearce, Cummings, Robinson, Hollands, Molesley, Pitman, Fletcher, Goulding
Subs: Pryce, Cooper, Bartley (on for Fletcher, 65 mins), Guyett (on for Molesley, 74 mins), Feeney (on for Goulding, 80 mins)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth