March 24 AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Bristol City Att: 7033

Last updated : 24 March 2002 By Rob Mann
The Cherries started the game quite brightly and could have twice, in the 15 minutes, taken the lead. On 6 minutes Hayter turned and shot from about 25 yards but sadly it went just wide with the Bristol City keeper struggling. Minutes latter the Wizard Wade (at last starting to show his old form again) was desperately unlucky not to score with a moment of sublime skill-chipping a City defender but seeing the resultant goal bound shot deflected for a corner. Half chances for the Cherries kept being spurned with Eddie Howe and Stephen Cooke being the main culprits. On the half hour mark came Bristol City’s first real chance with a free header being glanced just wide when it looked easier to score. But disaster was to strike only minutes latter when Jason Tindall hopelessly mistimed his challenge and brought down Scott Murray on the edge of the penalty area. The sad thing about it was there was no need to make the challenge, as he was not in a shooting position!! The resultant penalty was dispatched with ease by Mickey Bell - 1-0 to Bristol City.

Things were to go swiftly from bad to worse. On the 43 minute Mark Elliot gave away an unnecessary corner, Steve Robinson’s effort was not held by Stewart leaving Lee Peacock with a simple tap in - 2-0 Bristol City.

The half time whistle went to stunned silence.

Bournemouth kicked off the second half playing towards the home fans in the North Stand. You knew our fate after the first 10-15 minutes of the second half, which was virtually all Bristol City, with our midfield struggling to get a grip. On 63 minutes Brian Stock replaced Danny Thomas who had struggled to make any impact in the game. It was not the substitution I would have made - Feeney was crying out for support up front with a succession of high crosses being totally wasted by us with no target man to aim at. Midway through the second half saw the bizarre sight of a fan from the main stand STROLLING (!) on to the pitch to make his point to the referee (one Barry Knight - ed) and an injured Bristol City player about receiving treatment on the pitch - and then strolling off without a steward or policeman in sight. Stewards and police then grabbed the fan as he was attempting to leave the ground, total over reaction causing great anger from the home Cherries fans. Bournemouth had two great chances to get back into the game in the last twenty minutes without really playing well. A huge clearance by Stewart saw Feeney away with only Mercer to beat, sadly he couldn’t!! Shortly after that Elliott had a free header from point blank range but missed the target! But wonder on wonder in the 91 minute with the board for time added on having not gone up we got a goal - McAnespie heading in from close range after Stock’s header had come back off the cross bar! Muted celebrations - 2-1 Bristol City. Straight from the kick off it was all over. Our defence was nowhere as Tony Thorpe beat our off side trap and made it - 3-1 to Bristol City.

The final whistle went to the sounds of the City hordes celebrating. We got what we deserved from this game exactly nothing. We didn’t play well all afternoon and gave away three bad goals. To me the team are not playing for Sean and Peter any more - and when will they learn that Feeney cannot do it all up front. I can name other matches when they have tried these tactics due to injuries and it hasn’t worked. I know the only other choice would have been Kandol - who incidentally came on for the last 2-3 minutes - what for - God knows I don’t!!!

Man Of The Match – The Lone Spectator who invaded The Pitch!!!!
Optimism Rating For Survival - Very Low Now Sober!!!

AFCB: Stewart, Purches, Howe, McAnespie, Maher, Thomas, Hayter, Tindall, Cooke, Elliot, Feeney
Subs: Menetrier, Broadhurst, Kandol (for Purches on 86 mins), Eribenne, Stock (for Thomas on 63 mins)
Rob Mann, Newton Abbot