March 31 Rotherham United 0-2 AFC Bournemouth Att: 3657

Last updated : 08 May 2007 By Richie Barker
If we hadn't needed the win so desperately ourselves it would have been easy to sympathise with their supporters watching in resignation as their team slides inevitably towards relegation - it's not that long since we knew all too well how that feels. Bournemouth were well organised, efficient and hard working, and that was all that was needed to pick up an away win that takes us to the verge of safety.

Realisation that Neil Young was surprisingly absent wasn't the best pre-match news, but Cooper slotted into the centre of defence as if he had been playing there all season. There was one early scare when Wilson was forced to head off the line, but in the twelfth minute things began to go our way when McGoldrick shot from well outside the area. There seemed to be little danger, and there was as much surprise as pleasure amongst the away fans when we realised the ball had beaten the keeper and was nestling in the bottom corner of the net. The impressive youngster clearly believes in the maxim that you can't score if you don't shoot, and it's working well for him so far.

15 minutes later Anderton took a corner from the left, McGoldrick, under little pressure, got a header on target which was saved only for Hayter to smash the ball into the roof of the net as half a dozen defenders played statues in the six yard box. Even then, with Bournemouth comfortably in charge in midfield and defence you felt that it was game over, and apart from one moment of defensive aberration when Facey was allowed to stroll through unchallenged only to be foiled by Purches' goal-line clearance, so it proved. That capped a good display from the right back, like one or two others starting to find his best form a little late in the season.

The second half was more of the same. Summerfield and Hollands replaced Anderton and Cooper without any effect on Bournemouth's domination as the little remaining confidence and belief ebbed almost visibly from the Rotherham players, reduced to long shots of spectacular inaccuracy and with even the simplest passes going horribly astray. Fletcher should have added a third late on but headed against a post from close range, and he provided the funniest moment of the half when he was overtaken in pursuit of the ball by the enthusiastic McGoldrick, who had given him about thirty yards start.

Up to the dizzy heights of sixteenth place in the table, but it may be too late to start thinking of the play-offs!

Man Of The Match
McGoldrick shades it - scored one, made one, non-stop effort.

AFCB: Moss, Cummings, Gowling, Purches, Walker, Wilson, Cooper, Hayter, Anderton, McGoldrick, Fletcher
Subs: Stewart, Pitman (for McGoldrick, 90 mins), Vokes, Sommerfield (for Anderton, 59 mins), Hollands (for Cooper, 67 mins)
Richie Barker, Leyton