March 9 AFC Bournemouth 5-1 Northampton Town Att: 6322

Last updated : 10 March 2002 By Andy Burton
Come 5 o'clock the relief was tangible around the ground as the Cherries notched up their biggest win of the season so far, and what a key game to fine some form.

The start of the game did not suggest such a rout for Bournemouth as both sides tried their best to push forward. The best chances fell early on to Northampton as Stewart was called on to produce a spectacular save to deny the visitors an early lead, having already seen the ball ghost past the post without any challenge from a Bournemouth player. But it was Bournemouth who struck first. On 33 minutes, a mix up in the Northampton defence allowed Feeney to poke the ball, between defender and keeper, in to an empty net.

As with last weeks disappointment against Peterborough, Northampton also had a man dismissed just before half time. This time Spedding was shown the red card for a second bookable offence for a silly challenge on Feeney. Also, as per last week, the visitors scored with 10-men on the pitch. An equaliser came after Neil Young was wrong footed, and with the ball being crossed, McGregor couldn't have had an easier chance to slot the ball home right on the half time whistle.

After the break, Bournemouth simply ran riot over a hapless, clueless Northampton side. It only took 10 minutes for the advantage to be restored. Fine work from Elliott set up Jason Tindall whose simple sweep shot went in off the far post. Cue celebrations!! With the Northampton players' heads dropping, Bournemouth pressed home their advantage. Again fine work from Elliott resulted in a cross, which avoided defenders, Feeney and Hayter to find Derek Holmes free at the far post to slot the easiest goal he is likely to score for quite a while. "Nice one Derek, nice one son, nice one Derek, let's have another one" sung a jubilant North Stand.

Hungry for more, Bournemouth continued to press forward and forced a great error from Northampton. Feeney, who caused all sorts of problems with his pace, saw a hapless Northampton defender head over an our ruching Cobblers keeper, leaving Feeney with the simplest of tap ins (right on the goal line in fact) on 74 minutes.

Further chances were presented, unfortunately Wade Elliott could not convert the two chances he had, and loanee Steven Cooke had a great effort tipped over the cross bar by a Northampton defender. Jason Tindall tried to chip the keeper, unfortunately the effort, although excellent in execution, was tipped over the bar.

But it wasn't too long before a rout was well and truely completed. In the 90th minute of time, Elliott cut in from the Bournemouth right, the ball eventually found Purches who fired home from the edge of the area. CUE MAJOR CELEBRATIONS!!

All-in-all, a fine team performance, and I found it difficult to nominate a man of the match, but for what it's worth, here are my stars from this afternoons encounter:
Warren Feeney (two opportunist goals and just kept on running)
Jason Tindall (played a pivotal role in midfield)
Wade Elliott (created much of what was good this afternoon)
Steven Cooke (a fine debut given he was introduced to the players that afternoon)

AFCB: Stewart, Purches, Maher, Howe, Young, Elliott, Tindall, Cooke, Hayter, Holmes, Feeney
Subs: Menetrier, Foyewa, McAnespie (for Young on 81 mins), Thomas (for Cooke on 79 mins), Eribenne (for Holmes on 87 mins)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth