May 1 AFC Bournemouth 0-0 Stockport County Att: 7541

Last updated : 30 May 2004 By Phil Henstridge
Stockport arrived needing only a point to push themselves above the 50 point barrier and to the safety of looking forward to another season in the second division. Sammy McIlroy has revived their fortunes since arriving in the Edgley Park hot-seat before Christmas. Their first home win of the season came against Cherries, where they showed greater passion and tactical nouse in order to run the match. This occasion was different with most of the play being toward the Stockport goal but a stout defensive display securing what they needed.

I was very much service as usual for Cherries with chances being created but not taken and plenty of pretty approach play without any product. The stats of the season show that we are defensively strong but generally ineffective up front. Without Warren Feeney, again injured and also it appears, on his way our of Dean Court in the closed season, probably to Stockport themselves, the Northern Ireland connection being the catalyst, we lack pace to worry any defence. Steve Fletcher's powers appear to be on the downward slope and "Deadly" Derek Holmes anything but. The midfield isn't scoring and we are in danger of becoming stale with the lack of new blood.

The Assistant Managers position, I think is the key. Some new impetus and ideas are required if we are not to start slipping backwards. It is not to say that the season has been bad, it hasn't, but it had the potential to be so much more. Having said that however, if we had been offered 9th place before the season started I would have thought that the vast majority would have grabbed with both hands. It will be interesting to see the transfer activity in the closed season and hope that the youth development shows some output.

As you can witness, I am writing about anything except the match, which is just as well as there is a page to fill. Stockport came for the draw, Bournemouth were unable or uninterested in breaking them down and apart from a smart save from Spencer in the Stockport goal when stock got free in the area, there was little to talk about.

Neil young made a steady return to the side and looked his usual solid self, Wade Elliott still looked to be badly lacking confidence and looked restricted in the teams style of play. Derek Holmes looked a yard off the pace with another disappointing showing and there was precious little variety in the play. The defence looked solid and the form of Warren Cummings bodes well for the new season. We will have to wait and see if we can hang onto the likes of Carl Fletcher, however he deserves to play at a higher level and I for one would wish him the best of luck if/when he moves on.

Warren Cummings.. solid defensively and a threat going forward.

AFCB: Moss, Young, Fletcher C, Broadhurst, Cummings; Elliott, Stock, Browning, O'Connor; Holmes, Hayter.
Subs: Buxton, Purches, Scriven, Tindall, Maher
Phil Henstridge, Warwickshire