Cherries k.o. towards us in white with black trim, with latest loanee Symes partnering Pitman.
A brief stoppage for a Stanley injury, then the keeper cleared a Cherries attack. A feeble midfield attempt at a tackle allowed Stanley to slice through; the 10 rounded Jalal & slotted easily. 1-0, 3 mins. Possibly Jalal might not have come so far out so quickly; some of us feel Pryce is the better long-term prospect. In response, Anderton put in Pitman who tapped it to the keeper. Then Pitman headed down for Symes to hit it high, wide & lazy. In spite of a shirt pull, Igoe put Pitman away & a corner resulted. Then Igoe shot at the keeper. Bartley tried a run, seemed to be pulled back, but was himself penalised. Cummings had a clear run to put over a decent cross, and then a home attack saw a shot from the "D" clip the just-too-late defender's boot & loop over Jalal. 2-0, 13 mins. But did tactics change? Is the Pope a Moslem? It might help if Cooper were to bring the ball out into midfield, thus posing different problems. Soon after, a header down saw the incoming midfielder - not tracked or closed down - hit a cracking half-volley that screamed wide to Jalal's left. 3-0, 20 mins. Pitman hit an apathetic shot from 22 yards at the keeper; seemingly going through the motions.
Bartley put in Anderton at inside-left; his chip went over the far angle. Bartley seemed to be the only one who wanted it, but his runs were more often than not up blind alleys. Symes jinked in the area at inside-right; the shot was just wide of the far post. Stanley played simple football, executed competently. Local fans felt that Cherries were disinterested. Guyett did retain the ball well to break up a home attack, but that was a rare glimpse of commitment. Boos from our end as the players left the pitch - justifiably, as this was even worse than when the team was in the same position at the Withdean a few years back. HT: 3-0.
Some of us missed the k.o, having been asking in vain for hemlock at the refreshment bar. Pitman was yellowed - either for arguing, or for a felony over which he argued. A Stanley cross-shot went over the bar. Hollands (later yellowed) replaced Bartley, & Goulding ditto for Pitman, on 54. By now, only Igoe & Pearce could to any extent hold their heads up. Guyett was showing some solidity - professional pride? - but is one-dimensional. Molesley swapped in for Anderton on 64, & looked lively in a by-now lost cause; the latter looks spent, but any class from him is like pearls before swine. Symes, in the inside-left channel, hit it high over the angle; someone nearby muttered words including cow, banjo & arse. Cherries played more 4-4-2, perhaps more creative, as happened late last season when Anderton was absent. But Cummings (seemingly on cruise-control all game) was still wide-left, leaving space behind him. Cooper was alert & clever in defence more than once, out of necessity. At 1641, a Cherries shot was on target and tipped over the bar. Stanley players were doing back-heels, leading to the away fans singing, "You're not fit to wear the shirt". Cooper put a free high over the home bar.
Igoe did beaver away in the 3rd quarter of the pitch all game but delivered little; can we afford to carry both him & Anderton? He wasn't helped by Symes giving a decent impression of a dead tree. Goulding was little better. The performance had improved from the disgrace of the first half to merely deplorable. One away fan of over 40 years' standing came down to hurl a fusillade of invective at the team, now trapped in its area at our end as Stanley camped outside. He repeated the exercise with even more venom from the wall immediately behind the goal. Of course, Jalal was concentrating on the game, but I noted his body language & face - acute embarrassment. The squad should be ordered to watch a DVD of the game twice a day before the next game. Horrible memories of the Benson era crawled Gollum-like into mind. The "real" points position (ignoring the penalty) still saw us in the bottom third. What does Quinn do with this lot? Do the new owners have enough dosh to make a difference in January? Would Quinn use any finance wisely? FT: 3-0.
It's gloves-off time. No pussyfooting, no tap-dancing. No excuses; no mitigation. This was unacceptable. This was disrespectful to both the hosts and especially the away fans. The home club had worked its butt off over many years to regain League status; we were not convinced that some of the away squad valued that status as highly. Stanley players are probably paid less than Cherries, even in our financially-straitened situation. Fans have a right to expect commitment & passion, not a training-exercise display. This was a bunch of charlatans masquerading as my team!!! We looked in vain for a latter-day Bobby Savage; we were given Lily Savage. This hurt.
AFCB: Jalal, Guyett, Cummings, Bartley, Pearce, Ward, Igoe, Cooper, Anderton, Symes, Pitman
Subs: Pryce, McQuoid, Hollands (for Bartley, 54 mins), Goulding (for Pitman, 54 mins), Molesley (for Anderton, 64 mins)
Peter Wicks, Bulford