Nov 21 Grimsby Town 3-3 AFC Bournemouth Att: 4353

Last updated : 23 November 2008 By Ellis Griffin
The supporters' coach having been cancelled due to lack of interest, only 82 hardy souls (plus a couple who managed to sneak in without paying) were there to see an eventful game.

The Cherries kicked off into the wind, with Bradbury leading the line in essentially the same team as the one that had so dismally failed to perform at Accrington. After a scrappy opening 5 minutes, the shivering away fans at last had something to cheer about when Bradbury pounced on a mistake by a Grimsby defender, controlled the ball well and drove a left-footed shot between keeper and near post for his 100th career goal.

Cue a bizarre but well choreographed goal celebration with the goalscorer appearing to deliver knockout punches to his teammates. As would later become apparent, the time spent perfecting the routine would have been better spent practising how to defend set pieces!

However, for the next half an hour we looked pretty comfortable with the home side rarely posing a threat despite having the strong wind and at one point a snowstorm behind them. Not that we were creating much either, our best effort being a Bradbury header that sailed just wide. Jalal was getting a lot of stick from the home fans for his vain attempts to kick the ball upfield, most efforts ending up in the stand.

But just before half time it all went pear-shaped. After we failed to clear a corner, the ball was nodded back to Clarke who hammered the ball into the top corner albeit with a slight deflection. Then just a couple of minutes later, our defence failed to deal with a hopeful punt into our penalty area, the ball was headed on to Bennett who nodded past the stranded Jalal.

HT: 2-1

And things didn't get any better at the start of the second half with the home side well on top, culminating in a third goal on the hour mark. Despite us having everybody back for a corner, Atkinson found himself unmarked to head home from the front of the six-yard box.

The Mariners' first home win of the season looked a nailed-on certainty now and the night felt even colder than before. The disappointing Cummings was replaced by Hollands and, gradually, we started playing with more purpose. Was it too little too late?, we wondered.

The addition of McQuoid and loanee Tubbs (making his league debut) injected further energy and the home side were increasingly on the back foot.

The Cherries' reward came in the 79th minute when a cross from the right from Ward was headed goalwards by Pearce, Barnes flung himself to his left to save but Anderton followed up to net from close range to set up an interesting last 10 minutes.

Things didn't look good when Guyett was sent off on 83 minutes, but the 10 men stuck at it and kept pressing an increasingly panicky home side. The pressure paid off just one minute before time when, after some neat interpassing, Cooper's cross shot was steered home by Bradbury to send the tiny but vociferous away contingent wild with joy.

3 minutes added - and we went for the winner with the Mariners' desperately holding on, but 3-3 it remained.

So we went home the happier on the night. A battling performance, but let's hope we can build on this with a couple of wins to close the gap.

Man Of The MatchLee Bradbury

AFCB: Jalal, Cummings, Pearce, Cooper, Ward, Guyett, Anderton, Bartley, Igoe, Bradbury, Symes
Subs: Garry, Molesley, Hollands (for Cummings, 62 mins), McQuoid (for Igoe, 70 mins), Tubbs (for Symes, 73 mins)

Ellis Griffin, Chertsey