Nov 7 Chesterfield 1-3 AFC Bournemouth Att: 3277

Last updated : 09 November 2009 By Peter Wicks

FA Cup-EONThe home manager, Sheridan, had won Div.4 manager of the month… Away fans took their places on a proper, open, 2-up 2-down terrace; the ground configuration was identical to the old Dean Court so we were effectively on the Brighton Beach end. Igoe came in on the left (aha!), with Connell & Pitman up front. 

Boscombe KO’d to the covered South stand. Spireites had early possession; the left-winger was given room to cross and the 14 was utterly unmarked as he headed back past Jalal’s right hand. 0-1, 4 mins. Still a hangover from last week? Robinson was felled on an inside-left run, with the free on 22 yards. Pitman’s attempt was blocked but the keeper was (allegedly) pushed from the resultant corner. Then Robinson put a great ball up the wing; Pitman let the low cross go past for an unmarked Igoe to slot it just inside the keeper’s right-hand post. From our end it seemed to not go in, & Pitman ensured with a final touch, but later TV replays confirmed it as Igoe’s. 1-1, 8 mins – that’s better. Jalal had to come out; good control but a poor kick. Then Bradbury put Feeney in, but the cross went to the keeper.

The recent Spireites win at Dean Court was orchestrated by the vertically challenged blondie, no.27. He was put through superbly, his cross leading to 2 successive corners. Garry seemed to be looking to intercept rather than mark, contributing to Boscombe not being able to settle & impose; the game meandered, with neither side consistent in passing or moving. Connell was the target man, and a healthy thump from the away side was tipped round for a corner. It came to Igoe whose cross from the left was headed back, then headed back again for Connell to scramble it home from 2 feet by the post. His delight matched ours; 1-2, 28 mins. Undoubtedly the Boscombe midfield was working better with Igoe giving stability & creativity.

Jalal dived at the edge of his area and was caught on the head by the 26, but was able to continue. By now it was blustery, and Feeney was being double-teamed. The 26 beat Garry & crossed, the shot was deflected for a goal-kick. This was symptomatic of things not going right for Spireites who then let Cummings in but the attempt was cleared & the follow-up went narrowly wide. By now it was 70% Boscombe with good movement but a poor final ball. The 25 fell but no pen. Deservedly, HT: 1-2.

A flowing move through Connell, Feeney & Pitman made the keeper clear quickly. Connell’s headed flick was just wide, & rain came. Pearce & Jalal both had to be alert & decisive; soon after, Pearce had to clear up after Jalal didn’t gather properly. Both teams were over-hitting diagonals & long balls generally, with the wind not helping. But the home side was quicker, zestier, than in the 1st half. Another great Boscombe move had Bradbury crossing for Connell to head over. Then Igoe was crunched heavily & had to be helped off, McQuoid replacing on 62. This preserved the shape & showed Howe’s confidence in the youngster – but if he was to deliver, it had to be now. Indeed it was: Cummings put him up the wing, he retained the ball in the tackle (the 28 was on a yellow so perhaps was timorous), looked up & passed inside; Pitman dummied & Connell came in centrally to stroke it home. 1-3, 76 mins. This was a peach of a goal, footballer as thinker – all 4 participants showing great intelligence & timing.

To compound the home problems, the 28 felled McQuoid for a 2nd yellow, so red, on 78 mins. Pitman was foiled at the near post, & McQuoid showed much more confidence. Bartley replaced Connell on 88 (officially 90); the latter deserved his own ovation. This meant a 4-1-4-1 formation, retained as Fletcher replaced Pitman on 90 (90+2?); the latter also deserving his ovation for that hard-working & unselfish performance. Hollands tried a top-spin lob from 30 yards which went just wide. The final whistle went, the victory utterly deserved. FT: 1-3.

Spireites had the temerity to win @ DC; this was pay-back. A real antidote to the previous week, & the anticipation of the 2nd round draw - not to mention the money. Simply by doing their jobs properly, Boscombe took the game. Perhaps the home kitman needs to check apparel – defenders were so twisted around by the away front 4 that underwear gussets must have been strained & deformed.

Man Of The MatchPearce marshalled the defence superbly after the give-away goal; Feeney worked hard, always a threat, but his crossing was not consistent. Robinson laid the foundations as always; Igoe’s inclusion meant the midfield worked better plus he had a goal & assist. The front pair gave fluid movement; Connell took up good positions, always available, scored 2, & Pitman defended along the home 18-yard line. But, unlike against ‘Dale, who had a slightly different formation, for organising, directing, conducting & orchestrating, it goes – very marginally – to Hollands.

AFCB: Jalal, Bradbury, Pearce, Garry, Cummings, Igoe, Robinson, Feeney, Hollands, Pitman, Connell
Subs: Thomas, Partington, Goulding, McQuoid (on for Igoe, 62 mins), Bartley (for Connell, 90 mins), Fletcher (for Pitman, 92 mins)
Peter Wicks, Bulford