Oct 18 AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Brighton & HA Att: 7908

Last updated : 20 October 2003 By Andy Burton
For one match only, those of us who normally frequent the East Stand, close to the away support were shifted over to the Main Stand to permit Brighton a few extra seats, and to boost the attendance. Didn't mind the move, but is was a damn sight colder in the Main Stand, and less atmosphere!!

After the early exchanges Bournemouth began to dominate the match, making Brighton's top spot look very silly and false.

As early as the 5th minute Brighton should have realised that it wasn't to be their day as Browning got his head on to the end of an Elliott cross, only to see his attempt deflected for a corner (which resulted in nothing). Another Elliott cross on 14 minutes found Hayter, his scuff went no where, and when the ball broke for Feeney he had the simplest of tap ins to put Bournemouth in to a deserved lead. Almost straight from the re start, Brighton found themselves under great pressure again. This time Hayter couldn't find the target.

You might have thought that Brighton might have come at us having gone a goal down. But no - all they seemed to want to do was to lump it forward towards the diminutive Knight. Need less to say the Bournemouth defence had no trouble dealing with such tactics. It has to be said that Brighton, when they did get forward, were confined to hopeful long shots, which never troubled Neil Moss.

Disaster struck on 28 minutes when Feeney was struck full in the face by the ball. It was clear that he was not going to resume, and later is was revealed that he had a suspected broken cheek. This lead to the welcome introduction of Alan Connell.

Even with the change, Bournemouth still pressed forward, and were only denied by either a lack ingenuity, or astute Brighton defending/indiscipline.
From one corner in the last few moments of the half, the ball came out nicely to Carl Fletcher who was desparately unlucky to see his rasping shot come back off the upright and to safety, with Kuipers beaten.

Right on the stroke of half time (after 7 minutes of stoppages), Bournemouth should have been awarded a penalty. Steve Fletcher was practically on the floor with his shirt being heavily tugged in all directions. But it wasn't to be!!

HT: 1-0

From the re start, Bournemouth meant business. On 49 minutes, if only Alan Connell had managed to get his head a bit more over the ball, from another Elliott mazy run and cross, would have netted his first, and Bournemouth's second goal of the game. As it was, the ball went over. Connell also had another excellent chance, again at the near post, as he got to the ball before Kuipers. Unfortunately the angled attempt to deflect the ball was not quite good enough to beat the Brighton keeper. This time a bit more height would have done the trick!!

To their credit, Brighton did come back in to the match more during the second period, but nothing to really threaten the Bournemouth goal.

Unfortunately, indecision from the match referee spoilt the match as Brighton frustration began to show. Most notably through Brighton's loan signing, Leon Knight (aka Poison Dwarf). Yes he might be quick, and the Divisions leading goal scorer, but he showed a side of his game we do not like to see. Firstly it looked like he might have won Brighton a penalty, only for it to be waived away and then booked for diving. Then in the dying minutes of the game, Marcus Browning was shielding the ball from Knight, only for Knight to up end Browning in no uncertain terms and then lay in to Browning while he was down. How he escaped a second booking, and dismissal, I have no idea. He left the scene of his own crime for one of of his colleagues to be booked instead. Certainly not a case of mistaken identity!!
Lack of indiscipline also shows itself when a Brighton player hacked Hayter down while playing the ball down the touch line. No attempt to play the ball and simply went for legs/knees. The 'tackle' was cynical to say the least, and in my opinion, should have been a straight red. Only yellow was shown!! WHY??

For a club at the top of the table, I thought Brighton were very poor and went home with what they deserved - nothing and 4 yellow cards.

On a day with out shooting boots on, we've have wiped the floor with Brighton, and I am sure that someone is going to be on the end of a thrashing from Bournemouth in the near future. A superb performance all round, pity the score wasn't 3-0 to the Cherries.

As it is, we moved up to 5th, just 4 points off top-spot.

Can't wait for Tuesday, when we're back 'home' in the East Stand!!

Those around me wanted the man of the match award to go to Hayter for his industry across the pitch. But hey, I'm a free thinking individual, so my nomination goes to Marcus Browning for marshalling the Bournemouth midfield which confined Brighton very much to their own penalty area. But any one of a number of players could have won the award this afternoon.

: Moss, Young, Broadhurst, C Fletcher, Purches, Elliott, Browning, O'Connor, Hayter, S Fletcher, Feeney
Subs: Stewart, Stock (for O'Connor on 89), Connell (for Feeney on 28), Tindall (for Connell on 87), Thomas
Andy Burton, Portsmouth