Oct 2 Blackpool 3-3 AFC Bournemouth Att: 5525

Last updated : 20 October 2004 By Richard Barker
.......only to find the one decent pub near Blackpool North station closed and Bournemouth two down after ten minutes.

Two minutes in, Clarke headed in Edwards’ corner virtually unchallenged, and Blackpool had three more reasonable chances before Wellans’ cross was headed in at the near post by Vernon, with Moss again entitled to ask questions of absent defenders.

The wind whistling through Blackpool’s open plan two-and-a-bit-sided stadium was turning decidedly chilly. Was it our turn to be Doncaster? Fortunately not. A couple of minutes later Elliott crossed from the right and Hayter outjumped his marker to put an excellent header into the top corner.

That settled us down and we began to enjoy more possession, with Elliott in particular causing problems for the home defence. 28 minutes in, Stock hit a speculative ball with his left foot deep towards the back post which Rodrigues read better than the defenders, ghosting in to score with a header from close range.

Entertaining stuff, although neither manager would have been enjoying the quality of the defending. Who’s turn was it for the next defensive foul-up? Ours unfortunately: just before half time a throw in was flicked on at the near post and stabbed in by the (unmarked, obviously) Edwards.

HT: 3-2

In the second half we again enjoyed the greater share of possession, much of our best work involving Cummings who was pushing forward at every opportunity and operating virtually as a midfielder. The decisive action of the half was a moment of quality rather out of context in this somewhat slapdash game. Rodrigues received the ball with his back to goal, flicked it up and beat ‘keeper Jones with a perfectly executed cross-shot – shades of Steve Jones at Peterborough, this one a little nearer to goal but from a much narrower angle, goal of the season so far.

Steve Fletcher made a surprise return to action, replacing Rodrigues with 10 minutes to go, which didn’t exactly help our movement up front, and Young replaced O’Connor and managed a couple of minutes without scoring an own goal, conceding a penalty or being sent off.

Credit to the team credit for battling back for a draw after a disastrous start, but better defending would have seen us take all three points against one of the weaker sides in the division.

Nobody really stood out, probably Wade Elliott for being our best attacker in the first half and making a great goal-saving challenge in the second half.

AFCB: Moss, Cummings, Howe, Maher, Broadhurst, O'Connor, Spicer, Elliott, Stock, Rodrigues, Hayter
Subs: Stewart, S Fletcher (for Rodrigues, 80), Young (for O'Connor, 88), Connell, Holmes

Richard Barker, Leyton