Sept 27 AFC Bournemouth 3-1 Darlington Att: 4124

Last updated : 03 October 2008 By Peter Wicks
Quakers the North Stand, looking neat with good movement & anticipation. Jalal had to tip over from a shot from inside-right. Cooper was intercepting, but some Cherries passing was poor. A chip from the right went beyond Jalal & the header hit the angle. Guyett ended up in the net, seemingly out of it, but returned quickly. The ref. was a bit picky, & inconsistent with applying advantage.

Then a bad Quakers pass found Goulding who went forward diagonally from the left, jinked to his right & shot from the spot. The keeper parried it to Bartley who smashed it gleefully into the net. 1-0, 15 mins. Goulding seemed a little raw but made a decent target; usually on the last man, using strength. However, he'd need to win more against his marker. The game became frustrating - purple patches and dross from both sides. Cummings put in a good ball; behind Goulding, it allowed Igoe to scuff a shot badly. Then a long ball across the area & back saw Anderton shoot at the keeper.

A Quakers free from inside-left saw 2 headers, the second looping over Jalal. 1-1, 35 mins. Soon, a poor pass went to Igoe, who moved & passed diagonally forward left to Goulding. The stopper stuck out his foot; the ball went to the keeper's left, wrong-footing him. 2-1, 37 mins. However, for me the new system was not working properly - it covered gaps but let others open which Quakers tried to exploit, and the passing was not good enough. That will scupper any system. Many balls to Goulding were too strong. The Quakers winger came in from the right, gubbed Cummings & colleagues, & the ball was in the net. No defender complained, but the officials decided a forward was offside so disallowed the effort. So Cherries left the field with a barely-deserved lead.

HT 2-1

At the restart, we had a new ref. Also, Sturrock replaced Goulding at that point; I'd not noticed an injury to either party. The new ref. wasn't any better than the other, & Sturrock was called (just) offside on his first foray. Both sides showed decent movement; more pressure by Quakers from a different formation showed up Bradbury's limitations; quite right for Quinn to look for a right-back since the game. However, Igoe linked with Sturrock to allow Bartley to side-foot to the keeper. Sturrock turned out to be a floater, rather than a target; a little more pace & determination might've been useful. But through balls were still too strong, although Igoe made a well-timed run. Incompetence led to 2 corners for both sides. Quakers pressure saw a Cherries break, Igoe feeding Bartley, but the cross was too long. Cummings was yellowed - persistent fouling, I presumed. Igoe battled, & fed Sturrock who drew the keeper but put it wide. Did the officials miss or ignore a fingertip? I said that his dad, "Luggy" Sturrock, would've buried it.

Cherries had a free & a corner, with no result. Quakers players were yellowed & talked to by the ref. - again, persistent fouling. Quakers subbed, going 3 at the back, so Pitman replaced Anderton on 82 to match it. That's standard good practice by a manager - but was beyond the dearly departed Bond. In truth, Anderton seems to be a fading force - the quality is seen less. Bartley was felled & the niggles exploded into a pile-in. The result - Pearce yellowed, & seemingly Cummings again - but he didn't march so it was just ref. histrionics. McQuoid replaced Bartley at the start of added time; the latter hobbled off to great acclaim. Pitman took a free, which went too wide to McQuoid who retrieved it, jinked towards the area, returned it to the Hitman who buried it right-footed just inside the keeper's left stick. 3-1, 90+2. Final whistle - relief, surprise, big happy! FT 3-1.

Man Of The Match
Jalal did his stuff well. The centre-back trio was fairly solid, with Cooper mopping up effectively (his best position?). Igoe looked good when in space, but pushed of the ball too often when at close quarters. Goulding looked handy, & is learning to lead the line. Pitman did more in his cameo, including the final goal, than Sturrock all half. Hollands won the sponsors' MoM award and, as Steve H. pointed out, worked tirelessly covering for Anderton all game. That reduced his effectiveness, & Anderton was patchy with frees & long passes too often inaccurate. Cummings just about came out on top against his winger, & made some useful forays upfield; Bradbury less so. So for the usual heavy commitment, high energy & the opening goal, let's hear it for Marvellous Marvin Bartley!

AFCB: Jalal, Bradbury, Pearce, Guyett, Cooper, Cummings, Anderton, Hollands, Bartley, Igoe, Goulding
Subs: Pryce, Ward, Sturrock (for Goulding, at HT), Pitman (for Anderton, 82 mins), McQuoid (for Bartley, 90 mins)
Peter Wicks, Bulford