Date: 4 March 2000
A third-minute goal from Reading strongly suggested that Bournemouth's pattern of never winning two in a row was set to continue.
Reading were not a brilliant side, particularly in defence, but a lacklustre Bournemouth were unable to capitalise on this.
The Bournemouth fans were calling for Fletch even before half-time, (by which time we were 2-0 down,) and were rewarded when he was introduced at half time (Tindall being substituted and the team switching to 4-3-3). But this was never likely to make much difference as it was not in defence that we were weak.
The fans switched now to chants of "Machin's gotta go", "Watkins out", and "Willo!", expressing general dissatisfaction with the current club situation off the pitch.
Eventually O'Neill and Elliott came on for Mean and Young, and Elliott - at right back - marked his league debut with a ferocious tackle, injuring a Reading player and earning himself a yellow card. A beautiful 'clean' tackle later on, in which Elliott won the ball from behind, showed something of the genuine skill which this player is able to combine with his aggressiveness.
My scores out of ten :
Tindall (6), Howe (7), O'Shea (6);
Young (5), Mean (6), Robinson (8), Jorgensen (7);
Hayter (7), Stein (7)