Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Luton 1 Cherries 0

Date: 26 August 2000

Any early season optimism is rapidly waning amongst Cherries' fans.

A particular weakness is in attack, where Eribenne is not delivering the goods, but the alternatives - Hayter, Sheerin and Keeler - are either lightweight or unfit.

After a first half ruined by lack of finishing, the best option open to O'Driscoll later on was to bring on Hayter for Eribenne, but this was never going to work wonders and was in fact indicative of the squad's lack of strength in depth.

Carl Fletcher's knock in the first half inevitably resulted in a shake-up because there were no midfielders on the bench - not central ones anyway. So Hughes moved forward into midfield, and a 4-4-2 arrangement was enabled by Purches switching to right midfield and Jorgensen to the left. Angus took up a position as left back where he showed a lot of pace, energy and enthusiasm - looking much more effective than he had done as centre back the previous week.

But, up to this point, Jorgensen had provided the main threat to the Luton goal from his position just behind the twin strikers, and had managed several shots on goal, so eventually he was brought back infield with the tired Grant bowing out and Huck taking over on the left wing.

Hughes showed some excellent touches at times, both in his marking of Mark Stein and in his midfield work so - despite a slight lack of fitness and the fact that it was his challenge on Stein that gave away the penalty from which Luton scored in the 74th minute - I have awarded him 'man of the match'.

My scores out of ten :

Menetrier (6);
Tindall (7), N Fenton (5), Hughes (7);
Young (6), C Fletcher (6), Grant (6), Purches (7);
Jorgensen (6);
Eribenne (5), S Fletcher (6)

My 'man of the match' : Hughes.

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