Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cambridge 0 Cherries 2

Date: 23 January 2001

In some ways this was reminiscent of the Luton home game. Once again, pre-match speculation focused on whether Defoe would create a new record. And once again he was almost prevented from doing so by an overzealous linesman giving too many "offsides".

Obviously the main thing this match will be remembered for is THAT goal. Carl Fletcher laid the ball on to Defoe, who beat a defender to score in his usual nonchalant style. Immediately all the other Bournemouth outfield players piled on top of Defoe to help him celebrate. The slight disappointment was that this was right in front of the usual (exposed) away terracing, which tonight was out of bounds - but I guess on balance we'd have preferred to sit under cover during the most torrential of the evening rain.

Then the match will be remembered for the crowd of Bournemouth fans. About 250, vocal for all the game but ecstatic after the goal had gone in. The new song "We've got Jermain Defoe/ He scored ten in a row" soon caught on and even the most reserved of fans were soon singing at the top of their voice. Also Jermain's family, and a number of West Ham fans keeping an eye on "their lad", swelled the numbers.

Thirdly we shall remember the brave way ten players battled on despite the disappointment of Elliott's sending off; the worry of Broadhurst's injury (not serious as it turned out) which caused him to be substituted; and the (at times) dreadful weather conditions.

Full marks especially to the three remaining midfield players who reorganised (with a little less width) to take the place of four.

But no Bournemouth player had a bad game, as is shown by the points below: I've never awarded so many eights! And it turned out that Smith was a very acceptable substitute for Broadhurst, and Hayter (late in the game) for Defoe.

For the record, the second Bournemouth goal (and I can still hardly believe we won 2-0 away from home with 10 men!) came from Hayter's head, in a crowded goalmouth, off a Hughes corner that looked to be curving in anyway.

The starting line-up, with my scores out of ten :

Stewart (7);
Broadhurst (7), Tindall (8), Howe (8), Narada (6);
Elliott (6), C Fletcher (8), Hughes (8), Jorgensen (8);
Defoe (8), S Fletcher (7)

By the end the line-up was :

Smith, Tindall, Howe, Narada;
Jorgensen, Hughes, C Fletcher;
Hayter, S Fletcher

My 'man of the match' : Defoe.

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