Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Millwall 0 Cherries 1

Date: 27 January 2001

What a week to be a Cherries' supporter! Close on the heels of the 2-0 win at Cambridge with ten men, we now visited the home of the league leaders and knocked them off their perch with a 1-0 victory.

Both sets of fans went to this match expecting something like a 3-1 win for the home team, and the goal from in-form Jorgensen (a header off a cross, but all credit to Carl Fletcher for his preparatory work) after just six minutes was not in itself sufficient to change anyone's mind about this.

But the Cherries kept going, matching everything Millwall could do, continually applying pressure. In fact, in what would have been an excellent scoreline, Howe had headed the ball in the back of the net again five minutes after the first goal, but this was disallowed by the referee.

There were so many more scoring opportunities for the Cherries in both halfs, including shots from Elliott and Jorgensen and Defoe - but sometimes (especially in Defoe's case) the shots were a bit too tame, and too straight, to give the Millwall 'keeper any problems..

Certainly the best opportunity of the second half was a header from Steve Fletcher, right in front of Bournemouth's 776 travelling fans, that hit the post.

Once again no Bournemouth player had a bad game, and I have awarded six 8's for the second time in a week! Narada had improved - not surprisingly - on his full debut the previous Tuesday, and will surely make the grade.

Defoe's chance of scoring in twelve league games in a row was finally abandoned when he was pulled off after 88 minutes. Millwall had just brought on a third striker in a last desperate attempt to equalise, and Sean O'Driscoll felt obliged to reciprocate by bringing on Danny Smith as a third central defender. Smith only lasted two minutes before walking off with a facial injury, but fortunately this didn't prove too serious and by then we were in any case into time added on, with all Cherries fans frantically whistling.

Post-match analysis came to the conclusion that once again team performance and morale had brought about the result, rather than individual flair. And in a sense there is some relief that Defoe's search for a record will no longer detract from the club's main aim of reaching the play-offs.

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

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

Hughes dropped slightly deeper - behind Carl Fletcher rather than to his left - in the second half as we tried to hang on to our incredible lead.

My 'man of the match' : Jorgensen.

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