Date: 3 November 2001
I can't remember a more nerve-racking end to a game since Brentford in the "Great Escape" season! Our ten men valiantly kept going after Feeney's dismissal, and even through five minutes of added time, to receive rapturous applause from the travelling fans at the end of the match. We'd won our first away victory of the season, and against our "bogey" team, Col. United!
The team lined up with Stock preferred over Hughes, and Stock had a magnificent game, collecting and passing balls well, to justify his selection. The one unusual aspect to the team line-up was Purches playing in front of the back three, in a central position, but - when he got used to this role - it worked well and proved a successful defence against one of Colchester's most common sources of goals this season: the 'hole' behind their front two players. Indeed, the only goal Colchester scored today was from Duguid's (admittedly excellently executed and unstoppable) free kick.
Bournemouth's first goal was scored by an inform Feeney off an Elliott cross. Our second was scored by Howe off a well-taken Hayter corner; a very unusual source of goals for Bournemouth. Both of these were in the first twenty minutes of the match, before Colchester got one back.
When Hayter went up to take a second corner from the same flank, we hoped for a repeat performance. But, just as he was about to take the kick, he stopped to pick up the ball and re-place it. From where we were standing, this did indeed look like time wasting and the referee's decision to book him appeared fair. Only later did I learn - from someone with a better view - that he'd picked up the ball because it had rolled off the spot. Obviously the booking unsettled Hayter, so he didn't then take the corner so well.
A more controversial decision by the referee was when Feeney was brought down in the second half for what appeared a clear penalty. The referee gave a corner instead, and Feeney's subsequent complaints led to his dismissal. This was tragic for Bournemouth, who had already lost Holmes through injury. As we were still holding on to a 2-1 lead O'Driscoll wisely left Chukki (Holmes' replacement) up front on his own for the remainder of the game. Chukki didn't have a good game - running a lot but appearing unwilling to take players on - except that he was responsible for one absolutely vital goal-line clearance at the other end, which enabled us to retain our lead.
The other two substitutions were Hughes - who didn't have time to achieve much but at least got one or two good passes (and one half-good shot) in - for Stock; and Narada - who looked in excellent form and got some excellent crosses in to Chukki - for Hayter.
The starting line-up, with my scores out of ten :
Broadhurst (7), Tindall (7), Howe (8);
Elliott (8), Stock (8), C Fletcher (7), Hayter (7);
Holmes (7), Feeney (8).