Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 0 Peterborough 2

Date: 2 March 2002

Make no bones about it, this was possibly the worst I've ever seen the Cherries play. After good reviews of the midweek game, I must confess I'd expected better. At the end of the match some fans called for "O'Driscoll out", some sang "Sack the Board" and others simply booed the players - which just demonstrated that no-one even knows where to lay the blame. But at least, for once, O'Driscoll won't be able to blame "bad luck". The Cherries were, in fact, lucky to lose only 2-0.

Peterborough's pace coming forward - especially the lively Leon McKenzie - were a permanent threat. Their players always seemed to know where each other were, whereas the only Bournemouth player who seemed able to read the game that well was Thomas.

One or two of our players had dreadful games. Tindall didn't do a single thing right in the first half. His passes never found their target, and - though a defender - he never seemed to be marking anyone. Stewart's antics were clown-like. He came so far out of his goal that Cherries' supporters missed a heartbeat every time Peterborough won the ball. Purches' free kicks were hopelessly inadequate, as were Hayter's corners.

Apart from Thomas, already mentioned, Bournemouth's only stars were the two half time substitutes. Young looked very determined, and his distribution was much better than I remember from more than eighteen months ago when he last played. He even managed one (weak) shot. Tindall, inevitably, made way for him. And Feeney was quite lively and fast moving, though he seems to have lost his finishing-power. It was McAnespie who made way for him - taking the blame for the first Peterborough goal - enabling Hayter to move into midfield and Purches to return to a more familiar left back role. Purches and Thomas managed some half-decent overlapping play on the left flank in the second half, but Young and Elliott no doubt need a bit more time playing together before they will achieve the same on the right.

For the second game in a row, Young was booked within ten minutes of starting. But the main match facts make dismal reading: Peterborough scored in the fourth minute and - despite being reduced to ten men before half-time - scored again in the 47th.

As usual I've listed the starting line-up, with my scores out of ten :

Stewart (5);
Tindall (4), Maher (7), Howe (7), McAnespie (6);
Elliott (7), Purches (6), O'Connor (7), Thomas (8);
Hayter (6), Holmes (6).

My 'man of the match' : Thomas.

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