Date: 13 April 2002
A satisfactory end to the season - for me, at least. While the Cherries have on average won one game in five, when I have been watching it has been nearer one game in three.
There were still signs of the problems that have affected the Cherries' play all season, but the early part of the second half showed the spirit that is needed week in, week out, if we are to succeed well in either Division 2 or Division 3.
Today, of course, events elsewhere were as relevant as events in the Fitness First Stadium. At half time, Notts County were winning 1-0 at Cardiff - which would have made our result irrelevant. But by the end Cardiff had overturned the result to a 2-1 win. As news of this went around the stadium, and the Cherries game improved, tension and excitement mounted.
The first half was a typical 2001-2002 Cherries performance: uninspiring and hardly justifying survival. But late in the half, as Cherries were attacking the unbuilt end of the stadium, a Feeney cross found Holmes and he tucked the ball away for 1-0.
Feeney himself netted Bournemouth's second following a Hayter corner early in the second half. Tindall had a shot, and someone else (Carl Fletcher?) had a go too, but it was third time lucky for Feeney from short range.
When Feeney was brought down in the penalty area near the Cherries fans later on, the referee - Mr J.J. Ross, who had a good game - had no hesitation on pointing to the spot. Elliott kept the ball down, and slammed it into the bottom corner to his right. So Feeney, named as player of the season by the Daily Echo, the Junior Cherries and the Exiles - and, I reckon, my player of the season too - had a part in all three goals today, and won the sponsors' Man of the Match.
A late (and easy) consolation goal for Chesterfield made no difference; nor did the arrival - deep into injury time - of substitute Kandol for Feeney. (A little earlier, Stock's place had been taken by O'Connor, in a one-for-one swap.)
As usual I'll list the starting line-up with my scores out of ten :
Young (9), Maher (7), Tindall (7), Purches (7);
C Fletcher (6);
Elliott (7), Stock (8), Hayter (7);
Feeney (9), Holmes (7).