Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Swansea 2 Cherries 0

Date: 24 August 2002

This result condemned the Cherries to a bottom three place; and few would argue with that. Swansea were not even a particularly good side, and I would guess their supporters would be more pleased with the result than with the means by which it was achieved, which just goes to show how poor we've become.

We conceded the first goal straight from the kick-off of the match. No Bournemouth player had come into contact with the ball at this stage, and a mix-up between Tardif and his central defenders let Swansea through. Swansea's later goal was, admittedly, against the run of play - but that doesn't make the result unfair.

We can't blame injuries either. Maher missed the game and so did Steve Fletcher, Hughes and Eribenne, but none of this justifies our poor quality of play. Feeney went off apparently injured three minutes before half time but if anything we played better after this because Connell looked very lively (especially when tormenting the Swans' keeper) and we also played with two men up front after the substitution, which was a better shape. (We actually made the change from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 about 15 minutes before half time, by putting Hayter up front and utilising O'Connor wide on the left midfield; a very necessary change because Feeney had no chance on his own and the three central midfielders were previously getting in each other's way.)

Apart from Connell, the liveliest Bournemouth player was Elliott on the right wing. The rest of the midfielders got into quite a muddle, our back four being little better, and both Purches and Tardif had moments when they were brilliant but (rather more) moments when they were dire.

Young got himself two (deserved) yellow cards so was sent off with quarter of an hour of the game remaining, and will therefore be suspended sometime in the future.

As usual I'll list the starting line-up with my scores out of ten :

Tardif (6);
Young (6), Broadhurst (6), Tindall (6), Purches (6);
Elliott (8), C Fletcher (6), Browning (7), O'Connor (7), Hayter (7);
Feeney (7).

My 'man of the match' : Elliott.

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