Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Oxford 2 Cherries 3

Date: 22 October 2002

This match was so much more exciting to watch than Saturday's. It had everything, from the thrill of seeing three Bournemouth goals in a quarter hour period, to the joy of being 3-0 up at half time, to heart-stopping suspense in the last seven minutes when it looked as though Oxford could score the equaliser. For the whole match, the noise made by the 390 away fans was tremendous.

Bournemouth played a beautiful passing game in the first half. It seemed that about 20 passes led up to the third goal - from Purches' left foot. Stock and O'Connor were heavily involved in this goal; as indeed they were in the first goal which Steve Fletcher put home. No dodgy own-goal this time, but a real Steve Fletcher strike. In between the two, Hayter scored a soft goal when Steve Fletcher was in an "off side" position but not interfering with play.

The second half was rather different. Sloppy defending from Moss led to Oxford's first goal, and could have led to a number of others. A Browning handball in the area gave Oxford a penalty, from which they scored late on. But, as already recorded, we somehow held on for a 3-2 win, and avoided the possibility of golden goal and penalties.

Carl Fletcher had a much better game than Saturday, back in defence. Purches, despite one or two blunders, was even better on the right than he had been on the left on Saturday. The other Fletcher had a great game too, and was missed when substituted, even though it was good to see Feeney come on.

The starting line-up was :

Moss (6);
Purches (9), C Fletcher (8), Broadhurst (7), Narada (6);
O'Connor (8), Stock (8), Browning (6), Thomas (6);
Hayter (7), S Fletcher (8).

My 'man of the match' : Purches.

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