Date: 1 February 2003
It must have been a long ride home for Boston players and fans, who had survived a tortuous journey and late pitch inspection, and were beating Bournemouth 1-0 on ninety minutes, and still went home empty-handed.
This was a scrappy game for the most part. Although it was the same Bournemouth team as a week previously, at first they didn't seem to recognise each other. The lack of a midweek game seemed to result in the team losing their momentum. It wasn't until the second half that we moved up a gear.
The best opportunities then came for the central midfielders Stock and O'Connor. Hayter also worked tirelessly and got into good positions, while Buxton showed his skill at passing the ball, Tindall was a rock in defence, and Thomas easily outran his opponent on Bournemouth's left wing.
Tardif had a quiet game. Then, against the run of play, a sudden unexpected Boston break on 78 minutes led to a long-shot by Angel from 30 yards or so, and GOAL! Tardif and almost everyone else in the stadium wondered where on earth that had come from. The visiting fans were jubilant, especially as the goal had been scored at "their" end of the stadium.
Our two goals were scored at "our" end of the stadium too. But not before Feeney had come on, and attempted a shot on the turn with his first kick of the ball; and a Boston defender had been sent off for two yellow cards (in an incident involving Feeney and spotted by the linesman but not by the referee). We were into the four minutes of injury time at the end of the second half. A Stephen Purches cross from the right (we were now playing 3-3-4 and Purches was the rightmost of the back three!) was aimed at Elliott. Redfearn made a hash of defending it and actually directed the ball into his own net. No deflection this, but a genuine "own goal". Then with virtually the last kick of the match Hayter had a shot on goal, the keeper saved it but Feeney scored in front of an exultant North Stand off the rebound. A number of Boscombe fans, who left when we were 1-0 down, managed to miss both our goals!
The starting line-up was (with my scores out of ten) :
Buxton (8), C Fletcher (6), Tindall (9), Purches (8);
Elliott (6), Stock (7), O'Connor (7), Thomas (7);
Hayter (8), S Fletcher (7).