Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 0 Lincoln 1

Date: 26 April 2003

The best crowd yet - over 7,500 - watched a poor game that saw Bournemouth guarantee a place in the play-offs despite getting no points and no goals.

Bournemouth were dire in the first half but (as so often) improved in the second as they played towards the North Stand. All the best opportunities to score were in the second half, of which Browning had no less than four shots of goal - on one occasion being unlucky enough to hit the woodwork. Opportunities also fell to Gulliver and Hayter; while McDonald worked hard again but didn't get good service. Elliott and Thomas both ran hard, and took on defenders well, but lacked the final finish.

Lincoln's goal came from literally their only shot of the game: Butcher kept the ball low and rolled it through a crowded penalty area on the 27th minute. It took a further seventeen minutes before this goal was reflected on the scoreboard. The Lincoln fans gave very enthusiastic support to their team from that time on, and throughout the second half, while the local fans sat in stunned silence and many left early. A promised lap of honour by the team after the match must have had few watchers. Bournemouth will go into the play-offs lacking confidence while Lincoln (whom we could well meet again soon) will go into the play-offs on a roll.

Bournemouth switched tactics to 3-4-1-2 later on (Purches/C Fletcher/Cummings; Elliott/Browning/O'Connor/Thomas; Hayter; McDonald/S Fletcher) but it was a day when nothing was going to work and all effort was to little avail.

The starting line-up had been (with my scores out of ten) :

Moss (8);
Young (8), C Fletcher (7), Gulliver (7), Cummings (7);
Elliott (7), Browning (9), Purches (8), Thomas (6);
McDonald (8), Holmes (7).

My 'man of the match' : Browning.

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