Date: 27 September 2003
The turning point - and talking point - of this match was the sending off of Cummings in injury time at the end of the first half. Duguid was on the ground with the ball between his legs, play was continuing, Cummings appeared to try and hook the ball out but was deemed to have stamped on Duguid and so (after consultation between the referee and his assistant) was red carded.
Coming at the time it did, it gave Cherries chance to regroup during the break. We switched, inevitably, to the back three of Maher - Carl Fletcher - Broadhurst that had ended the previous game, with every other player remaining in place from the first half, except for a one-for-one swap of Stock for Browning in the centre of the park. Stock was the only senior player not have had a run-out this season except for Stewart (goalie) and Saadi (on loan to the Poppies) so this was a good opportunity for him. He played quite well, and very nearly scored from a free kick later on as well as putting in one or two decent corner kicks, but this wasn't an easy day for any Bournemouth player to score.
Apart from Stock's chance, the nearest we came to scoring was an excellent close range shot from Hayter which was saved just before the end. Both goalies managed some excellent saves in this match, and Moss earned himself another man-of-the-match award, from me at least! Elliott had another lively game and Carl Fletcher was solid in defence, but no-one else shone, least of all Feeney whose return to the starting line-up at least appeased the fans. Broadhurst's passes were the worst I've seen from him, and the return of Young to the right back slot in a week or two should improve our overall performance significantly.
The one goal was, in fairness, a superb shot. That man Duguid again, the only one named in the 'five years ago today' page of the programme who is still in the squad today. His strong curling shot from a wide left position on the 75th minute gave Moss no chance, and gave Colchester the three points. We dropped to tenth place in the Division 2 table, with Colchester overtaking us.
Not the best of days out. First Great Eastern Railways landed me at Colchester 37 minutes late, and then announced they were terminating a service previously due to run on into Colchester Town. This forced me to take a cab to the ground instead of walking, and added seven quid to the cost of the day. Then the away terrace at Layer Road was so congested that almost a quarter of the ground was out of sight, and conditions far from comfortable. The snack bar insisted on taking the caps off bottled drinks, which meant - as there was nowhere to put a bottle down - that all 500 ml had to be drunk quickly rather than spread over the full 90 minutes! The only reconciling feature of a rotten day was therefore the kind gesture of a Colchester fan who bought us a pint at The Albert on the way home!
The starting line-up was (with my scores out of ten) :
Broadhurst (5), C Fletcher (8), Maher (7), Cummings (7);
Elliott (8), Browning (7), Purches (7), O'Connor (6);
Feeney (7), S Fletcher (7).
Elliott, C Fletcher, Broadhurst, Purches;
Holmes, Feeney, S Fletcher.