Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 1 Peterborough 2

Date: 15 November 2003

This was a fast and furious game at times - especially towards the end - and one that must have been thrilling for neutral supporters. Both managers had done their homework on their opponents, but it was Barry Fry who won the battle of the managers on the day.

Peterborough dominated the first half and much of the second. They could have scored many more times than they actually did. For the first goal - after only seven minutes - McKenzie tricked Broadhurst and chipped past Moss into an open goal. For the second, Woodhouse skillfully shot twenty yards from the edge of the area, through a mass of players' legs.

Peterborough were again and again advancing on the right, exploiting our weaknesses on a day when neither Cummings nor O'Connor had a good game. Countless Peterborough scoring opportunities (and several more efforts from McKenzie) were only prevented by saves from Moss; or - in one case - a goal-line clearance by Purches. We had few shots - one header by Broadhurst in the first half was saved; a chance for Browning in the second half went over the bar. On the hour mark, O'Driscoll brought on Tindall for Elliott. Despite the boos from the crowd, the decision seemed inspired because Tindall immediately almost got an 'assist', and moments later got in a shot which went over the bar. Tindall - playing the Derek Holmes role of tall third striker - won everything in the air and made quite an impact on the game. But still we didn't score. Hayter was then brought on, so we were now playing four up front! And eventually Stock was brought on too, and proved influential in midfield.

It was ironic that although the Bournemouth goal came shortly after the third substitution, in the end it was achieved by the two strikers who had played the full ninety minutes: Steve Fletcher fed Feeney who slotted the ball between the keeper's legs. Once again, every goal in the match had been scored at the North Stand end!

The referee had a poor game - apparently giving every decision to Peterborough. The strangest decision was late on when Stock cleanly tackled a Peterborough player to win the ball. I was still admiring the excellent skill he had demonstrated, when the referee yellow-carded him!

Bournemouth threw everything at Peterborough in the closing stages, but it was too late to affect the final score.

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

Moss (7);
Buxton (6), C Fletcher (6), Broadhurst (6), Cummings (6);
Elliott (7), Browning (8), Purches (7), O'Connor (6);
S Fletcher (7), Feeney (7).

The rather different finishing line-up was :

Purches, C Fletcher, Buxton, Cummings;
Stock, Browning;
Hayter, S Fletcher, Feeney, Tindall.

My 'man of the match' : Browning.

Return to my football reports and links page.