Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 1 Colchester 1

Date: 3 April 2004

A frustrating sort of game again, and the feeling we should do better at home, but our hearts were cheered when the league table on the TV screens in the Cherry Tree afterwards, revealed that this one point had been sufficient to move us up one place - into a play-off position again.

But for too much of the game we weren't good enough. Substitutes Holmes and Browning made a much bigger contribution than those who'd left the pitch - Feeney, Stock, Maher - all of whom had had poor games. Steve Fletcher wasn't at his best either; he struggled in the air, and when he did manage to head the ball the distribution was almost random. Certainly Feeney - often in a wide left position - wasn't close enough to take advantage of Big Fletch's headers. And almost inevitably Hayter scored the late equaliser. I wondered whether he'd once again waited until his parents had left! One thing was for certain; many people had left and we could see them looking back from the car park and wondering what they'd missed.

A number of players got into reasonable positions and had shots, but not on target. Browning, Carl Fletcher and Purches all attempted long shots that weren't far off target. Holmes had a shot not long after coming onto the field of play. But perhaps the best un-goal was Jorgensen's in the second half. From close range he hit the cross bar and the keeper turned the ball out. By this stage Jorgensen was playing right wing-back, so he'd done well to get into a scoring position. By the time Hayter scored - with a lob - he was more or less playing up front, but we know he can score from any position!

Sam Stockley was booed from the start by the Bournemouth crowd, who hadn't forgotten how he got Cummings sent off in the tie at Layer Road. As a result, Col U fans (noisier than our own for most of the match, even though there were probably no more than a hundred of them) chanted Stockley's name incessantly just to annoy us. And once again, Stockley was involved in a controversial incident. Shortly after our goal, Stockley handled the ball in the penalty area but the referee didn't given the penalty. O'Connor, our third substitute, was on the pitch by then and it would have been good to see him score our winning goal from the spot.

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

Moss (8);
Buxton (7), C Fletcher (8), Maher (6), Cummings (7);
Hayter (8), Stock (6), Purches (7), Jorgensen (7);
S Fletcher (7), Feeney (6).

Once again, O'Driscoll changed it all round for the start of the second half :

Maher, C Fletcher, Buxton;
Jorgensen, Stock, Purches, Cummings;
S Fletcher, Feeney.

Late in the game, it all changed round again, to a sort of 4-3-3, with Purches at right back, Buxton at centre back, and Hayter joining Holmes and Big Fletch up front.

My 'man of the match' : Hayter.

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