Date: 20 November 2004
A difficult game; played in increasingly cold, and very wet, conditions. The players were slipping so often, and the ground was so sticky, that we (and Chesterfield) resorted to a lot of long balls. At least, I hope that was the reason for a style of game that never suits Bournemouth and on this occasion made Fletcher - the natural recipient of most hoofed long balls - look particularly inept. Fletcher was replaced by Holmes at half time; Connell by Rodrigues and O'Connor by Browning (Spicer going wide left) later on; but the substitutions made little or no difference to a game in which, although Chesterfield never shone, they effectively prevented Bournemouth from playing.
The best chances came on approximately the half hour mark of the first half, and in the opening minutes of the second. On the former occasion we managed to win five successive corners. Some of these were pretty good, and were met by Howe headers or Elliott shots, but none quite resulted in a goal. The second spell saw Bournemouth dramatically up the pace but without effect. In addition to Howe and Elliott, the match included scoring opportunities for Cummings, Spicer, Fletcher and - notably - Connell, who missed a close-range 'sitter' in the second period.
One of the less savoury aspects of this match was a Chesterfield penchant for diving, which was not only allowed by the referee but on occasions resulted in underserved bookings for Bournemouth players. Cummings, Young, Stock and Howe were all booked; and at least three out of four were questionable!
The starting line-up (with my scores out of ten) was :
N Moss (8);
Young (7), Broadhurst (8), Howe (8), Cummings (7);
Elliott (7), Spicer (7), Stock (7), O'Connor (8);
Fletcher (5), Connell (6).