Date: 23 December 2006
It’s very rare at Bournemouth these days, what with all the loan signings and injuries (not to mention poor performances), but we began with the exact same 11 players, in the same positions, as the previous week. This was obviously more a statement about the spirited performance at Gillingham than about the result.
Vokes had probably an even better game than the previous week, and showed a remarkable range of skills for one so young: he can chase the ball, run with the ball, hold the ball up, and put in a decent shot. He probably had more shots on goal today than the rest of the team added together. But the biggest problem was that, when he was expertly holding the ball up, no-one was coming through to support him. Hayter would be the obvious person to do so, but is bring asked to play too deep (and is off-form anyway). I’d like to see Vokes-Hayter up front, if not Vokes-Pitman as I suggested last week.
We did get to see both Pitman and Vokes on the pitch together for the latter part of this match, but unfortunately by this stage we were chasing the game (0-2 down) and reduced to ten men. Anderton had been sent off for a second yellow card (presumably something he said, as we saw no action to prompt this) and to a loud rendition of “You’re not famous anymore” from the excitable Blackpool fans - who sang their hearts out for the full 90 minutes. The best thing, though, to come out of the sending-off, was the switch of Gillett into a more central position from which he looked pretty lethal. From that position he scored with a low shot that made the scoreline for a time a little more respectable (1-2). It’s just a shame that Gillett was scoring against the very team he will probably join in January for the rest of the season, so I wouldn’t bet against him scoring against us the next time these two teams meet.
The full story of the game was that the first half was evenly balanced, but with neither side providing the necessary cutting edge. In addition to Vokes, we saw shots from Fletcher and Hayter. The half time score was 0-0. But Blackpool managed to get a goal from close range two minutes into the second half, and within five minutes a second goal with a longer shot that - despite being at full stretch - Moss couldn’t reach. This remained the score through the sending off, substitutions, and numerous corner-kicks taken for Bournemouth by Hollands (right) or Anderton (left) until the Gillett ‘consolation’ goal. On the 88th minute, Blackpool scored again and frustrated Cherries’ fans began to leave in droves hoping to forget all about football for the festive season.
The starting line-up (with my scores out of ten) was :
Purches (7), Young (7), Broadhurst (6), Hart (8);
Gillett (8), Anderton (7), Hayter (7), Hollands (8);
Fletcher (6), Vokes (9).