Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 0 Hull 1

Date: 22 January 2022

I accurately predicted the final score of this match at half time – but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

The Cherries kicked off with Mepham in for Cahill (Cahill inexplicably on the bench) and Davis for Zemura (who’s only just back from Africa). We only had six players on the bench today but I don’t know why.

We totally dominated the first half – I’ve never seen such an imbalanced 45 minutes of football – but we couldn’t score. I lost count of how many corners we earned and shots we had – though the best of the latter were a header from Solanke that went wide and a shot from Marcondes that hit the post. Mepham got injured late in the half and couldn’t continue, and Cahill took his place. So we reached half time at 0-0 and I said, if we couldn’t score in that 45 minutes we never will – so I forecast 1-0 to Hull.

Hull started the second half with all guns blazing. I couldn’t recall them having any corners in the first half but now they had three within five minutes. The signs were there for all to see. We struggled. Anthony came on in a straight swop for Lowe and we had a brief purple patch around the 70th minute, but the inevitable occurred about seven minutes later. Longman, Hull’s wing back, had the ball wide on Hull’s left flank. It looked like he’d pass to someone more central but no, he ran at a group of Bournemouth players but then put in the shot himself. An excellent goal, to be fair.

In addition to moving up a gear, Hull’s second half strategy seemed to be to keep breaking the flow of the game by having one player after another go down ‘injured’. It was obviously a scam but the referee had to stop the match each time, ‘just in case’ it was genuine, and the strategy – though not exactly in the spirit of the game – worked well for Hull. But we can’t blame them for our failure to get even a point; we just weren’t at our best today. The Stacey-Christie partnership on the right wing, and Davis-Lowe on the other side, both worked quite well – and Davis was probably our best player on the day. But Billing was surely the worst – nothing like his usual self, yet retained on the pitch for the full 90 minutes?

Well, I say ’90 minutes’ – but Hull’s ‘injury’ antics resulted in nine extra minutes being added. This didn’t help us though: we weren’t going to score if we played on all night! Since 1 November we’ve played twelve league matches and our results have been: win three, draw three, lose six. Not even good enough form to get us onto the play-offs I’m afraid, let alone automatic promotion.

The team lined up as follows at the start of the game:

Stacey, Mepham, Kelly, Davis;
Christie, Marcondes, Billing, Lowe;

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