Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 1 Millwall 0

Date: 7 May 2022

For the second game in a row Kieffer Moore came off the substitutes’ bench to score the only goal of the match.

This was a strange game for Bournemouth fans because in theory there was nothing to play for – just pride, and maybe some personal targets for individual players. But the same did not apply to Millwall, who could theoretically sneak into the playoffs if they won here and if other results went their way.

Parker had chosen a somewhat defensive line-up with two holding midfielders (Cook, Kilkenny) and only one attacking midfielder (Marcondes). He’d also placed Brady – whom I’d only previously seen play as a left back – wide on the right of midfield. But it was clear from the off that we were going for the win – or, at least, to give some good entertainment to the fans. Solanke had some shots; Anthony’s passes were going a bit awry, but otherwise the team was playing well. But no-one managed to open the scoring in the first half. Forty-five minutes: 0-0.

Around the hour mark, Parker brought on Dembele for Brady, with Anthony now switching to the right and Dembele as usual on the left. This appeared to be a planned substitution, i.e. Brady didn’t look injured. Ten minutes later a brilliant run from Zemura resulted in a pass to Marcondes whose shot went into the back of the net. We began to celebrate but the linesman’s flag was up – for Zemura, who’d needlessly moved into an offside position (i.e. blocking the Millwall keeper’s view) after passing to Marcondes.

This was possibly Marcondes’ last touch before he was replaced by Kieffer Moore. But still the shape of the team remained unchanged: Moore replaced Solanke up front, Solanke replaced Marcondes just behind. The shape wouldn’t change until the final substitution was made: Billing for Cook. Now we played with just one defensive midfielder, Kilkenny; Anthony, Billing and Dembele across the midfield; and Solanke to the right of Moore up front. I don’t really know whether the change of shape made any difference, but the introduction of Billing certainly did: it was his throw-in (at our own end of the pitch) that found Moore, who charged forwards unchallenged and scored his fourth goal in three games. (Anthony had run forward alongside him to provide an alternative way of scoring if needed, and to stretch Millwall’s defence.)

The sponsors, unsurprisingly, made Moore their ‘man of the match’, but I’d probably have given it to Phillips. Anyway they’re all heroes: Premier League here we come!

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

Smith, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura;
Cook, Kilkenny;
Brady, Marcondes, Anthony;

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