Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 2 Spurs 3

Date: 29 October 2022

The Cherries’ third defeat in a row makes the earlier six game unbeaten run under Gary O’Neil feel like ancient history now.

This wasn’t a great day out for me. The best seat I could get was in row B which is the worst place to be when it rains. And it did rain on and off, despite forecasts to the contrary, and even rained throughout my drive home which had definitely not been forecast. It’s a long journey when you’ve just seen your team go 2-0 up but then lose.

The team lined up with Travers in for Neto, Zemura for Fredericks and Moore for Christie. It was a good selection, and the fairly conventional 4-4-2 system seemed to give the team confidence. We ran Spurs off the park in the first half. We started especially brightly, with an early header over the bar by Moore off a Lewis Cook corner and then a solo effort by Tavernier leading to a shot that was going in if it hadn’t been saved. At about the midpoint of this half all the effort appeared to have paid off as the same two players combined, Tavernier passing to Moore who made it 1-0. Nonetheless, Spurs hit the post (or rather Senesi did – it would have been an own goal) late in the half to show that Spurs were still posing a threat.

In half time discussions it was generally agreed that even one point against a team like Spurs would be a good result for us – but also that it was our pace, particularly through the midfield, that was currently making all the difference. And sure enough less than five minutes into the second half we’d doubled our lead – and it was Moore again, his diving header coming off an excellent pass from Smith wide on the right.

But Spurs weren’t giving up. They made their first substitution at half time and four more during the second half, raising their game in the process. We also made changes – Tavernier and Billing getting dropped, Fredericks and Zemura becoming wing backs, and Solanke-Moore-Anthony making up a front three. But once Sessegnon had scored (a brilliant goal incidentally) Spurs were on a roll. Two more goals both from set-pieces (corners), and the last of them in added time, turned our 2-0 lead into a 2-3 defeat. By then, Moore had been named the sponsors’ ‘man of the match’, for what it was worth.

If we could put on anything like today’s first half performance against Leeds and Everton in our next two league games, we would surely come away with some much needed points before the long international break? But I bet we won’t. We raised our game against Spurs but I don’t see us repeating this against ‘lowlier’ opposition. I just hope I’ll be proved wrong!

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

Smith, Mepham, Senesi, Zemura;
Tavernier, Cook, Lerma, Billing;
Solanke, Moore

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