Date: 8 November 2022
This much needed (and convincing) victory has hopefully boosted Mark Travers’ self-confidence; and the club’s confidence in O’Neil.
50 mph winds had been forecast for Bournemouth today. I’m not sure whether that forecast was achieved, but there was certainly some very heavy rain blowing into the stands half an hour before kick-off, encouraging many to return to the concourses for a while. Drier conditions prevailed through most of the match itself, but of course by then we were already drenched!
As you’d expect for a League Cup match, many players were rested. We lined up in a 4-2-3-1 system for most of the game. A brief foray into 5-4-1 for some of the first half saw Anthony as right wing-back; Stacey, Stephens and Mepham (unable to play on Saturday because of a suspension) as centre backs; Zemura as left wing-back; and Christie-Pearson-Rothwell-Stanislas across the midfield. It would become a feature of this game that players had to switch positions from time to time: in particular, Stacey played right back, centre back and left back (the latter when Fredericks came on for an injured Zemura) at different times! Stanislas was captain for the night.
Our first goal was a strange one. A pass from Stanislas found Lowe, whose looping shot was deflected and touched the bar on its way in. Initially, only supporters close to the goal (in the Ted MacDougall stand) realised the ball had gone in and started cheering; fans situated further away took a while to react! But the goal, whether it was exactly what Lowe had intended or not, stood.
Everton had two or three golden opportunities to equalise in the rest of the first half, but each effort missed (or was saved – Travers had a good game). So at half time the score was 1-0 to us.
But the second goal was more convincing. Following an Everton goalie error, the ball made its way from Bournemouth’s right to the left, whence Stanislas guided it home for 2-0. Gray of Everton got one back, reminding everyone how we’d slipped up on our two most recent league games after being two goals up. But then some excellent work between Stacey and Dembele (who’d now taken over from Stanislas as the middle of the three) on Bournemouth’s left led to a shot from Lowe; this shot was saved but Marcondes was on hand to score from the rebound. 3-1. And finally an unselfish pass from Dembele to Anthony, who’d pointed to exactly where he wanted the ball, led to Bournemouth’s goal number 4. Anthony had had a great game and totally deserved to get on the scoresheet. So my homeward journey was a cheerful one, even despite both the M3 and the A3 being closed so that I had to resort to plan C to get home!
The team lined up as follows at the start of the game:
Stacey, Stephens, Mepham, Zemura;
Christie, Stanislas, Anthony;