Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 0 Oldham 0

Date: 24 January 1998

A frustrating game in which (where have I heard this before?) we had most of the play and made nothing of the chances. I have therefore given average scores (out of ten) to all the players.

The team lined up as follows:

Young (6), Cox (5), Howe (6), Vincent (6);
Bailey (5), O'Neill (7), Robinson (5), Brissett (6);
Fletcher (6), Jones (5).

Glass's clearances were as poor as ever and he wandered dangerously far from the goal-line at times. Bailey and Robinson lost their cool and argued too much. Jones must have already given up any hoping of joining us either permanently or even for a second month, as he gave a lacklustre performance.

Indeed all but one of the shots on goal we had were very soft touches, presenting no challenge at all to the Oldham keeper. I can't understand why local radio and TV thought we had several good chances; the only one I'd rate was O'Neill's power-shot which hit the post on the half hour mark.

Brissett's return to the left wing was welcome, and in the early part of the game he seemed almost his old self, with great pace, good distribution, and willing to take on two or three opponents at a time. But he wasn't so hot in the second half.

I wished I'd counted Boscombe's corner kicks in the second half. Surely 20 or 25? And they were all more or less identical. Vincent and O'Neill went to take them, Young and Bailey stayed back. And everyone else ran around like headless chickens with their backs to the ball. I thought corners were supposed to give the attacking team some sort of advantage, but they never do in our case.

This frustrating - even boring - half gave me chance to ponder three imponderables:

Why was the Oldham keeper allowed to dress like a referee?

Why is the grass so worn on the centre spot, of all places?

Why did Machin bring on Warren for Brissett with three minutes remaining?

Final score: 0-0.

This game surprisingly lifts us to 12th position, 4 points below the play-offs and 9 above relegation.

Man of the match: none really, but I'll give it to O'Neill for the best scoring chance of the game.

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