Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Fulham 0 Cherries 1

Date: 24 February 1998

Another great performance by the Cherries in which we could or should have won by an even bigger margin. (Now where have I heard that before?)

The team lined up as follows (my scores out of ten):

Glass (7);
Young (7), Cox (7), Rolling (8), Vincent (9);
Bailey (7), O'Neill (7), Robinson (7), Warren (7);
Fletcher (7), Brissett (6).

It was good to see Vincent back, and apparently fully match fit. He certainly had more of the play than anyone, made some good passes, and gets my man-of-the-match this time. (Runner-up Franck Rolling.)

The midfield played very tight in the centre, so often only the fullbacks were in wide positions.

Glass's clearances were much improved since Luton, and only once did I see him venture too far out of the goal area. He also made a few good saves for us.

The one Bournemouth goal was at the farthest end of the pitch from the Cherries' fans (why is this always the case?) but apparently it was scored by Robinson (thirty-eighth minute) although it looked more like a deflection off Fulham's keeper to me.

We had many more chances, such as some diving headers by O'Neill and a mistake by the Fulham keeper which could have been capitalised on by Fletcher, but wasn't.

Our corner kicks were mostly well executed too; the team certainly seem to be improving on some of my chief concerns from previous games.

Brissett had a poor game, though in fairness he was on his own up front a lot of the time. With twenty minutes to go he was substituted by Hayter; three minutes from the end Howe replaced Hayter up front. The unused sub was Teather.

Final score: 1-0 to us.

This game lifts us to 8th position, 2 points below the play-offs and 15 above relegation.

Attendance: 7708, of which surely 1000 from Bournemouth? A very vocal group of Cherries' fans taunting Fulham with "What a waste of money" and "Where were you when you were skint", as well as screaming "Scummer" perpetually at Maik Taylor. Fulham certainly had a terrible game, and their supporters were leaving in droves with ten minutes still to play; perhaps this was one reason why the referee added no time on at all.

One other talking point: can anyone recall a milder February night on the terraces? (The first half in particular)

Man of the match: Vincent.

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