Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 0 Wrexham 1

Date: 14 March 1998

A game we deserved to lose, and no mistake. A lethargic performance (was everyone's mind on next Tuesday?) by the Cherries; the game dominated throughout by the Welshmen.

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

Glass (6);
Young (6), Cox (5), Rolling (5), Vincent (8);
Beardsmore (6);
Bailey (6), Robinson (6), O'Neill (5);
Fletcher (6), Stein (5)

Mark Stein's home debut was inauspicious. One cracking shot in the first half enabled us to glimpse his potential, but he got involved in the game very little and towards the end the crowd were baying for his substitution.

O'Neill had a poor game and was rightfully substituted. Rawlinson took his place, before switching to a defensive central position later in the game. Brissett later came on for Bailey, at which point Beardsmore moved to a wide position on the right (team preparation for Bailey's imminent suspension?) and Howe for Vincent.

Rolling wasn't his usual self either, holding on to the ball too long. Fletcher won some of the aerial combats but seems to have forgotten how to turn on the ball. Glass is still struggling with his goal clearances; perhaps he should practise ball-throwing, as has gained vogue in the Premiership.

We played quite a defensive game, Beardsmore often intermingling with the back four and Robinson also playing deeper than usual. I'm sure this partly explains why the ball spent so much of the time in our half.

Final score: 1-0 to them.

A tally of only one league point in four games leaves us in 9th position, but now 7 points below the play-offs.

Man of the match: Vincent.

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