Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Millwall 1 Cherries 2

Date: 2 May 1998

Despite the great result away from home, the end of this match proved somewhat of an anticlimax. After a season in which we went to Wembley, reached our highest level under Machin, and achieved so much goodwill off the pitch, it would have been good to give a final wave and cheer to the team - particularly those such as Glass and Brissett whom we may never see in Bournemouth strip again.

But it was not to be. For everyone's safety the referee (as was his undeniable prerogative) added on no time for injuries, substitutions, or even the previous pitch invasion. On exactly 90 minutes he blew the whistle for the end of the game. Another pitch invasion followed, and the players (ours and Millwall's) dived for the cover of the tunnel, not to emerge again.

This was - in result terms - to our advantage not Millwall's because at that point the Millwall side was on the ascendancy. Our best period had been the first twenty minutes of the second half, but all the goals had been in the first.

So the only players to get a final cheer were the two that went off injured: Vincent (replaced by Brissett, although in practice it was Warren who then took up the left back position) and Bailey (replaced by O'Neill).

The attitudes of the two substitutes could not have been more different: Brissett played his heart out, while O'Neill proved the weakest link in the team.

The team lined up as follows at the start of the game (my scores out of ten):

Glass (7);
Young (7), Cox (7), Howe (8), Vincent (7);
Beardsmore (7);
Bailey (7), Robinson (7), Warren (6);
Fletcher (7), Stein (7)

Our first goal came off a corner. There was a delayed reaction as our supporters (and even our team) seemed not immediately aware that a Millwall defender, trying to take the ball off Cox, had succeeded in netting it.

Our second goal was Stein's fourth in his time with us; all away from home!

Final score: 2-1 to us.

Man of the match : Howe.

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