Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Colchester 3 Cherries 2

Date: 18 August 1998

I have mixed feelings about this game: relief that we're through to the next round of the cup (just); pleasure that we were 2-1 up at one point; happy memories of our goals - especially Stein's; encouragement that we've scored two goals per game this season to date.

But also concern that we lost on the night to a poor team; that our unbeaten run is over; that we sat back for too much of the game; that a result like this in the league would disappoint.

We've still, in fairness, only conceded one goal in normal play this season. The other two Colchester goals were penalties - the first awarded, fairly, against Young and the other, dubiously, against Cox.

Stein's goal was (as mentioned already) a stunner, and made by Fletcher who also had a good game. Fletcher's own diving header of a goal off a corner was suspiciously close to being an own goal but delighted our fans nonetheless; not least because a crowd disturbance meant we almost missed it!

It was a shame that Young and Bailey both got booked; Bailey, who once again couldn't control his temper and had to be silenced by his own colleagues, was lucky not to get a red card before half time, which could have altered the direction of the game totally.

Robinson hobbled off injured before half time and was replaced by Tindall.

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

Ovendale (6);
Young (6), Cox (5), Howe (8), Vincent (6);
Berthe (5), Bailey (5), Robinson (6), Hughes (7);
Fletcher (7), Stein (8)

The crowd of 2,550 included a creditable 220 visiting supporters. Final score: 2-3 to them, but 4-3 to us on aggregate.

Man of the match : Howe.

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