Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Reading 3 Cherries 3

Date: 7 November 1998

An exhilarating and at times breathtaking game in which three times Bournemouth came from behind to equalise. I can forgive the concession of three goals, almost certainly caused more by weaknesses in midfield than by any weakness in defence. An impartial observer said that it would have been unjust if Bournemouth had returned home empty handed.

The long-awaited full debut of Roger Boli was a bit of an anticlimax, as he didn't get very involved and when he did it was - ironically - in defence. Daniel Rodriguez, who came off the bench for the final ten minutes and showed a lot of spirit, made more of an impression than Boli. Mark Stein scored yet again in the last five minutes of the game, as he so often does! But he also scored a penalty; presumably only taken because of the absence of Robinson, Tindall and Vincent, but nonetheless well executed. From then on, he was booed every time he got the ball. He now has 13 goals in the season, so is the Division's clear top scorer.

The first goal was scored by Warren who deserved it for his practice (continued from last season) of getting into a central position whenever Bournemouth advance on the right flank. It is sad that Warren only played (presumably) because of Vincent's enforced one match suspension, because he is deserving of a continued run of games on today's performance.

Hughes didn't really take to the left back position, even though this was his favoured position before joining the Cherries, and at one point Ovendale got quite angry with him for giving away an unnecessary corner. Ovendale himself worked tirelessly, especially towards the end when there was still everything to play for, but in fairness so did all the players.

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

Ovendale (8);
Young (6), Cox (7), Howe (8), Hughes (7);
Bailey (9);
Berthe (6), O'Neill (7), Warren (8);
Stein (8), Boli (7)

The crowd was just over 13,000 and once again our supporters outsang theirs. (I can say this with confidence because I was at the "wrong" end of the stadium!)

Man of the match : Bailey.

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