Date: 9 March 1999
An excellent midweek crowd of 7181 saw us win three useful points, on a night when other results went our way. This brings us up to fourth place, but there was really little cause for celebration in the way the points were won.
Bristol Rovers undoubtedly had the best of the first half, but Cherries looked a little livelier after the break. None of our players played at his best, and many made the same mistake - making sideways or backwards passes that were all too easy for the opposition to intercept. Warren looked particularly inept most of the time, although his pace on the run nearly led to a goal in the second half. After a good run on the left wing, he passed to Stein, whose shot was cleared by the Rovers keeper back into the path of Warren, who then shot wide.
Hayter was also fast, on the right wing, and one particular run of his early in the first half led to a fine pass to Fletcher for Bournemouth's best (almost their only) shooting opportunity of the half.
Rovers' inexperienced 'keeper made some appalling clearances, but he was well protected by the Rovers' defenders and so we failed to capitalise on this weakness.
Vincent's free kicks and corners (of which there were many) were not up to the usual standard, but just one of them reached the head of Howe and led to the only goal of the game. Surprisingly, Vincent was named Sponsors' Man of the Match.
The team lined up as follows and no substitutions were made (my scores out of ten):
Young (6), Cox (7), Howe (6), Vincent (6);
Hayter (7), Robinson (5), Warren (5);
Stein (6), Fletcher (6)