Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 0 Wrexham 0

Date: 8 May 1999

Boos, a mass walkout, and many fans muttering "Machin out" greeted this pathetic end to a long season.

Wrexham, who knew that they would end up mid-table whatever the result, and hadn't brought many supporters to Dean Court, didn't play particularly well and didn't need to defend much. All that Bournemouth needed to do was to score one goal, at any point in the game, and they'd be in the play-offs. The crowd gave everything, but the team were totally inept.

Trevor Watkins took the microphone at the end of the game to say that the players were more gutted than we were - well, they didn't look it - and that we were lucky to have a club at all. For how many more years will we hear that, I wonder? And for how much longer will Machin keep his job just because once, many years ago, he put some of his own money in to save the club? He has already received much more back, in wages he doesn't deserve.

What was needed on this afternoon was for the team to play good flowing football for ninety minutes, and to "go for broke" in the last fifteen minutes. In the event they played good football for the last fifteen minutes but never went for broke.

Once in the game Stein broke through and looked as though he had a scoring chance. Once Hayter had a chance to turn on the ball and score, but he fluffed it. And very near the end Lovell had a choice of half a dozen players to pass to, who were in scoring positions, but tried to be a hero and selfishly went for the shot.

It remains to be seen how quickly the 8,400 crowd (hardly a sell-out) will forget this day, but if Bournemouth's next game were tomorrow I don't think there'd be any supporters there.

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

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

My 'man of the match' : Howe.

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