Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Barnet 3 Cherries 2

Date: 24 August 1999

The main question to ponder after this game was how, having been at one point 4-0 up on aggregate over our opponents, we ended the game fighting for our lives.

Stein's two early goals - the second from a fantastic volley - did the world of good to his confidence and ours. The Cherries were playing well at this point, and putting some good passes together.

But then we must have got complacent. The pace of play didn't slow down, but the passing became less and less effective and we began to hoof the ball about somewhat arbitrarily. When Barnet got a goal back we seemed to begin to panic. Then near half time they got a penalty (which Ovendale could have saved if he'd stood still) and it was clear which team was in the ascendancy.

Ovendale seemed to lack self-belief on the day. Warren, still out of position, played quite well allowing for this, although he was 'credited' with giving away the penalty. Mean also looked out of place in Bailey's position wide right, and was eventually substituted with Hayter. Hayter showed a lot of pace and enthusiasm, covered a lot of the pitch, and was even useful in defence when needed. Watson came on for Stein, depriving the latter of a hat-trick opportunity, and he too looked fast on and off the ball - although he never looked like scoring. Day came on late for Jorgensen on the left of the park.

Huck and Rawlinson were both curiously absent, rumoured to be the latest victims of fall-outs with Machin.

The crowd of about 1500 probably included 500 from Bournemouth - certainly the other three sides of the ground looked (and sounded) quiet.

The team lined up as follows (my scores out of ten) with a flat back four and 'flat' midfield:

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

Best scoring opportunity missed by Bournemouth : a Fletcher header into the path of Jorgensen in the first half.

Best scoring opportunity missed by Barnet : when Ovendale left an open goal near the end of the second half, as Barnet were chasing the equaliser, and from 10 yards out (and six yards behind the ball) Cox steamed in and cleared the ball off the line from full stretch, receiving a standing ovation from the Bournemouth crowd.

Man of the match : Stein.

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