Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cambridge 0 Cherries 2

Date: 4 December 1999

This match will best be remembered for the extremely cold conditions in the ground (there were two wintry showers during which the entire Bournemouth supporting contingent of fans were forced into the the only corner of the terrace to be covered - but we were fortunate that it remained dry for the walks to and from the railway station) and for some very lucky decisions on the pitch.

For once, the referee was biased in our favour! Our penalty ten minutes before half time (superbly executed, as always, by Robbo) resulted from a somewhat dubious decision. Meanwhile a much more realistic claim for a penalty for Cambridge in the second half was not only not granted - but the fouled player was booked for diving. On top of this, Cambridge scored a clear goal in the second half, which we all saw cross the line, but the referee adjudged that it hadn't.

Having said that, Bournemouth's second goal was at least fair. An excellent solo run by Warren, who had adapted well to his midfield position, resulted in a one-on-one from which we thought he might attempt a shot. He didn't, but he did the next best thing: he won us a corner kick. This was taken up by the wind and carried into a congested penalty area from which, somehow, it got into the net. It wasn't clear whether any player had touched it, but the goal was credited to Day.

Cambridge dominated large periods of the game - and had two shots on goal in the first three minutes. Apart from the two goals I can only recall one other Bournemouth shot, when Jorgensen brilliantly met a cross to head just wide.

The Cherries had two new players on display. The Bournemouth youngster Stock was on the bench, but loan signing Stuart Elliott played for the entire ninety minutes at left back. He was the fastest and keenest player in the side, not only helping us towards a useful clean sheet but also showing a willingness to organise the other defenders, to engage in a mean tackle, and to put in a keen shot with his right foot that always found its target. Some criticised him for playing 'too deep' but I couldn't see that; perhaps we're just not used to seeing a left back!

The two later substitutions didn't change things very much. When Mean came on for Day (shortly after Day's goal) the midfield lost its 'flatness' with Mean playing more as an anchor allowing Robinson to get forward. I was particularly impressed by how we defended Cambridge corners - with Day, and later Mean, on the goal line behind the 'keeper. Our late substitution - Hayter for Jorgensen - was a straight one-for-one with no change of system. Stewart, O'Neill and Stock remained on the bench.

My scores out of ten :

Ovendale (7);
Young (7), Broadhurst (7), Cox (6), Elliott (8);
Jorgensen (7), Robinson (7), Day (7), Warren (7);
S Fletcher (6), Stein (6).

My 'man of the match' : Elliott.

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