Date: 25th February 2009 at 5:46pm
Written by: Nikinder

The Cherries made 3 changes from Friday nights defeat at chesterfield. Connell, Pitman and Garry came in for Bartley and Cooper (illness and injury) and Feeney who dropped to the bench.

Pitman was played out of position on the right wing with Connell partnering Fletch upfront.

It was clear from the start that it was going to be a very tough game for the side. Dagenham came at us from the off and in truth they will feel disappointed that they didn`t go in at half time in the lead.

Strevens had a shot wide inside the first minute and the first 10 minutes consisted of numerous crosses into our box but dogged defending from the away side meant that they came to nothing.

As the game neared the quarter of an hour mark we saw the first real test for Jalal, Doug Loft struck a fierce dipping half volley from the edge of the box which Shwan did brilliantly to tip over for a corner, which was cleared. Soon after Nurse met an in swinging corner at the near post but his header went harmlessly wide of the right hand upright.

Bournemouth’s only real threat came from long balls up to Fletcher which partly due to Connell being too far away came to nothing. It seemed only a matter of time before we did our usual thing of conceding a soft goal.

On 20 minutes another shot from outside the box was parried by Jalal to the on rushing Foster whose shot beat Jalal and was sliced into his own net by Garry, the linesman had already correctly flagged for offside however and the Daggers fans’ joy was short lived.

We were giving away several silly free kicks around our box but luckily for us the delivery was mainly poor and straight into Jalal’s hands. The one that did trouble us however managed to miss everyone and also miss the upright by a matter of inches.

At half time the score was 0-0

After a lovely burger and cup of tea at half time the sides re-emerged for the second half. The first 10 minutes started much the same as the 1st half. Strevens had a shot from the edge of the box well held by Jalal and soon after another dipping effort forced Shwan to show strong handling once again.

Jalal was playing with what looked like a new found confidence, he came for numerous crosses, his kicking was improved and his handling was impeccable.

Towards the middle of the half things began to even out and there was also some brilliant banter with Roberts the Dagenham goalkeeper. I don’t think it`s much of a coincidence either that once this began, he started slicing kicks or perhaps his concentration dropped a little.

As the half went on Bournemouth really began to come into their own and started to take control of the game, Jeff Goulding came on to replace the ineffective Connell and 5 minutes later our assistant manager Tindall replaced the luckless Ryan Garry. Ritchie had a shot whistle past the upright on 70 minutes but this was the end of the chances for Dagenham. A smart forward move led to Igoe collecting the ball on the run out right, he took a touch and looked up, the cross was pin-point and Goulding perhaps should have done better with his header which cannoned back off the upright, Jeff couldn`t quite get the rebound under control and the chance was gone.

With 5 minutes left the cherries had a golden chance to take the lead, a hopeful ball was punted out to the left wing and Goulding again gave chase, he just got to the ball before Roberts and managed to get the ball under control before turning and shooting at the empty net from a wide angle, the shot however lacked conviction and direction and rolled harmlessly wide of the target.

At this point I think most Cherries fans had settled for a point, especially after Dagenham won a couple of corners to put us under pressure in the dying stages but these were excellently cleared by the solid Tindall at centre half.

With only seconds left, a ball down the line by Tindall gave the Cherries one last chance, Molesley collected despite being fouled and cut inside, after going past one more defender he unleashed a rocket of a left footer which nestled in the bottom corner sending the fans behind the goal into absolute delirium, a superb finish fit to win any game.

The final whistle went straight from the kick off. Full time 0-1

Jalal- 7- Excellent game, looked confident, handled well and commanded his box brilliantly. Kicking wasn`t bad either!

Cummings- 7- Slowly getting closer to the Cummings of old. Excellent in defence and made a lot of forward runs, crossing is improving too

Pearce- 7- What we have come to expect really

Garry- 7- Made several vital challenges and won a lot in the air, headers seem to lack direction though. Injured again!

Robinson- 6- The one weak point of the back 4, he does a good job but is limited and sometimes looked vulnerable, giving away a lot of free kicks

Igoe- 7- Excellent ball playing and made several forward runs. Shows he isn`t a winger with his crossing sometimes though

Hollands- 6- Had quite a quiet game I thought but won a lot of ball and never afraid to put in a challenge.

Molesley- 8- Star man for me again, scored the crucial goal late on and always looked the most likely to do something.

Pitman- 6- Tried his best but was played out of position, when Bartley is back should be straight back upfront to partner Fletch

Connell- 6- Didn`t really do anything. A couple of good touches and layoffs but I can`t remember a shot, replaced by Goulding

Fletcher- 7- Won a lot in the air again but lacked the runs of Pitman off him to benefit from the flick ons, always willing to chase a lost cause

Subs:

Goulding- 7- Introduction seemed to change the game, had two very good chances, offside so so much though!

Tindall- 7- What a find, won everything in the air and made many vital tackles, assist for the goal as well.
Report by Nikinder
Officials
I thought the referee had a good game, awarded a lot of free kicks against us first half but after that he let the game flow and kept his cards in his pocket.

Overall
We were lucky to go in at half time all square, but some solid defending kept us in it. Improved as the game went on and what a way to finish! A huge 3 points and with Grimsby losing only 2 points from 3rd bottom now!

Report by Nikinder

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