Bournemouth – Fan’s Views

Saturday, 24 August 2002, 0:00
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Home > Story Index >Swansea 2 Bournemouth 0 – The Fan’s Views

Match Report by Clive Hughes

Another hot day greeted the teams today as Nick Cusack made five changes to the team that gave a below par display last week at Bury. A mixture of injuries and suspension saw Murphy, Watkin, O’Leary and the two Smiths missing, being replaced by Mumford, Theobold, Howard, Wood and Sharp.

Slightly mixed emotions at the start as Roger led the team out for his 500th league game and 600th game in total for the Swans. This was followed by a minutes silence for Holly & Jessica, so cruelly killed. The minute’s show of respect was conducted impeccably by the crowd of 4825.

The Swans kicked off and a hopeful lob forward by Reid from the half way line looked to be safely gathered by the Bournemouth keeper Tardif, but without any pressure let it spoon from his grasp into the path of Wood who calmly took it forward a couple of paces before planting the ball into an empty net. 1-0 after 15secs. For the next 20mins the Swans kept up constant pressure mainly by possession without any real chances of increasing the lead. The NB was in full voice as we played some neat football, keeping Bournemouth out of the game. One attack saw Sharp head back across goal with Theobold just unable to connect for a certain goal. Bournemouth started to get into the game and a couple of counter attacks saw Rog make two timely interceptions, one to the side of the area which he blocked for a corner, and a few minutes later coming out of his area just beating an incoming forward before calmly laying off to Jenkins. Definitely a different Roger from the one that hobbled for most of the game at Bury. The Swans again came back strongly with a couple of half chances as the game came to the half way stage, a half that saw Theobold and Reid booked. With Reid, Phillips and Howard sporting similar No1 hairstyles, this could well lead to confusion as referees think the same player commits the fouls. Half time thoughts were of a good Wood/Thomas partnership and the display of Theobold in the heart of the defence.

The second half saw a different Swans, as they gave the initiative to Bournemouth for the first 20mins. We defended deeply and gave away the ball cheaply as Bournemouth searched for an equaliser, with three excellent chances going begging. Williams replaced Thomas who went straight to the changing rooms, let’s hope it is not serious.

The Swans then changed to 4-4-2 with Jenkins going to left midfield. This gave us more stability as the midfield was being overrun. The change had a further bearing on the game as Jenkins played a ball forward, out on the left half way line, only to be caught by a late tackle by Young resulting in a second yellow and a sending off. With 15 mins to go this allowed the Swans to take control with only one scare when Theobold and two Bournemouth players clashed heads for a lengthy injury break, all recovering. Wood (ankle injury) was replaced by Moss who showed his experience in the short period on the pitch, and later Keaveny replaced Mumford (clash of heads). This was after Mumford had sealed the three points for the Swans from a Reid corner, meeting the ball at the near post with a header just inside the post. The final whistle, after another 5 mins of added time, was greeted with delight by the players, hugs replacing handshakes, as they left the field to well deserved applause.

Apart from a couple of errors, referee Trevor Peake, had quite a good game, a vast improvement on the other referees we have seen this season.

Well our season has finally started, another 2 goals but also a clean sheet. Compared with the display at Bury, this was a much better performance, the only worrying aspect was the total ‘switch off’ for the first 20mins of the second half. The balance of the team looked better when we reverted to 4-4-2 and beefing up the midfield. Theobold impressed at the back, and hopefully improve as he gets more games under his belt. The Wood/Thomas partnership must be our no 1 choice pairing. On today’s showing Howard must be just ahead of David Smith for the left back slot. If Jason Smith stays, should the centre backs be him and Theobold or are they to similar in styles? At least this season the options are there.

The omens were with us for a win today, if only we had known before hand, as on our journey home on the M4 we passed the Bournemouth team coach. The carrier….. Bluebird Coaches of Weymouth… we couldn’t possibly have lost, could we?

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