Writer: Saint Aaron
Date:Sunday July 22 2007
Fitness First Stadium
21st July 2007
Attendance: Approx 4000
Saints made the short trip to Bournemouth to face a side managed by a former coach, Kevin Bonds side looked to upset saints pre-season form. This was Saints 4th game in the last 8 days.
Bournemouth lined up with former Saints Neil Moss and Paul Telfer, Telfer the debutant was eager to impress new manager Bond, but knew he would have to snub out Rudi Skacel.
Saints lined up with Bartosz Bialkowski in goal after he has been on international duty. Ostlund, Powell Pele and Makin made up the back four. Hammill, Surman, Wright and Skacel made up the midfield whilst Grzegorz Rasiak was partnered with Bradley Wright-Phillips in attack. Lundekvam, Licka, Jones, Dyer, McGoldrick, Lallana, Hatch, James and Poke made-up the bench for Saints! Jones and Lundekvam would be given the second 45 to get fit, ready for the new season in just 3 weeks time.
The opening few minutes were dull, a few snap-shots but nothing to trouble either Moss or Bialkowski in either goal.
The first real action was on 13 minutes, Bournemouth won a free kick, the man stood over it was the man Saints would least like to see score. Former Pompey man Darren Anderton hit the free kick well only to be denied by a fantastic Bialkowski save low to his right. The ball went out for a corner in front of the saints fans who had made the journey down to Dean Court.
Just 3 minutes later Saints went so close to taking the lead, as the noise from the away end got ever louder the players seemed to respond. Bradley Wright-Phillips got the ball into his feet, managed to beat off competition from the defence and he fired a shot from the corner of the area onto the bar. The shot had everything, skill, power and it was put across the despairing dive of Neil Moss, unfortunately it lacked the smallest bit of accuracy.
Then the game was spoiled by a pathetic refereeing decision on 18 minutes, Mulrhyne caught captain Darren Powell very late, they tussled on the touchline in front of the Bournemouth fans in the West Stand. It was handbags at the very least, and both was as guilty of the offence as the other, Keith Stroud booked the Bournemouth player, everyone thought they knew what was coming for Powell, if he books one he must book the other, but to every saints fans surprise he took a red card from his pocket, much to the fury of Darren Powell, George Burley and the 1500 saints fans. A re-shuffle was in order and it was a chance of new skipper Chris Makin and Rudi Skacel to show versatility. Makin going to Centre back and Skacel playing in-between left back and Left Midfield.
As Saints went down to ten men, the noise levels rose from the travelling continuant away in the East Stand. The approximately 1500 saints fans made up for the loss of Powell and became the 11th man.
Saints went all out to find an opening goal, and Saints fans thought they had took the lead on 21 minutes, a ball forward was taken off the fingertips of keeper Neil Moss by Grzegorz Rasiak, he had the goal at his mercy, he chipped the ball into the open net, although it wasn`t clear to all had the ball gone in, nevertheless the Linesman had his flag raised. Better late than never as far as the home fans were concerned. Rasiak was looking to follow up his brace against Svarstad with a goal against Bournemouth.
Rasiak almost scored after 16 minutes, Hammill crossed for Rasiak to head down, he again beat keeper Neil Moss only for it to be cleared off the line. Saints were rapidly knocking at the Cherries door.
Rudi Skacel lacked that final touch to get his goal which he deserved on effort alone. He was playing 2 positions at once and was up and down the left flank all the time. One shot of his cleared the North Stand whilst Moss got 2 hands onto his free kick.
Former "Skate" Darren Anderton had the chance to shut up the booing saints fans with a chance to shoot, instead he squared to Warren Cummings, he hooked the shot but it was a comfortable save for the Pole in goal.
In the dying seconds Rasiak showed skill to get himself out to the left wing, he did well, beating his man and holding the ball up well, he found Czech Rudi Skacel who put his shot well wide of the up-right.
Half time Bournemouth 0-0 Saints
Saints made 2 half time changes, Jones got a big cheer from the saints fans but an even bigger cheer for Claus Lundekvam as he replaced Hammill. Saints reshuffled to a 4-3-2.
Saints won a corner just a few seconds into the half, Jones the obvious target, he beat the 2 defenders marking him but Neil Moss managed to scramble through the 2 Bournemouth players marking him to punch the ball from his head.
Then came the breakthrough, Jones received the ball 30 yards from goal with his back from goal, he managed to turn and shoot into the bottom corner just 2 minutes into the second half. He sent the Saints fans wild, this was pleasing for the 1500 hundred travelling fans as they had been chants of "Scummers" from the small amount of home fans.
The crowd had gone quiet and the game seemed to have got dull, neither team looked interested and as far as Saints fans could see it was game, set and match to Saints as Bournemouth or Saints never really looked to go forward. That was until Kuffour escaped benefited from a rare lapse in concentration from Pig tailed Alexander Ostlund. Kuffour managed to get a cross in and Vokes headed home from 5 yards out. Bialkowski had no chance.
Ostlund made up for that a few minutes later as the noise rose from the away end, the travelling fans really trying to get behind the team. Alexander "Jesus" Ostlund crossed for Kenwyne Jones, he was clattered into by Neil Moss but despite that the Trinidad and Tobago international managed to knock down for Bradley Wright-Phillips to tap into the net to restore Saints goal advantage over the Cherries.
Subs followed for both sides. Dyer went up-front to replace Wright-Phillips. Bournemouth often slowed the game up when saints were attacking by cleverly timed subs from Kevin Bond.
Dyer posed little threat in the air but did try and feed off any Kenwyne Jones` knock downs.
Skacel was clattered and was replaced by Mario Licka on 75 minutes, not long after coming on the turned Telfer inside out and fired just wide of Neil Moss` far post. The ball ended up in the empty and roofless South Stand.
The game slowly died out as Bournemouth fans left the ground in numbers. Most saints fans stayed for the final whistle. And after it did go the fans got a big clap from the Saints players.
Final score. Bournemouth 1-2 Saints.
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Date:Sunday July 22 2007
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