Moore the Cherrier

Last updated : 30 January 2005 By David Clark
A fine Claret - Tony Grant
The visitors could count themselves unfortunate to be going out of this years FA Cup after a spirited second half performance which saw them largely dominate proceedings.

A full strength Clarets side, including new signing John Oster, looked mostly disjointed, particularly in midfield and were uncomfortable for large parts of this game, but the win was welcomed and another clean sheet was preserved, this the seventh successive home clean sheet.

With Branch back in the healthy again department, it was a rare day for Steve Cotterill in who to leave out and Lee Roche found himself alongside Valois in the tracksuit warmers and despite being fit again Danny Coyne also had to make do with a spectating role as Brian Jensen continued in goal, though his was at times a strangely shaky display that became more composed as the game progressed.

On a bright and sunny but cold afternoon, Clarets began the brighter of the two sides and two early corners almost provided the perfect start, but Bournemouth survived and began to get their own neat passing game going as the half developed, their main threat Wade Elliott proving a tricky wide man and one who Mo Camara will be glad not to be seeing again this season.

MGreal also found him to hard to deal with and he became the game's first booking after only eight minutes when tripping the elusive winger with Camara off the field receiving treatment.

O the quarter hour Clarets took the lead. Chaplow, Camara and Branch combined well in a move across the pitch and Branch's good cross to the far post was calmly nodded home by lone striker Moore, the early lead a deserved one after the Clarets shone early on, the goal settled Clarets further into a period of confident passing and it was the home side who played the more controlled game at that point.

Slowly the balance swung in favour of the visitors, Jensen was beaten by O'Connor's swerved long range shot, thankfully it also beat the post and further aided by a series of peculiar decisions from ref Dowd, Bournemouth began to gain the upper hand.

Jensen needed to be alert from a couple of in swung free kicks from the edge of the area as Cherries began to look dangerous around Clarets' area.
Clarets finally won a free kick ten minutes from the break and the ironic cheers greeting the decision were to prove the loudest home cheers of the day.

The half closed with Cherries pulling ten men behind the ball and Clarets searching for space in advanced positions, but often were left to retreat into sweeping movements largely in side wards directions, the space denied to any forward players.

HT 1-0.

Sour grapes - Ian Moore is our only striker
The second half was an improved affair, but for most in the home stands the forty five minutes were of frustration with Clarets unable to find any cohesion and a number of players contributed with less than effective displays, particularly in midfield where the recent denial of space to opponents and good support to Moore went missing, too often Clarets played out of shape and were at times chasing a Cherries side giving their absolute all.

"Championship, you're having a laugh", chanted the 1,500+ from the south coast and at times their sarcasm looked justified as the home side struggled to get forwards, Moss enduring long periods of inactivity in the visitors goal with a second half played out mainly in Clarets territory.

Clarets had their moments in the half, one at the beginning and two at the end which could have settled increasing nerves. Five minutes into the half and a great three man move saw Moore feed Hyde in the "D" and whose neat lay off put Grant in with a clear shot at goal.

Grantona selected a delicate chip option and with Moss well beaten the ball rebounded off the face of the bar. From the clearance, play switched immediately to the other end and a cross shot past Jensen was watched agonisingly past the far post by an inrushing Stock, left with head in hands at the closeness of the well struck effort.

Jensen was again in action five minutes later, this time his rush from his line saw him come second and O'Connor's flick past the stranded 'keeper saw the ball thankfully over the angle as Clarets were now surviving on a good deal of fortune the visitors with the upper hand in proceedings.

Cotterill saw fit to bolster the defensive ranks and debutant Oster made way for Roche on the hour mark. Clarets rallied briefly and half hearted penalty appeals following a challenge on a disappointing Chaplow were waved away by an unimpressed Dowd.

Hayter was inches away from finishing off another quick counter from the Cherries before Sinclair capped an off day with yet another yellow card as Clarets struggled to organise their defensive ranks.

O'Driscoll bolstered his attacking options still further with striker Fletcher replacing defender Downing in a frantic last twenty minutes, in which Jensen could be thankful to the inside of the angle when well beaten with a curled free kick and then to Spicer for blazing over when well placed with fifteen minutes left on slowly ticking watches.

Jensen came to the rescue in the final few minutes, when his good positioning took over from previously suspect decision making and good saves from headers, then Stock's free kick, saw the visitors begin to realise this was not to be their day.

Five minutes from time and Clarets should have stolen the game, but Moore was at full stretch to Branch's pull back cross and could only direct the header over the bar from three yards.

In a double substitution Hayter and Purches made way for Connell and Holmes in one last push off fresh legs, before Chaplow made way for Valois as three minutes of injury time ticked away.

Moore sealed the game with a twenty yard shot that beat Moss, who in fairness was at fault with the goal, but few were caring as Clarets finally booked themselves a place in the fifth round for the third successive season and the majority in the unannounced crowd could make their way home in readiness for Monday's draw.

FT 2-0.

Att: 9,944

Sour grapes
Clarets mustered only two shots on target in the game and only five shots at or on target in total. Considering the opposition and given the circumstances the needs for more firepower were blatant today. Whilst Ian Moore finally scored after a prolonged drought, he remains Clarets only striker and an injury now as he suffered earlier in the season would leave Clarets both hampered and embarrassed. Surely a further new face will be added to the small squad, soon?

A fine Claret
The stadium vote went to Gary Cahill for another fine display of resolute defending supplemented by a couple of surging runs from deep, but my vote goes to Tony Grant. Whilst others in the midfield were subdued, Clarets would have been lost today without his many interventions, tackles and overall contribution. Not forgetting that he almost scored in the second, the bar coming to the rescue of the stranded 'keeper from his deft chip, a goal would have capped a fine all round performance.