Ref justice, but three more points
8th December 2012, 3pm
I had a few beers before the game and didn't take notes, but here are a few random reflections anyway...
My first time at Glanford Park and I found it to be smaller than I'd imagined, but it's a neat little ground nevertheless, with all four sides covered and the corners filled in. We took around 150 and it felt like we out sung the home fans (of which there were not that many) - I'd be interested to hear how it sounded on Solent.
Anyway, as for the game, it was the same starting line up as against Carlisle apart from James coming in for Jalal. I presume Arter and Barnard are both injured? Neither was even on the bench. Scunny's dangerman Leon Clarke was also mysteriously absent.
The match was a bit of a scrappy affair, to be honest. Scunny had quite a lot of possession but didn't really threaten and then a mad 5 mins broke out. Firstly Grabban slotted home a rebound from a tight angle following a Pitman header, then we got a very poor penalty decision against us. This happened right in front of the Cherries fans behind the goal, and we could all see the ball clearly bounce off Elphick's chest/shoulder as he moved across their player to snuffle out an attack, yet the lino gave it. A terrible decision, but justice was done when James expertly saved the pen. We then got a bizarre goal which seemed to rebound/loop in off Fogden - it was difficult to see exactly was happened as it was at the far end from us - and we saw out the half to go in 2-0 up at the break. I should also say that the ref was awful, giving Scunny virtually all the 50/50 decisions.
The second half had a fairly similar feel to the first, in terms of its scrappiness and Scunny having a fair bit of possession but not threatening. Then they got a second dubious penalty - I couldn't see if it was or wasn't a handball by MacDonald (up the other end of the ground again) but I say dubious because none of their players appealed and everyone was a bit baffled when the lino (the other lino, this time) gave it. The penalty was subsequently scored despite James going the right way, and it was then a bit of a nervy last half hour, but we held out very well. Looking back on it, I can't remember them having any clear cut chances.
One thing I must mention is that we ran down the clock brilliantly when the 4 mins of added time went up. Basically, the game was played out by the their corner flags until the ref blew for full time - excellent job!
Overall, another great away day. It was one of those performances that you see so often from teams on the up and up - not scintillating, but a very hard fought and well-deserved three points in a game we'd probably have drawn or lost at the start of the season, and I'll take that all day long.
Report by CourtJester