HomeMatch Reports1999-2000 - Afc Bournemouth 2 Wigan Athletic 2

Nationwide League Division Two - Saturday 6th May 2000

AFC Bournemouth
Wade Elliott 27
Claus Jorgenson 45
Wigan Athletic
Pat McGibbon 84
Neil Roberts 90
Wigan Athletic
Venue: Dean Court
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
Attendance: 6,512

Report by: John Patrick Heeley

Following the previous week's dismal home display against Wrexham this weekend could at best, barring a miracle, be regarded as an end of season party for the masses who travelled the long distance to the Dorset coast.

Nearly 2,000 fans packed their bags and set off for a weekend break in the sunny, seaside resort with the knowledge that a Latics win, combined with defeats for both Gillingham and Burnley, would see them playing First Division Football come August.

Not a chance in hell! But, you never know in this game, do you?

The weather was an absolute scorcher with many of the male fans stripped to the waist. Everybody was in the party mood but that was soon stopped midway into the first half after another poor performance from the team that had promised so much throughout the majority of the season.

Word went round the away end that both Burnley and Gillingham had gone behind at Scunthorpe and Wrexham respectively.

The Wigan fans went barmy and even managed to get the news to Derek Stillie who was keeping the goal at that end but the euphoria was short lived as Wigan fell to the sucker punch just before the half hour.

The game started brightly enough with chances at both ends of the pitch but it was the home side who looked the more dangerous as the game progressed.

Stand-in Wigan goalkeeper Deeke Stillie was called upon twice in the first twenty minutes, pulling off fines saves to deny Bournemouth.

Firstly, a Steve Fletcher header after a Wade Elliott cross from the left flank found him in the area and then, within minutes, getting down well to save a John O'Neill effort from the edge of the box.

Then, as has happened too often in the last few weeks, the wheels fell off as Bournemouth's continuing pressure on the Wigan goal paid off.

The Cherries were awarded a free-kick following a foul on their player of the season Claus Jorgenson.

Wade Elliot beat off the challenge of Alan McLoughlin as the free-kick was directed into the area and the ball somehow squeezed past Stillie and into the net in what seemed like slow motion.

Bournemouth didn't sit back after the goal and in fact looked more like the team playing for promotion.

The pressure continued and it was no surprise when, bang on half time, they doubled their lead when John O'Neill set up Jorgenson whose shot rocketed past Stillie and 2-0 it was.

Half Time: Bournemouth 2 Wigan 0

John Benson made a couple of changes at half time, bringing on Simon Haworth and Roberto Martinez, replacing Nicholls and McLoughlin.

Haworth's introduction meant that Latics were now playing in a more attacking formation with three strikers and Martinez tucked in just behind.

Wigan did manage to gain a bit more of the play but numerous scoring chances went begging and the Latics fans behind the goal even gave out sarcastic cheers every time one of their players had a shot on goal.

In fact, at one point a section of the terrace began singing "We'll score again. Don't know where. Don't know when. But I know we'll score again some sunny day."

Many Wiganers had actually left the ground and headed back to the pubs when Latics scored from open play for the first time in what seems like ages, Pat McGibbon rising at the far post to nod in on 84 minutes.

The fizz had gone out of the Wigan faithful's enthusiasm and with the knowledge that Burnley were in front at Glanford Park, the equaliser, when it came in the dying seconds, was greeted with a slightly muted appreciation.

However, the light at the end of the tunnel, Wigan are scoring again and the equaliser from Neil Roberts broke his first team duck and will hopefully boost his confidence in front of goal.

Wigan now face a weekend trip to London and Millwall followed by the return leg at the JJB the following Wednesday for the first round of the play-offs.

Full Time: Bournemouth 2 Wigan 2

  • AFC Bournemouth
  • Mark Ovendale
  • Neil Young
  • Eddie Howe
  • Nick Fenton
  • Christer Warren
  • Wade Elliott 82
  • Scott Robinson 89
  • Carl Fletcher
  • Claus Jorgenson
  • Steve Fletcher
  • John O'Neill
  • Danny Smith
  • Brian Stock
  • Jamie Day
  • Justin Keeler 82
  • Joe Sheerin 89
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