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Features

Next Moves: Newcastle United

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

In the absence of our programme, Gareth Davies continues his series of features on the players who have pulled on the shirts of the Cherries and our upcoming opponents, this time the Magpies from Newcastle United.

The 1989/90 season would be the first in which AFC Bournemouth faced Wednesday's opponents form the north east in league competition.

Prior to that, the teams faced off just twice with the Cherries prevailing somewhat surprisingly 2-1 in a League Cup tie at Dean Court during the 1963/64 campaign. Ten years later, Newcastle exacted revenge by winning an FA Cup third round tie 2-0 at St James' Park.

Fortunes fluctuated for both clubs in subsequent years but as the 20th century’s final decade loomed large, the trend continued.

Bournemouth, under the stewardship of Harry Redknapp, were looking forward to their third consecutive season in the second tier. The previous campaign, 1988/89, Redknapp had led his side to 12th place in the division which at the time was a record high finish for the club.

For Newcastle though, they were trying to regain their top-flight place at the first attempt with Jim Smith in charge.

The Magpies travelled to Dean Court early in the campaign and despite taking an early lead through Mick Quinn, Bournemouth battled back to win 2-1 thanks to a brace from maverick striker Paul Moulden, which included an outrageous chip over visiting custodian Tommy Wright.

When the two locked horns again in March, Newcastle eased to a 3-0 home triumph and this defeat started a rotten run of form which resulted in a last day relegation for Bournemouth. Newcastle, meanwhile, finished third, but lost in the play-offs to arch rivals Sunderland.

Gavin Peacock & Wayne Fereday

One of the highlights for Bournemouth during their final season in the second tier was the form of Gavin Peacock. The midfielder signed from Gillingham as a replacement for Ian Bishop who had joined Manchester City in the summer of 1989.

He was a virtual ever-present which was something of a rarity for Bournemouth during the relegation campaign as the team were beset by injuries, ultimately a major reason for demotion.

Things didn’t get any better during the off-season before 1990/91 began either as Harry Redknapp was seriously injured in a car-crash in Italy during the World Cup. Tragically, the club's managing director Brian Tiler was killed and the following campaign started on a sombre note.

With chief scout Stuart Morgan in charge until Redknapp made something approaching a full recovery, the Cherries were inconsistent and with the club losing money, they accepted a bid from Newcastle for Peacock, with midfielder Wayne Fereday a makeweight in the deal.

It ended an unhappy spell for Fereday at St James' Park after he had won England under-21 honours at previous club Queens Park Rangers. It was similar tale at Dean Court as after 21 games, he was sold to West Bromwich Albion.

Peacock excelled in his new surroundings – even in a side that went backwards to the extent that it cost Smith and his replacement Ossie Ardiles their jobs. Ironically, the legendary Argentine’s fate was sealed in January 1992 when his side were knocked out of the FA Cup by Bournemouth.

A 0-0 draw on the South Coast was then followed by a Tyneside replay which was abandoned due to fog.

The second staging, which was screened by Sky Sports, saw Bournemouth win through on penalties – the first ever FA Cup match decided from the spot to be broadcast live on television.

The Cherries were also resplendent in a seldom-worn emergency third kit of blue shirts with white shorts and socks. Such was the haste in which the shirts were produced, they only carried the branding of kit maker Ellgren and sponsor A1 Windscreens.

After Ardiles was shown the door, former Gallowgate favourite Kevin Keegan took over and within 18 months, the Toon Army were back in the top flight and newly titled Premier League.

Peacock left for Chelsea in 1993 and enjoyed three prudent years at Stamford Bridge before falling out of favour and ending his career at Queens Park Rangers.

Once again, both Bournemouth and Newcastle were moving on opposing trajectories after that 1992 FA Cup match. The Magpies could have won the Premier League title twice, while Bournemouth nearly went out of business and remained rooted in the third tier.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom on the south coast though as Mel Machin’s appointment as manager saw positive moments such as the Great Escape in 1994/95 and a Wembley appearance in the 1997/98 Auto Windscreens Shield final.

Although Machin’s side, which contained current manager Eddie Howe, were defeated 2-1 by Grimsby, it was arguably the best Cherries side since the Redknapp era.

However, despite being in the promotion picture for all the 1998/99 campaign, Machin saw his charges implode during the final weeks of the season and a 0-0 draw on the final day at home to Wrexham saw Bournemouth slip out of the play-offs and finish eighth.

It was a setback that Machin never really recovered from as the following term, the side never won back-to-back matches.

Stuart Elliott

Machin was renowned for fitting square pegs into round holes and after converting Ian Cox into a ball-playing centre half and moving Rob Murray from striker to defender, the decision to play goal-getter Christer Warren at left-back in 1999/00 didn’t have as much success.

A thumping 5-1 league defeat at Notts County in late November 1999 saw Machin come to the conclusion that the Warren experiment didn’t work and with no other left-backs on the clubs books, he signed Hendon-born defender Stuart Elliott from Newcastle on loan.

Initially, Elliott’s arrival seemed to do the trick as he made his debut in a 2-0 away win at Cambridge United, but again the Cherries’ inconsistency came home to roost. After eight appearances, Elliott returned to Tyneside and Warren was thrust back into his unfamiliar role.

Elliott’s spell on loan at Dean Court was one of numerous sabbaticals he would make whilst still on Newcastle’s books.

He didn’t make a senior appearance for the Magpies and was named on the bench for a first team game just once – away at Southampton in Kenny Dalglish’s first game in charge after he replaced Keegan.

Bournemouth were one of seven clubs which Elliott served on loan before he joined Darlington in 2000. After just one season with the Quakers, he returned to the south west and joined Plymouth Argyle, then their arch-rivals Exeter City, after sojourns inbetween at Scarborough and Carlisle United.

The Grecians were Elliott’s last professional club and after numerous spells in non-league, he eventually went into management and is currently in charge of Northern League Division One side Newcastle Benfield.

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