Sunday, 2 April 2017

Cherries and Saints fail to hit target 0-0

Match Report
Southampton 0 v 0 AFCB
1 April 2017
Attendance: 31,847
The Cherries come out to take on the Saints.
We should have known better on April Fool's Day that there would be a game that was going to make some one look foolish. I'm not sure if it was Harry Arter, Benik Afobe or Dusan Tadic at first, but at the end of the game I thought it was all us travelling fans who had see a great game with some appalling finishing. Southampton could have had a big scoreline by half time, only Tadic seemed to lose his bearings whenever he got near goal and the game really should have seen a goal when Josh King unselfishly passed to Afobe in front of goal just after the hour, but his off balanced shot had AFCB fans looking for somewhere to hide. Adam Smith came within a whisker of scoring as well when he hit a shot that deflected onto the post. The clearest opportunity was surely when Ryan Fraser was pulled down in the box and Harry Arter stepped up to try and score from 12 yards. His standing foot slip at the big moment though meant the points would be shared.
Southampton made an effort to welcome Bournemouth fans.
Eddie Howe kept the same line up from the previous game but Harry Arter, Junior Stanislas and Baily Cargill found their way onto the bench.

More pictures are up on Match Day Gallery.

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The game took a while to get up some speed. Bournemouth pressed high to try and win the ball high up the pitch and Southampton found the first clear chances when Tadic saw the Cherries' defence part like the sea and he ballooned his shot over. He had hardly had time to contemplate that wastefulness before Cedic put in a good cross that Tadic managed to side foot wide.

Steve Cook then had to make a last ditch tackle on Rodriguez in the box which he accomplished well although he hurt his leg. Cook soldiered on but went down a few minutes later when Tadic had again fired wide. 

AFCB were getting some possession but finding it hard to get behind the Saint's back four. Meanwhile Rodriguez was making good diagonal runs and Redmond was industrious in his running on the left wing. Rodriguez even looked to have scored on 15 minutes from a Redmond cross but was ruled offside. 

Rodriguez was still looking to test Boruc and had another low effort saved at the near post. Rodriguez had another shot go wide on 19 minutes, but AFCB were starting to liven up, even if the Saints were awarded the first corner. Bournemouth won their first corner moments later and it led to Gosling slamming his rising shot over.

Bournemouth continued to add corner pressure with Cook winning a near post header that led to Surman having a superb chance to score from six yards out, but Davis somehow managed to clear.

The Saints were still pushing forward well and Tadic was getting closer following a good build up with Cedic and Redmond, but saw his effort flick the outside of the post.

Boruc did have to make a save though when Rodriguez broke free on the angle and Boruc moved quickly to his top left corner to keep the shot out and kept the score at 0-0 at half time.
The teams go off at half time.

Second half
The second half had a peculiar start as Surman came out to play but then immediately decided his hamstring wasn't right and had to be subbed for Harry Arter. Bournemouth started to get the upper hand, but a pitch invader slowed things down for a few minutes as we watched a steward haul the Saints fan to the ground after having seen him get a selfie with Fraser Forster.

AFCB suddenly kicked into action with that and King's headed battle win over Yoshida saw him race towards the box and deciding to square the ball to the well placed Afobe who had a bit of time but lost his cool when he saw Forster rush towards him and the shot went agonisingly wide of the left post, when it looked simpler to score.

At the other end Redmond hit a shot straight at Boruc and with Tadic not able to follow up because of Cook's sliding clearance, Ward-Prowse swung his shot wide of Bournemouth's far post - another let off.

AFCB were just getting up a head of steam. Saint's decided to sub Ward-Prowse and Rodrigues for Boufal and Shane Long.

It was Long that locked on to an early ball through in behind AFCB's defence and he also managed to fire wide on 69 minutes. 

Bournemouth decided to replace King with Wilshere to give them more control. It certainly worked. Fraser bust through into the box and while he was blocked the ball fell out to Adam Smith who hit  a low drive that looked destined to find its target, but it was deflected on to the post and Pugh struggled to get something on the lose ball before it rebounded out for Gosling to hit over!  

The Cherries were really causing problems now and Fraser's explosive burst of pace was checked by a Saints defender and we all looked to the assistant referee - penalty! Arter decided he was taking the kick and Forster was doing everything to put him off by standing right up to the penalty spot and towering of AFCB's number 8. The gamesmanship worked well though as Arter slipped and hot his shot high into the stand from 12 yards. 

Tadic was subbed for McQueen.

There were still 11 minutes to go, but everyone knew that was as good a chance as AFCB could have hoped for. But Arter again shot a curling drive from just outside the box that Forster saved well to his left. The Cherries couldn't find another route to goal and the game was destined to end 0-0 with Romeu picking up the only yellow card in added time.
Some how n body scored!
Harry Arter said thanks to the fans bit was soon seen walking
off ahead of the rest, disappointed with his penalty miss.
Summary
AFCB will have come away form this game knowing that two points escaped them and yet they were the strongest team come the last 20 minutes and had Southampton hanging on. The finishing was terrible from both teams and the penalty misses seem to be haunting AFCB at the moment. Still, only Chelsea and Liverpool have come away with clean sheets from St Marys this season, so Eddie Howe was right to say it was a good point gained.

Saints
Forster, Cedric, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Davis, Romeu, Ward-Prowse (Boufal 63), Tadic, (McQueen 80) Redmond, Rodriguez (Long 63)

Saints' Subs
CΓ‘ceres, Clasie, Long, Boufal, HΓΈjbjerg, McQueen, Hassen


AFCB
Boruc, A Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Fraser, Surman (Arter 46), Gosling, Pugh, Afobe, King (Wilshere 70)

Cherries' Subs
Allsop, Cargill, B Smith, Arter, Stanislas, Wilshere, Ibe

Jack Wilshere gives his short to a Bournemouth fan. 

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 7, A Smith 6, Francis 6, Cook 7, Daniels 6, Fraser 8, Surman 5 (Arter 6), Gosling 6,
Pugh 6, Afobe 5, King 6 (Wilshere 7)

Referee watch: Jonathan Moss - 6/10 let things flow and let a few bookings go. He missed a few corner/goal kick decisions but had a good game.

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