Sunday, 23 April 2017

Pugh torments Boro as AFCB cruise to 4-0 win

Match Report
AFCB 4 v 0 Middlesbrough
22 April 2017
Attendance: 10,890
This was a game that the Cherries could not afford to lose.
You couldn't blame Middlesbrough fans from leaving a fair few seats unused for their visit to Dean Court and it was perhaps as well some of their fans missed this game as they would have been horrified by the way Gaston Ramirez and some poor defending handed the game on a plate for the Cherries. Ramirez hit the deck in an attempt to gain a penalty in front of Simon Francis and was quickly given his first yellow, after Josh King had already put AFCB in front in under two minutes and Benik Afobe had slotted home a second, after just 16 minutes. A subsequent yellow and red card for the Uruguayan player soon followed, as he tussled with Marc Pugh near a corner post and made a reckless attempt to swing at the ball. His departure was a free pass for Bournemouth to waltz their way to three points, which they duly did after a trademark Marc Pugh cut inside move for the third and a rather special, if unorthodox forth coming from the feet of Charlie Daniels after a free kick that went so wrong, turned out rather well with Daniels slipping past two defenders before rifling the ball past Brad Guzan. It cold have been a heavier defeat, as Benik Afobe and Lys Moussett could have added to the scoreline, but the Cherries have pencilled in their name for next season in the Premier League, while AFCB fans sang "Your going down!" to Boro fans who bravely stayed to support their team even though they had little to cheer about.
AFCB get ready for the minute of applause
for the untimely passing away of Ugo Ehiogu.
The Cherries made two changes with Ryan Fraser coming in for Junior Stanislas and Dan Gosling replacing the ill-fated Jack Wilshere who was already back at Arsenal having ended his loan with a fractured leg.
Boro also applaud Ehiogu one of their fallen heroes.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.
AFCB are known for their lightning starts at home and they did not disappoint with a beautifully crafted goal by Charlie Daniels and Marc Pugh taking over to cross from the left for Josh King to tap home in just over one minute-30 seconds. It was incisive and like cutting through paper. Was this Boro defence really one of the best in the league? AFCB were up for a hard contest and they were taking charge. The importance of the game was not lost on Artur Boruc who glared at his defenders when Marten de Roon played in a cross that was not attacked by the AFCB defenders.

Boro's biggest threat would come from Negrado down the middle and when he sent Ramirez in against Francis in the box, AFCB fans held their breath as the former-Saints player tumbled to the ground. No penalty was the decision and a yellow card for Ramirez.

The game was fast and Bournemouth attacked again up the left wing with Daniels slipping in a cross that Ben Gibson headed away before Arter picked up the pieces, swarmed over Adam Clayton and returned the ball for Afobe who turned on his heels and stuck home the second for Bournemouth.

The feeling that AFCB were having things going their way was further confirmed when Negredo hit a hard volley that ended up going straight down the throat of Boruc. Not everything was perfect fr King though who was slotted through by Pugh and managed to shot over on the angle - it really shoud have been 3-0!

Yet, Middlesbrough sealed their own fate on 20 minutes when Ramirez chased down a ball near AFCB's left corner flag. He battled against Pugh, Fraser and Daniels and ended up getting frustrated and lunged in on Pugh. Holding his head in his hands, he knew he had made a big mistake - off he went - a second yellow and red card!

Foreshaw replaced BarragΓ‘n as Boro reorganised. Harry Arter then took a speculative shot that flew high over the goal.

Boro managed to get out of their half and Negredo knocked on a ball for de Roon who hit a tremendous half volley that Boruc tipped away for a corner diving high to his left. It was a magnificent save on 29 minutes.

AFCB were in full control now and Boro made another change subbing de Roon for Fabio on 37 minutes. The Cherries had their own problem though with Gosling going down just before half time and unable to continue. Lewis Cook had to replace him after his right calf injury had returned. However, a 2-0 lead at half time was great news for Eddie Howe.
The score doesn't begin to show AFCB's dominance.
Second Half
Bournemouth were a bit slow at the start of this half. Ayala posed the first threat with a header from a corner that went over. 

Afobe was adept at keeping the ball alive on the floor in the box at the other end and Fraser blazed a shot over from the resulting play. Negredo became incensed having had a head injury and play continuing. He said a few words to the assistant ref before throwing a water bottle down. The referee spoke with him once he had come back on but the body language of the forward was one of a beaten man.

Afobe came even closer a few minutes later from an Adam Smith cross that he almost converted with a low header at the far post, but Guzan made a good save. Lewis Cook also tried his luck with a half volley that went straight to Guzan on 57 minutes.

George Friend finally picked up a yellow for persistent fouls on Ryan Fraser just before the hour. King could not quite get the ball that ran behind him from the resulting free kick.

Fraser was soon having a shot that Guzan saved to his right before Daniels hit a shot over. AFCB were closing n now and the third goal came with a move from Lewis Cook as he switched play excellently to the left where Marc Pugh picked up the pace, cut inside a Daniel Ayala and picked out the far corner of the net with a perfect finish! 3-0 to AFCB and the Cherries were buzzing.

Ayala was given a yellow card for a fouled on Pugh  before Adam Smith was brought down on the edge of the box. Fraser stood over the ball and hit it rather shot to Daniels. The left back stepped in quickly to retrieve the ball and step inside Adam Clayton before beating a the out rushing Marten de Roon, and firing home a powerful shot that made it 4-0! It was a special goal and really underlined how much better AFCB were than Boro.

Junior Stanislas replaced Josh King as Bournemouth looked to build on the lead. A superb low cross from Pugh had King and Afobe drawling at the chance to get a touch on the ball across the six yard box but neither they nor the defenders got a big enough contact to redirect the ball  into the net and it went wide for a corner.

Boro took Negredo off for Gstede to get the last 11 minutes. Lys Mousset also came on for Josh King and added exciting pace right from the start. He could have even scored as Pugh made another cross from the left that Afobe knocked down for the Frenchman, but Mousset blazed it well over from six yards on the volley.
Boruc made the saves he needed to and AFCB get their clean sheet. 
Summary
An excellent day for the Cherries and while Eddie Howe won't say his team are safe until it's mathematically proven, he will know that you don't get days like this often in the Premier League. It's come at just the right time and puts the Cherries in a much stronger position now. The only worry Howe will have is in losing another centre-midfielder. The win was the most important thing though and three points will do vey nicely.
Pugh was on top form.
AFCB
Boruc, A Smith, Francis, S Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Stanislas 72), Arter, Gosling (L Cook 44), Pugh, King (Mousset 84), Afobe

AFCB Subs
Allsop, Mings, Cargill, Gradel, L Cook, Stanislas, Mousset

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 8, A Smith 7, Francis 6, S Cook 6, Daniels 8, Fraser 8 (Stanislas 6), Arter 7, Gosling 6
(L Cook 7), Pugh 9, King 8, Afobe 6

Middlesbrough
Guzan, BarragΓ‘n (Forshaw 23), Chambers, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, RamΓ­rez (sent off),
de Roon (Fabio 38), Clayton, Downing, Negredo (Gestede 79)


Boro Subs
Konstantopoulos, Fabio, Bernardo, Stuani, Gestede, Forshaw, TraorΓ©

Referee: Graham Scott - 7/10 A fairly easy game to referee. He punished the bad fouls but was lenient with Negredo.
A great day for Eddie, the players and the fans.

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