Tuesday, 31 December 2013

McQuoid will need to get up to speed fast

Eddie Howe loves pulling a surprise on everyone and while it had been strongly rumoured that Josh McQuoid was on his way back it was a slight shock to see him in the starting line up against Ipswich Town. Josh played just in behind Lewis Grabban and managed to play for an hour without any problems which was good to see. I expect that he would have liked to mark his comeback with a goal, but he did not have many shots that I recall. His linking play with O'Kane, Grabban and Surman was reasonably good and he looked like he was on his way to being sharp enough to contribute even more to the team.

Josh will have his eyes on more starts.
Can he find the clinical finishing touch to help the Cherries?
I don't think Eddie Howe could expect too much more from him in his first competitive match back in the Championship. Ipswich were hardly going to give McQuoid an easy ride and the good thing is that Josh did not look out of place in the side, because I think it was a big ask to make him come straight back in to the starting 11.

Next match we could well see Arter resume normal service in the middle which may mean McQuoid has to settle for a space on the subs bench, but I think he is a good option to have and on his day he can score some valuable goals. Firepower is something that I think AFCB will need to get them further up the league. While most of the top clubs have a striker who is getting the 20 goals a season, the Cherries will need to have many of their midfield players contributing to the goal tally because we don't have an £8 million striker yet. Hold that thought just for a year - Grabban is work in progress.

I think McQuiod has a few more gears which he can go through yet and when he does get to his optimum match fitness I believe he will surprise a few AFCB supporters. He is a quality player that has not been at his best in the past, but 2014 is a new year and a fresh start for Josh. He could have had no bigger incentive than his manager letting him go straight into the starting line up last match, so let's hope he can start to payback Eddie Howe with some memorable goals.

The Cherries travel to the Amex with confidence

Since AFCB's last clash with Brighton & Hove Albion in November the Seagulls have been regularly picking up points home and away with their 3:1 win against Leicester City being their best result in early December at the Amex. Still they have had their disappointments too, like the home defeat to Barnsley (1:2) and away loss at Charlton (3:2), so Brighton have not managed to sneak into the top six yet and AFCB now stand in their way.

Eunan and Harry are probably favourites to start in AFCB's midfield.
Can Harry rule the midfield on New Year's Day?
The Cherries have had some great away results in recent weeks and the chance to play at the Amex stadium for the first time must be quite a thrill for our players. As a Cherries supporter I am really looking forward to the trip not only because it will be a pleasant change from the windy Withdean stadium, where you needed a pair of binoculars to see any of the action, but I genuinely give AFCB a good chance of getting a result at the Amex.

Brighton may have a slightly different team available to when we last met as Ulloa, Buckley, Lua Lua and David Lopez spent time on the pitch in their last game against Blackpool and they are supported by Ashley Barnes who scored the stunning equaliser last time around at Dean Court.

What might Eddie Howe have learnt from that game at home at the end of November? I would think that Rohan Ince is one player that he would hope we coped better with. The tall midfielder had a big influence on the game at dean Court, not just because of his size, but his quality of passing. Craig Conway also had a good game on the left wing, but he did not play for Brighton in their last game. Gordon Greer at the back also missed out against Blackpool, but could make a return against AFCB. Brighton gave a debut to Adam Chicksen at left back in that game and he was said to cope well with Blackpool's Tom Ince. Now he is likely to be facing Matt Ritchie, so let's hope his second game is not so easy.

Brighton will be without Will Buckley having sustained a hamstring injury at Blackpool, while Stephen Ward and Bruno Saltor are said to be being monitored.

Whatever team Oscar Garcia picks we know they will be a good passing side and Elliott Ward and Tommy Elphick will have to be on their metal to repel the strong strike force that Brighton will have out. If they can hold firm in that first half hour, I see know reason why the Cherries can't come away with something from the game and keep their impressive away form going.

Brighton & Hove Albion home form:

AFCB away form:

Will the Cherries allow Wes Thomas go to Swindon Town?

The January transfer window looks like it is starting with a bang as far as AFCB are concerned. Interest in our players is likely to be high and while fans might expect bids to be coming in for the players who have been regular starters for the team, however the first bid has come in for Wes Thomas, according to the Swindon Advertiser.

Does Wes Thomas want to stay at AFCB?
Wes Thomas has had a chequered career at AFCB. He was sensational at first when he came from Crawley Town and found it easy to score at League One level. A couple of loan spells at Portsmouth and Birmingham City and his calls to stay at Birmingham City signalled to most Cherry fans that he would be on his way, but with Eddie Howe building a team for the Championship Wes' experience was seen as too valuable to let go. While fans expected bids to come in for him over last summer Swindon were the only club to show some interest but were rebuffed twice.

Now Swindon are said to be making another bid to land the striker and this time they may have timed their approach well. If AFCB free up some funds to bring other players in themselves it may be a good move for the Cherries, while Wes Thomas would get more of a chance to play regularly again. But does Wes want to continue to fight for his place at AFCB?

With Matt Tubbs returning to AFCB this January, Eddie Howe may surely decide to let Wes Thomas leave if the price is right.

AFCB's impressive December form

It's hard to put your finger on exactly why AFCB have been on such a good run of form in December but there are a couple of things that have helped. The return of Matt Ritchie I believe is the biggest factor as he has been magnificent with his goal contribution and his crossing delivery. The way the other players are also so pleased for him doing well seems to help them raise their game. 
Matt Ritchie has been the star of the show for me. It's been
great to see him back playing.
At the back I would also say that Tommy Elphick and Elliott Ward have started to benefit from playing more often in the starting line up. Against Ipswich I really did not see McGoldrick get much of a sniff at goal when he has been one of the inform strikers in the Championship. 

I can't ignore the form of Lewis Grabban either who has led the line so well. He probably could have had a couple of goals against Ipswich, but the way he is playing is great as he is making most of his chances with clever runs that are being picked out by players. One of those players is certainly Eunan O'Kane who has stepped up in the last few games and has probably been the player to catch the eye in the last few weeks of December. His tenacious and scurrying style is very deceptive and he rides tackles so well that he can be a more direct threat to defences when he runs with the ball, as we saw against Yeovil.

Every one is starting to hit form at the same time and Eunan
is another who has had a great December.
To see Mick McCarthy coming away thankful of a draw at Dean Court shows us that AFCB are on the right track and Ryan Fraser among others is stepping up to the demands of the Championship. AFCB look like a team that can climb the league and now that they are unbeaten in three, it is a challenge to see how many games they can go undefeated. The December home and away record reads: LWLWWD, who would have thought that at the start of the month with the teams the Cherries had to play?

In all, I would have to say it has been a great December for the team and the New Year looks promising with the possibility that Mohamed Coulibaly and Wes Fogden could be about to play their part from January or February, while Steve Cook is likely to be recovering and Lee Camp will hopefully be one of the January signings that Eddie Howe hopes to make. It's easy to look forward to 2014 if you are an AFCB fan, but the team has quite a job to beat what was a magnificent 2013 for the club. 

I am sure you are all with Cherry Chimes in wishing the team and all the staff at the club the very best in 2014. UTCIAD!   

Mike Dunne has released a new All Departments' Kangeroo Court podcast. Visit All Departments' website or listen on Cherry Chimes by scrolling down to the All Departments badge in the right hand panel and clicking on the sound bar.

BREAKING NEWS: Swindon Town fresh bid for Wes Thomas.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Fraser rues missed chance against Ipswich

Ryan Fraser has been one of the undoubted successes of AFCB's season. Now a regular in the side he has flourished under the guidance of Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall. He has added some goal success to his game but against Ipswich he just failed to give the Cherries the lead when he had been gifted a chance by Aaron Cresswell. The ball came to Ryan very unexpectedly and he perhaps had too much time to think about it and saw his shot fly over the bar without making Gerken do any work. I think that is all Eddie Howe will say to Ryan - just hit the target and maybe next time you will get luckier. 

Ryan Fraser has put in some tremendous performances for AFCB.
The rest of the season promises much for Ryan.
I hope that the missed opportunity does not weigh on Ryan's mind too long because he has been doing so much right in recent games. His pace has been a big asset to AFCB all season and he has started to put in back-to-back performances which is no mean feet for such a young talent and he has been keeping Marc Pugh out of the team occasionally.

I think his shooting is something that he would like to improve most now. On video he has been quoted as saying this week that Eddie Howe has been working on his positioning to make sure he is available to receive the ball more often and against Ipswich he was often quick to lead the counter attack. His shot count is perhaps something he can work on but he did make Gerken make a couple of saves during the Ipswich game and I don't think it will be long before he is back on the score sheet. 

It is great to see so many of our young players at AFCB doing well at the moment. O'Kane and Cook in particular have been pluses this season and I hope Eddie Howe and Dave Webb are looking to scout some more young talent that are suited to Bournemouth's style of play.

Pitman on target

Brett Pitman was a bit of a surprise hero after his late equaliser against Ipswich Town. He had only been on the pitch for about quarter of an hour when he picked himself off of the floor, after his overhead kick effort, to smash home his first goal since the win against Millwall in October. Grabban has been so prolific up front as a loan striker that both Pitman and Rantie have found it hard to win a place in the team of late, but Brett's goal comes at a good time for the striker as he can now press for a starting place in the next few games.

Will Eddie give Pitman the chance to keep scoring? 
I always feel that Brett does better when he has been knocked back a bit. He comes back with more desire and a higher work rate whenever he misses a few games. I am sure that he tries to give his best all the time, but he certainly comes back hungrier and more determined to show that he is on his game. I always look at him after such games like the Ipswich one and wonder why doesn't he play with that intensity every game? Like all strikers he tends to score goals in spells and it's just possible that Eddie Howe will use him more frequently in the games coming up.

AFCB's away set up looks fairly set with Grabban playing as the sole striker, but at home there is no reason why Brett can't claim his place more regularly. There is added competition with Josh McQuoid having come back to fitness and with Ritchie adding more fire power to the team, Eddie Howe must be starting to smile about his options going forward.

A rest always seems to bring out the best in Brett.

Brett looks like moving back up the pecking order.
I was surprised that Tokelo Rantie was not in the squad for the game against Ipswich Town, but perhaps he is being held back to play in the FA Cup match against Burton Albion to see if he can get a few opportunities to get his goal scoring going against a lower league team. Of course Brett Pitman may also relish the chance to keep his form going with an appearance in that game, although all thoughts are turning to Brighton right now.

Cherries fightback against Ipswich to earn point

Match Report
AFCB 1 v 1 Ipswich Town
29 December 2013
Attendance: 11,096 (1412 Ipswich fans)

Spot the missing AFCB player.
There was no hiding from the calibre of an Ipswich Town side coming to Dean Court on the back of a strong unbeaten record and sitting just outside the top six. But AFCB are not afraid to rub shoulders with the Championship elite and Mick McCarthy's side soon knew that they were in for a hard days work. The Tractor Boys managed to get a lead after half time when the game had looked to be headed for a nil-nil draw, but that goal only stirred the Cherries into greater endeavours and the inspired substitutions of Pugh and Pitman combined to fashion a deserved equaliser. More could have perhaps followed, but for the second match in a row the Cherries had what looked like a perfectly good goal chalked off. However, Tommy Elphick though has since stated that the referee was correct to disallow what would have been AFCB's winner.
Daniels and Grabban play leap frog.
More photographs are available to see on Match Day Gallery.

Eddie Howe made an enforced change to the previous side as Harry Arter was suspended. Josh McQuoid was the man who was selected to replace the midfielder and played just behind Grabban. Meanwhile, the subs bench was much changed with no Shaun MacDonald or Tokelo Rantie, but the reappearance of Richard Hughes.

All ready to go.
The game started with Ipswich Town pressing Bournemouth back and winning a succession of corners in the first 10 minutes as they looked to get the upper hand. One of the Ipswich Town supporters had told me pre-match that they tend to start well and are usually at their strongest in the first half hour. That seemed to be the pattern of the game with Cole Skuse being particularly influential at picking out team mates from his central position in midfield.

Francis conceded the first corner and Aaron Cresswell's back became a familiar sight for Cherries fans in the Family stand as more corners were to follow. McQouid then fouled Cresswell and Daniels gave another corner away with a diving defensive header. Another corner followed from a Francis block and we hadn't even had five minutes. I was getting concerned knowing that two of Ipswich's goals in their last game against Doncaster had come from corner kicks.

Skuse had his shot blocked and O'Kane was making his presence known before the ball came of Francis again for another Ipswich corner, followed by another! AFCB then got some passing together and Francis put in a tremendous cross from the right which Grabban did not make an effort to reach, much to my disappointment.

While AFCB were battling for everything, Ritchie gave the ball straight to the tall Frank Nouble right in front of the Cherries' box. Luckily O'Kane did a great job of clearing up. 

Ipswich were not easing up and Nouble fired a warning shot on the turn, but Camp made a clean save. AFCB then attacked up the left with Daniels, and while Luke Hyam went over leaving a gap, AFCB did not prosper as Ward's pass to Surman was too strong. 

O'Kane was suddenly in ball winning mode and when McQuoid found Grabban, Fraser almost came close to troubling Gerken in goal but at least he won a corner. Francis was next to have a shot blocked and Daniels played in Grabban but he was offside.

Elphick and Ward were winning headers and looking solid at the back as Ipswich tried to disrupt AFCB's passing game with a lot of high balls. It may have worked because there were some misplaced passes like a strange left to right wing effort from McQuoid that seemed to be aimed into empty space. Even Ritchie was finding it hard to find team mates.

McGoldrick had his back to goal for most of the first half and was doing his utmost to link up with Tunnicliffe and Hyam. On 20 minutes AFCB won a corner and while nothing came of it at first, when Bournemouth retrieved the ball and Grabban back heeled a pass to Daniels AFCB went close to getting in. But the biggest let off for Ipswich came on 22 minutes when Cresswell inexplicably decided to pass the ball back right across his own box after a throw and Fraser found himself given a one-on-one opportunity to put the Cherries ahead, only he blasted over!

The Scot was not too disheartened though as he got on the end of a Daniels pass to win a corner. The ball broke to O'Kane who whipped in a ball that had Dean Gerken in goal scrambling backwards to tip the shot over the bar. Ward had his shot blocked from the corner and then Francis' drive was saved down low. 

It looked like AFCB now had control and were playing some of the kind of football that would trouble Ipswich. McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy were finding it hard to hold on to the ball for long. O'Kane was doing his robbing job well, jostling in front of the big number 10 whenever he could to spoil his game. 

Meanwhile, Luke Chambers was finding Ryan Fraser a right handful and resorted to tripping as the best way to stop him. 

Ipswich managed some pressure with McGoldrick, Skuse and Murphy linking up with Hyam and Cresswell on the left but a corner was as far as they got. The ball in went right through Nouble's legs on the near post but was thankfully cleared. Surman then fouled McGoldrick on Ipswich's left wing, his hands were high around McGoldrick's neck. McQuoid won the header out and Fraser played a great ball to Ritchie who had his shot blocked. 

AFCB's best move of the half came on 33 minutes when Francis and Grabban joined with Surman who then played Grabban in with a glorious back heel to keep the move going. But Grabban shot straight at Gerken.

Ipswich enjoyed some possession without really threatening before Grabban had a volley that was blocked on 38 minutes. McGoldrick's frustration led him to handle the ball on the half way line. The half was ending with AFCB more in control but Murphy hit a shot over and Hyam fired wide before half time was reached with the score at 0:0.

An Ipswich fan celebrates hitting the cross bar at half time.

His prize was two tickets to the FA Cup tie
against Burton next week - that'll teach him.
Second Half
Ipswich started well winning a corner and Hyam had an early shot blocked. The opposition won another corner on 53 minutes. AFCB had not really got going when Fraser was a bit late on a tackle on Christophe Berra. McGoldrick chested the ball on from the free kick and Frank Nouble put in a cross from the right, and while the ball flashed across the six yard area, Daryl Murphy slipped away from Francis, coming in on the far post, and had a simple task of putting Ipswich 0:1 upon 58 minutes.

Pitman was then brought on for McQuoid. At this point Tunnicliffe started to enjoy himself more and became much more influential for Ipswich. AFCB started to be feeding on the scraps as Ipswich looked to press home their advantage. Fraser won a corner on the hour and a moment later his cross might have been handled but nothing was given. Surman then had a shot which had Gerken at full stretch, but AFCB just could not find that bit of magic they needed. 

Meanwhile, Tunnicliffe was trying his luck with a deflected shot, but Camp was equal to it. AFCB were having plenty of possession again now and were responding well with Ritchie taking a shot that Gerken saved. Fraser was subbed on 73 minutes and Pugh came on. His first cross caused panic in the Ipswich box and after a barrage of shots, with Pitman going for an overhead and Surman forcing Gerken into a diving save, Pitman fired home into the roof of the net from six yards to make it 1:1. The home crowd could finally celebrate a goal.

Ipswich brought on Taylor and took off Nouble on 76 minutes. Pugh obviously had a taste for the action and he won a corner as AFCB's momentum gathered pace. The corner was cleared but when it came back in and Elphick rose for the header with Gerken the keeper dropped the ball and it landed in the net. It looked like a goal had been scored but the ref disallowed it for a foul on the keeper I imagine. That was as close as the Cherries came to a win. The last 13 minutes saw more corners for AFCB but no clear chances, while Hyam picked up the only yellow card of the game.

One result that got away from AFCB.
Eddie shakes hands with the officials.
While AFCB fans and the club will know that this was a game that the team probably did enough to win, it could easily have been lost and a draw against such a strong side should be recognised as a well earned point. Ipswich were physically strong and came to intimidate in the first half hour but Bournemouth stood up to them and kept playing their football. Had Fraser taken his chance and Ipswich not defended so stoutly at times the score could have been a better won. But there is lots to like about the way the Cherries are playing now. This was a good fightback and for much of the game Bournemouth looked the better team. Moreover, it is another game undefeated and part of a run that may well be extended at Brighton on New Years Day. See you there!

Pitman interview

AFCB: Camp, Francis, Ward, Elphick, Daniels, Ritchie, O’Kane, Surman, Fraser (Pugh 73), Grabban, McQuoid (Pitman 60).

AFCB Subs: Allsop, Addison, Harte, Hughes, Thomas, Pitman, Pugh

AFCB Ratings: Camp6, Francis 6, Ward 7, Elphick 7, Daniels 7, Ritchie 8, O’Kane 8, Surman 7, Fraser 7, Grabban 8, McQuoid 7

Ipswich Town: Gerken, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell, Hyam, Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Nouble (Taylor 76), McGoldrick (Mings 87), Murphy.

Ipswich Subs: Loach, Tabb, Edwards, Anderson, Graham, Taylor, Mings

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Can AFCB knock Ipswich off their pedestal?

While AFCB are the professional club in Dorset, Ipswich are the only such league club in Suffolk, but that's just about where the similarities end. We know every game is hard in the Championship, but some are harder than others. I put this fixture as the most difficult home game AFCB have had since Derby County.

While Ipswich Town have not been a Premiership team since the 2001-2 season, their fans can still look back on their fantastic European history and I certainly still view them as a big weight in the Championship. I was told by an Ipswich fan that they had not beaten AFCB at Dean Court since 1953, which indicates how AFCB have been playing their football at a much lower level in the last half century. But now we can compete with Ipswich Town and it shows you how far AFCB have come in recent seasons.

AFCB will have to be at their very best to get
anything out of a vibrant Ipswich team. 
In their last 11 games, Ipswich have only lost twice and those defeats were against teams riding high in the Championship -  Burnley and Leicester City. Such form has seen the Blues steadily climb the table and they are now in the top 10. Mick McCarthy has them being very hard to beat. While September was their most productive month in terms of points. Recently they have drawn games against two of the divisions strong teams - Watford and Nottingham Forest - so that gives us a good indication how well the Cherries are going to have to play just to keep Ipswich at bay.

While AFCB's home form could be better, there is a glimmer of hope in that Ipswich have managed only 3 away wins this season, compared to 6 at home. So they are not the best of travellers, although they are good at getting draws away from home - 5 in all so far. Their last 0:3 win against Doncaster does give AFCB plenty to think about.

That tells me that AFCB will have their usual challenge to breakdown a stubborn, well organised team at Dean Court, which has been the Cherries undoing more often that not this season. 

AFCB did very well against Yeovil in their last home match and found plenty of space to attack. The Cherries also had Harry Arter in midfield who is now suspended for this game, but that gives an opportunity for Shaun MacDonald to come into the team and perhaps Eunan O'Kane will play in a slightly more advanced midfield role with Andrew Surman. 

Batten down the hatches it's going to be another 90 minutes of nerve jangling tension. Let's see if the Cherries can start to build with a few more home wins. If they get a result against Ipswich the New year's match against Brighton is going to be a cracker with raised excitement. 

Get behind the team today and try and help them perform to the standard we know they are capable of. UTCIAD!   

Ipswich Away form:

AFCB Home form:

If you have not yet read the Rival Lines chat with TWTD, click on the Rival Lines tab to learn more about today's visitors.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Ipswich's youth and experience will need some containing

Ipswich Town are aiming for a top six spot this Christmas period and their form has been formidable in spells, although a few draws have hindered the speed of their rise up the table. Like so many Championship sides though, Ipswich are packing their team with some interesting young players.

Ones to watch out for include young 22-year-old Luke Hyam who was an academy product at Ipswich who plays in midfield. The unforgiving Tractor Boy fans booed him during their 1:1 draw with Watford, but to be playing in the team at his age means he has more than a bit of talent. But it's David McGoldrick who is their star man and Elphick and Ward are going to be busy keeping him at bay. The inform striker has already netted 11 times this season, including two against Doncaster in the last match, and is ably supported by Daryl Murphy who has 6 goals.

Another young striker they have is Frank Nouble, who has scored twice this season. Nice and small at 6ft 3in I don't think we'll miss this 22-year-old. He also has some pedigree having been at Chelsea and West Ham in his early career and he has loads of loan moves under his belt, plus U17 and U19 caps for England. Midfielder, Ryan Tunnicliffe is also a youngster at 20 years old and is on loan from Man Utd.

The Scottish international Christophe Berra will be the man Lewis Grabban will more than likely have to get the better of, while Luke Chambers is another experienced centre back that has played over 200 games for Nottingham Forest and scored last time out against Doncaster Rovers. 

So it's a good combination of youth and experience while Mick McCarthy certainly knows a thing or two having managed in the Premiership and in internationals right up to World Cup level. Still, the bigger they come ... !

Please take a look at Rival Lines today as well where you will be given even more information about Ipswich Town from a man in the know, Blair Furgeson who contributes to TWTD.

Cherry Chimes talks to Independent Ipswich Town website TWTD

Match Preview
Blogger Interview
AFCB v Ipswich Town

Cherry Chimes asked Blair Ferguson a contributor to independent Ipswich Town website TWTD a few questions about the Tractor Boys ahead of their clash with the Cherries on Sunday. We'll find out what Ipswich fans think of Mick McCarthy, and do you know who is their Premiership star in the making? 

CC: Ipswich Town have really been picking up momentum of late. How come the sudden turnaround in form?

TWTD: We have been playing fairly well all season but didn't get the odd bit of luck here and there, however, when we started turning draws into wins we really began to push on and we now have a confident bunch of lads who believe in their own ability.

CC: Is Mick McCarthy very popular with you fans and can you see what he is trying to do with the players?

TWTD: Mick McCarthy came in last season and has made a real impact. The main difference is the defence, for a few seasons we have been lightweight at the back, but we now look confident and the addition of Christophe Berra has helped shore up the backline.

McCarthy is popular with the fans because he has done a great job so far. He has made us hard to beat, maybe not the best to watch, but we can get results and go into games not fearing the opposition.

CC: Which players are you worried about losing in January if any?

TWTD: The main worry is Aaron Cresswell, he's been on the radar of a few Premier League clubs for a while. He gives us a great outlet down the left and is as good at attacking as he is defending. His set pieces are also a big part of our overall game and we would miss them greatly if he went.

CC: Ebanks-Blake did really well when he was at Wolves. Do you think he is the kind of striker you really needed?

TWTD: Although we have good strikers in Daryl Murphy, Frank Nouble and David McGoldrick, Ebanks-Blake is a proven goalscorer. We haven't scored too many goals of late but if he is fit and hits the ground running then he could strengthen us a lot going into the second half of the season. It's worth remembering that he has been the Championship’s top goalscorer twice in his career.

CC: Do you think the quality (or let's be honest money) of the teams coming down from the Premiership is making it harder every season for stable teams like Ipswich to get out of the Championship?

TWTD: Ipswich are the Championship’s longest-serving team and I think that now more than ever finance is playing a part. The money that relegated Premier League teams get allows them to build a solid side to go straight back up or keep the players they have to give it a go for a season.

It doesn't always work as Wigan are proving, but the circumstances that led to relegation have a big part to play. If it's a bad team playing poor football then they will struggle in the Championship, but if it's a side like QPR who have a very strong squad then they will likely do well.

CC: What has been the most pleasing match when your teams has played well this season?

TWTD: The most pleasing game was probably the 3-2 win at Blackpool. It was the first away win of the campaign and was won in the final seconds. Town had been a goal behind at the break having been outplayed and Mick McCarthy switched to an usually attacking 4-3-3 formation.

We dominated after that and went 2-1 in front before allowing Blackpool an equaliser in the final minute. However, Daryl Murphy’s injury time header shortly before the whistle sealed a memorable win.

CC: If Ipswich did go up would you expect any players you have currently to do well in the Premiership?

TWTD: I think Cresswell would prove himself at Premier a League level, you can tell that he's a quality player and could play at a higher level.

CC: AFCB have found it a hard league this season. Do you think any of the promoted sides can survive in the Championship?

TWTD: The Championship is a difficult league for all the teams in it. All the teams can beat each other and when you're near the bottom it makes it very difficult to go into a game and think we can definitely win this game.

It is possible for the promoted sides to survive because all it takes is a three or four-game run and you go marching up the table given that it's such a tight league.

CC: Well thank you Blair for sparing some time this Christmas to give Cherry Chimes' readers a good indication of how well Ipswich Town are doing on the pitch. I expect a very difficult game for the Cherries and a packed house for this one, as Ipswich are a team that I am sure a lot of AFCB fans have been looking forward to see as an established Championship team. You can lean more about the Cherries next opponents on the independent Ipswich Town website TWTD, so make sure you have a look.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Cherries aim to finalise Lee Camp deal

I felt a bit sorry for Lee Camp when he was being interviewed after the win against Yeovil. While he was obviously delighted about the clean sheet and three points you could discern that he was still not sure about his future at AFCB and that can only be adding pressure on him as he looks to settle.
Lee Camp has acquitted himself well at AFC Bournemouth.
There is no doubt that the majority, if not all, AFCB fans would agree that Camp has shown that he would be a good permanent addition to the team and Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall also seem to want Camp at the club long term. At the moment though AFCB will still be waiting on a permanent managerial appointment at West Brom, but there is no news yet about who the new boss will be.

As a shot stopper it may be that Ryan Allsop turns out to be a better keeper in that respect, but at the moment the Cherries also need a keeper who has safe hands and can distribute the ball quickly and calmly while also coming for crossed and making himself imposing to opposition forwards. I like the way he stands up to the opposition and exudes great confidence. It is something that has made the Cherries defence look a lot less fragile. Camp has the experience and quickness of thought to see things that others, who have not been playing at Championship level as long, simply don't see.

If AFCB do lose out on Lee Camp it would be a big loss. The understanding and camaraderie he has with the back four is easy to see and having had his first clean sheet I am sure that he would like the opportunity to build on that at AFCB. Whether the Hawthorn's caretaker boss, Keith Downing, will make the final decision on Lee Camp's future in the next few days is unknown to all but those in the corridors at West Brom. In some ways though I feel Lee Camp's signing for AFCB in January would be as big a signing as the signing of Matt Ritchie, because good goal keepers are not so easy to find. 

AFCB's home hoodoo lifted

A home win is always important. Beating a derby rival is all the sweeter, but the victory against Yeovil Town has really now set the tone for the second half of the season. It is the first time that an AFCB crowd have gone home having been treated to a goal spree and a clean sheet. Somehow I reckon the Cherries faithful would like to see that kind of display again and they may well do in only a few days time when Ipswich Town come visiting Dean Court.

The hoodoo has mainly been the Cherries inability to get the first goal when playing at home and to capitalise on it. So often we have seen good and even not so good Championship teams simply get behind the ball and wait for a lapse or individual error from an AFCB player to get themselves ahead and shut up shop. But perhaps AFCB are starting to grasp that nettle and yank it up by the roots. If AFCB go ahead in games there is not much fear that they will get caught, but go a goal down and the team has found it difficult to find ways of opening up the opposition. 

AFCB can get ready for a sprint in the second half of the season.
Against Ipswich it could be quiet a different test to Yeovil. Ipswich are unlikely to allow Eddie Howe's men much time on the ball. They may well press us high up the pitch and will no doubt look to secure a fair amount of possession. Yet, AFCB have shown that they can create chances and play football of the highest calibre. They now have to do it at home against a quality team currently in the top seven. Keeping the run going is not going to be easy and the Cherries may need some luck, but if they do get another three points on Sunday and reach 31 points for half way through the season, that will be a fabulous return in their first season back in the Championship.

I keep wondering which of my predictions is likely to be closer to where the Cherries will finish this season. At times they play like a top 12 team and yet on other days they are more like a team who would finish no better than say about 18th. Putting a few runs together will make all the difference as to which outcome we could see. A few two or three game winning streak catapults you up the league, but if the Cherries do go on and get points against Ipswich and Brighton the AFCB roller coaster season would be hurtling back up the tracks, to where the best teams are in this league. Hold on tight. UTCIAD!

AFCB could have scored more

The home win against Yeovil was a great result and the first back-to-back wins, first away and then at home for the Cherries. While the opposition can say they were unlucky to lose by such a large margin having come close by hitting the post twice, there can be no doubt that AFCB dominated the game. In the end AFCB took a couple of the chances that fell to Ritchie and then O'Kane, but it took some 50 minutes before the Cherries managed to register on the score board and that was perhaps the only slight worry, although you could also say that the Cherries were very patient.

Euanan O'Kane has everything under control.
Eddie Howe actually said in interview that he did not feel the Cherries played as well in the second half even though that is when the goals came. Taking chances is something that can only improve with confidence and practise and for me, I am just pleased to know that our players are taking shots on, because a few weeks ago they were struggling to trouble opposition keepers at all.

Against well organised defences the Cherries do have more of a problem and I expect the next two games against Ipswich Town and Brighton to be far harder matches when the Cherries may only get a couple of opportunities to score. At least we have a couple of players in form in front of goal. Ritchie is certainly enjoying his late arrival in the Championship and Grabban has been on form for the last few weeks even if he missed a good opportunity to add to his total yesterday. 

The really pleasing goal for me though against Yeovil was Eunan O'Kane's run and finish. Our centre midfielders have not been getting among the goals and it is something that would boost the team if one or two of them can start to get on the score sheet more often. Considering O'Kane has been excellent in a more defensive role, it is still good to know he can stride forward and strike a good goal at this level. It should do his confidence the world of good.   

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Cherries' Boxing Day second half goals see off Glovers

AFCB 3 v 0 Yeovil Town
26 December 2013
Attendance: 10,717 (including 1367 Yeovil fans)

AFCB cruise to a three-nil home win against Yeovil Town, but it was anything but easy in the first half which had ended goalless as the Glovers' goal appeared to be protected by a force field. This game had some end-to-end play as well as Yeovil hit the woodwork twice. But in the end the Cherries proved too strong for the Somerset men and with Ritchie, O'Kane and Fraser in particular pulling the strings AFCB were good value for this win when the stats show they had some 33 shots to Yeovil's 15.

Eddie Howe named an unchanged team to face Yeovil which was a bit of a surprise considering the same 11 did not perform that well at home against Birmingham. Still the onus was on those players to come up with the goods today following an impressive away win at Sheffield Utd only 5 days ago. It meant that Surman would play just behind Grabban who would lead the line, while the subs bench looked very impressive going forward with Pugh, Pitman and Rantie.

Match Description:
Listening to BBC Somerset

We had some technical problems and BBC Radio Solent didn't want to start up on Cherries player today so we start by listening to BBC Somerset's commentary.

Yeovil had the first chance with Fontaine heading the ball into the North stand. Ritchie then put a shot wide at Yeovil's end. Surman also had a header straight at Stech from Fraser's cross. Grabban beats the offside trap and crosses. Shane Duffy misses it at the back, but an AFCB player steps on the ball.

Yeovil are making their own problems with their players getting caught in midfield. Approaching 10 minutes it is goalless and AFCB are doing all the attacking. Edwards put the ball out for a corner to the Cherries. Fraser to take, short to O'Kane, Daniels in the box gets it to Arter. Fontaine gets a clearance in. Grabban on the right wing passes to Dawson and its another corner on 11 minutes as AFCB attack the Ted MacDougall end.

Miller makes a break into the box but the shot hits the post! O'Kane now on the break the other way Surman shoots well over. In the first 14 minutes AFCB have had five attempts compared to Yeovil's one shot at goal. Fraser gets a cross over looking for Ritchie's header which Stech saves, the ball comes back out for Grabban but he almost hits the corner flag with his shot!

Now finally listening with BBC Solent on Cherries player. BBC Somerset seemed more interested in the King George Cup!

Francis lets the ball bounce and hammers it up to Grabban. McAllister in a right mess and with Grabban one-on-one he misses a chance as two defenders get back. He beat the keeper but had another touch that allowed the keeper to get back. Ritchie then gives a free kick away for a challenge on Duffy. that was a golden opportunity - a reluctance to use his left foot says Kris temple. 19 minutes gone.

Ritchie and Francis link up and Lundstram passes back to the keeper but gets away with it. Duffy clouts Grabban and wins a free kick. Dawson gives a way a throw. Ritchie passes to Francis five yards from the corner flag. Arter's cross is blocked by Lundstram for another AFCB corner on 28 minutes.

Elphick came in but it's headed away. Grant is on the far left now shadowed by O'Kane. Ralls round the outside to Edwards near the penalty area but Francis holds him up. Lundstam crosses but the Cherries clear. Camp finds Grabban and he gets into the area but Fontaine and Duffy snuff out the danger. 

Yeovil's attempts have mainly been on the counter as they have struggled to build any play. Francis up against Edwards, Surman and O'Kane tries to play back to Surman, but it's too fast and out of play.

McAllister has another air shot. Grabban is caught offside. Surman rugby tackles Upson and Yeovil have a free kick. Arter turns from Lundstram and is caught in the centre by Dawson. 13 minutes to half time. Yeovil with McAllister crosses but Camp collects. AFCB in the counter 3 on 3. Arter and Grabban, Grabban pulls it back but Yeovil clear.

Grabban almost gets in on breaking the offside trap. Duffy plays to Ralls but Francis blocks him. Yeovil's corner goes to Fontaine, but Elphick clears with a header. Edwards floats it back to Duffy but Ward and Elphick clear. Grant is offside. Upson then charges back and takes out Fraser. Free kick to the Cherries. Arter's free kick was on target but easily saved on 37 minutes.

Francis makes a clearance. McAllister passes to Dwson and McAllister again Lundtram's flick round the corner runs out of play. O'Kane is blocked by Fontaine. Daniels plays it into Ward but the keeper puts it out for the corner. The header out is to Fraser his shot curls but wide.

Stech also makes a great save from Grabban as AFCB pile on the pressure. Yeovil now with Dawson but Miller is tackled by Arter. "A lot of Stech's saves have been comfortable," says Kris Temple. Daniels clears ahead of Fontaine. Grabban has a shot wide from 20 yards out that's wide.

One minute of extra time being played. Francis finds Ritchie then Fraser but the attack fizzles out. AFCB corner, Fraser delivers and Ward runs onto it. The ball is in the net but the whistle has gone for a push and the goal is disallowed. ElphicK was probably the culprit says Kris Temple. Arter has a problem with his right arm. The Cherries have dominated the game but have not been clinical enough, although Grabban looks like a man that will score. Half time 0-0
AFCB have had 19 shots but only 5 on target compared to Yeovil's 5 shots off target. Possession on the BBC website reads 61% to 39% in favour of AFCB.

Second Half
Yeovil are on the attack, no changes from either team. Yeovil win a free kick. Elphick leaps well to clear. Grant , then Upson and McAlister, Francis clears. Grabban on the break to Fraser but Dawson  clears. Joel Grant on half way is tackled by Ward.

O'Kane to the edge of the area but he loses the ball at the last minute. Fraser crosses and Ritchie gets a goal on 50 minutes. There were several ricochets but "Ricthie almost took the net off,"
 that clean sheet now. Miller, Lundstram's cross is headed out by O'Kane and as Duffy shoots two Yeovil players are flagged offside.

Daniels and O'Kane and Arter is penalised for an aggressive challenge and he is in the book and misses the next game against Ipswich. The ref did not like the aggression. Elphick gives Arter a pep talk - we don't want him going off for two yellows.

O'Kane over the top for Fraser but it comes to Grabban. The cross from O'Kane is hit by Ritchie who scores for AFCB's second - deflected shot top corner! 57 minutes gone.

Yeovil are going to make a change. Shaun McDonald comes on first though as Harry Arter is subbed on the hour. Ward makes a good tackle as Yeovil almost get through the middle. Camp gets a bit lucky with a take.

Fraser is caught offside. Hayter comes on with lost of applause from a respectful Bournemouth crowd as Edwards goes off. McAlister also goes off and Davis comes on and Lundstram is off, replaced by Foley. Uspon puts a shot well wide. 

19 minutes gone in the second half. Grabban and MacDonald link up but Davis gets a challenge in. Elphick misses the ball but O'Kane is going and going, all the way and makes it 3:0! His left foot shot flies past the keeper. "O'Kane kept his head down and just kept going," says Temple. "That goal started in Sheffield," said Willo, remaking on how well O'Kane has done in the last two games. 65 minutes gone

Grant cross and Francis heads away. Miller shoots wide of the goal as Camp let's it go. Grabban is caught offside. Ward then fouls Duffy. AFCB's attack is stopped by Upson just when Grabban was about to break free. Upson gets a yellow card.

A free kick 25 yards out. Daniels and Ritchie stand over the ball with 21 minutes to go the wall stops the shot. Fraser to O'Kane and Surman puts his shot over.

Davis is clipped by MacDonald, but no free kick. Francis cross is deflected by Dawson and Upson. Dawson and Grant. Miller's cross is blocked by Elphick. Dawson's cross is tame and the Cherries have the ball.

Davis shot strikes Elphick and Yeovil have a corner. Surman clears at the near post and Camp makes a safe claim when the ball comes back in. Grabban is out muscled by Grant, Fontaine has it at the back.

Grabban is subbed and on comes Tokelo Rantie. Miller is caught offside. Fraser 25 yards out finds the North stand! Another foul on Fraser and Ralls is given a yellow card.

Daniels and O'Kane through to Ritchie but the cross is just missed by MacDonald. Ritchie over the top for Rantie, but he is dispossessed. Surman and O'Kane tries to find Rantie who wins a throw. Fraser is subbed for Pugh.

Ritchie and then Francis, O'Kane was looking for Pugh but Ralls volleys the ball away. Daniles beats Miller and comes away Rantie looks for Ritchie and a shot from Ritchie is deflected for a corner. Just 7 minutes to go.

Francis has a shot wide of the post from 30 yards out. Six minutes left as AFCB look to hold on to the clean sheet. Yeovil are onside and Upson hits the left hand post! the shot was driven across Lee Camp with the keeper beaten.

Matt Ritchie is made man of the match, but O'Kane is not far behind says Willo with two consecutive good games. Grant, through the centre shoots and Camp saves. "AFCB are unbeaten in the last nine meetings with Yeovil," says Kris Temple.

Hayter fouls Elphick in the centre circle. Rantie is onside but  the keeper beats him to the ball.
Daniels gives the ball away, but Hayer is offside. Davis and Foley's cross is blocked by Ritchie. Then Duffy pushes and gives AFCB a free kick.

The whistle goes as AFCB record their second biggest home win of the season 3:0.

Camp, Francis, Elphick, Ward, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter (MacDonald 60), O'Kane, Fraser (Pugh 80), Surman and Grabban (Rantie 74)

Allsop, Harte, Addison, Pugh, MacDonald, Pitman, Rantie

Stech, Edwards (Hayter 62), Duffy, Fontaine, McAllister (Davis 62), Dawson, Lundstram (Foley 63), Ralls, Grant, Upson, Miller

Yeovil Subs
Hayter, Foley, Moore,Hoskins, Davis, Dunn, Ofuri-Twumasi

Finding a settled team may help Cherries

Despite the hectic Christmas period when there are so many games and the change in personnel could be frequent, because of injuries and tiredness I believe it would be a big bonus if the Cherries could start fielding the same side a bit more often. The Birmingham game saw Eddie Howe picked an unchanged team for only the second time this season. It has been a difficult start to life in the Championship when it comes to picking a settled side for AFCB and that is probably not a great help when it comes to building confidence. Now that some players are again returning to fitness we just may find out what is Eddie Howe's best team.

Ritchie is a must pick for  Eddie every game when fit.
On the wings it looks like Pugh (but sometimes Fraser) and Ritchie, while up front it is certainly Grabban and midfield Arter is picked when fit. At the back it is Daniels, Cook and Francis and probably Ward ahead of Elphick. And even with Camp in goal it leaves a space for another player up front and one more in midfield. Whether Eunan O'Kane, Shaun MacDonald or Andrew Surman is favoured is always very much in the balance and while Rantie has had a good spell as a main striker, he has not come up with the goods yet.

That all leaves AFCB with a couple of spaces where there is potential for strengthening. While Coulibaly, McQuoid or Fogden could win one of those places it is in Eddie's mind that someone new faces are needed.

I would like to see a period when the team was not swapping and changing from week to week. The difficulty in bring more players in is getting them to quickly  play in the way AFCB are used to and we have seen with Spurs that it can be tricky.

While it is good to have competition, the best sides rarely make more than one or two changes over a few games, and the fact that AFCB can't do that signals to me that perhaps we are a club that is still finding its way. Whether the team is a bit lightweight at this level is something that I believe Eddie may well feel, even if the team is good enough to survive in the Championship.

The one thing I can say is last year I could pretty much name the team and the subs every week, but this season it's extremely hard to know which players will start the game for AFCB. It may just be that the Championship is so demanding that an unchanged side is not something that Bournemouth can do at this stage. You either have to have a big squad that is doing so well that you can keep the same side or a small squad and a club that hasn't the finances to change the team as often. AFCB are perhaps somewhere in between.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Cherry Chimes talks to Ciderspace ahead of Yeovil's visit Dean Court

Match Preview
AFCB V Yeovil Town
Blogger interview 
Cherry Chimes has a quick conversation with Martin Baker who writes on Ciderspace, the Yeovil Town blog that has a tremendous amount of news on it and some excellent photos showing the Glovers' promotion winning celebrations at Wembley last May. So how are the Somerset team doing in the Championship?

CC: There is a lot of information on Ciderspace so do you work with others and how do you put it all together?

CS: Whilst I'm currently the main person who works on the site, we do get a lot of guest contributions and people who are willing to help out, which I really appreciate - both fans and people associated with the club. In addition, I've had a lot of work-based experience of internet technology, and so sometimes bring ideas of how we can cut down on some of the maintenance of the site.

CC: Going up via the play-offs has to be the best way. What was it like at the end of last season? Could you believe it?

CS: At the start of the 2012-13 season, I think very few Yeovil fans would have predicted promotion. We'd had around three seasons of flirting with the relegation zone, and so if we were going to go out of League One, a lot of people would have reluctantly predicted we'd go the other way. But Gary Johnson has a bit of a midas touch with our club - about halfway through the season, you started to recognise some of the techniques and patterns that he'd used to get us out of the Conference and up through League Two during his first spell as manager.

Once those signs started to show through, it started to look possible. We had two lethal goalscorers - one of whom was James Hayter, and we had a cracking goalkeeper at the other end. Whilst we entered the play-offs on a high, and a celebration that we were there, our semi-final opponents Sheffield United seemed to be almost in despair at having to go through that route. At that point it seemed as though we had a big chance. Going up via the play-offs is a fantastic experience, and probably beats automatic promotion, although it's not the way you'd gamble to do it - we'd previously failed in 2007 against Blackpool. But this time we seemed more confident, more street-wise as a club - players and supporters - and throughout the whole day I felt it was ours to win.

CC:  What do you think about Yeovil's performance this season so far?

CS: We've stuttered a little, but I think we're gradually growing into being able to compete in the Championship. It's a massive learning curve, given we've got no spending power, and only a tiny number of players such as James Hayter and Jamie McAllister have genuine experience of playing at that level. Whilst we've played the majority of the Championship sides before in League One or in the FA Cup, when you play them at League One, you can single them out as that 'cup final' and raise your game for it. When those big guns come in across 46 matches, you can't do that. We've coped OK, but struggled badly to score goals. It's only in the last month or so that we've started to put together good results. Overall, I think most fans are content, and are happy with the start that we've made, although it's going to probably go to the wire in April as to whether we can extend it into a second season.

CC: What's the latest situation with Paddy Madden - do you think he'll stay in January?

CS: I don't think he'll play for us again. He's not scored for us this season, and right from the start there seemed to be a bit of friction between himself and the manager. Exactly what Gary Johnson's thinking is on this, is harder to determine, but Madden was in and out of the team with Johnson suggesting he wasn't doing quite what he wanted him to do within games and in training. At some point a line has been crossed, and Gary has said "no more" and so Paddy has been transfer-listed. Gary's attitude in the past in such situations is that the player gets frozen out entirely, and so Paddy will either need to find himself another club, or get very bored for the remainder of the season. He'll still be a hero to Yeovil Town fans for what he did last season, but it's clear there is no turning back now. He hasn't been in the matchday squad since he was transfer-listed. Hopefully there are enough clubs out there who can find him a new home in January.

CC: Who has been Yeovil's best player in the Championship?

CS: Probably Byron Webster - which is fortunate for yourselves, as he's 99 per cent certain to be missing through a hamstring injury. He's a centre-back that on paper you'd never believe would be in the Championship and competing so well. York City rejected him, Doncaster Rovers fans were very dismissive of his time with them, whilst Northampton Town seemed far too willing to tear up his contract and give him to us for free. But he worked under Gary Johnson when he was at Sixfields, and I think Gary knew what he was taking on. He's quietly grown into a key player for us. Other worthy shouts would be for Everton loanee Shane Duffy, who plays the last game of an Emergency Loan spell on Boxing Day - he's only been with us for three months but has been rock solid as a centre-back alongside Byron. I'd probably also be singing the praises of Marek Stech as well were it not for the fact that he's been missing for four-and-a-half months with a broken hand. We got him back between the sticks last Saturday, and that's going to be a big boost for us.

CC: All of last year's promoted teams are finding it hard going. What do you think the main difference is between League One and the Championship?

CS: For us, it's been the ability to score goals. Championship sides are far more organised with their tactics, and we've found far too often that our attacks have been snuffed out at the edge of the penalty box. In League One, there's a lot more running and athleticism, whereas in the Championship it's about players using their brains and their technique. Some matches become closer to a chess match. We were clocking up 60 per cent possession in some games, which made us feel like we were dominating games, but after a while you began to wonder how many shots did we have that were inside the opposition box? So we've needed to get a bit smarter with our movement off the ball, and that's starting to look better.

CC: Your results have been picking up and you have beaten some good sides like Forest, Blackpool and Watford. So are Yeovil supporters optimistic for the rest of the season?

CS: If you'd asked me that five or six weeks ago, I think I would have given a very luke warm response. We'd dropped to six points from safety just before the loan transfer window closed, and it was utterly imperative that Gary brought in some new players. Nottingham Forest's Ishmael Miller, Everton midfielder John Lundstram (who was at Doncaster Rovers last season) and Liverpool striker Adam Morgan have breathed a bit of life into the side - particularly the first two - and I think now we can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. We've got out of far worse trouble in League One at Christmas, so I think it's still all to play for. We will have the advantage that unlike teams like Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Charlton and Millwall who are floundering, there will be zero pressure on our management team and players. Come March and April, that will be vital for us.

CC: Which ground have you most enjoyed visiting this season?

CS: So far, I think it's been Watford. It was a new ground for us, and from a Yeovil point of view it's a localish away trip which meant we got a good away following. Winning 3-0 away from home obviously helped our mood, but it was good to visit a ground with a bit of genuine Football League character. The odd thing is that although this is a brand new division for us, we've only done one other new ground - we'd never been to Burnley's Turf Moor. During the second half of the season, I am particularly looking forward to Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers. Again they're new grounds for us, and both clubs have fantastic histories and traditions.

CC: AFCB have not been great at home of late. I'd better ask what is your score prediction for AFCB v Yeovil? A nailed on three points for the Glovers?

CS: If only! Have you seen our recent record at Dean Court? I guess we can take some solace from the fact that Bournemouth haven't won in four home games, whilst our overall form lately has been good. But I'll opt for the theory that Boxing Day local derbies tend to turn into central battles that end up in draws. So I'll predict a 1-1 draw, with Ishmael Miller getting ours, and that at least one red card will be produced as at least one player from one side takes the name 'Boxing Day' a bit too literally!

CC: Thanks for your comments Martin. I really liked your answers and AFCB fans know that Yeovil are capable of springing a surprise on any team in this league. It will be good to rejoin our derby rivalry in the Championship this year and I expect the Glovers will bring a good crowd on Boxing Day. Please read more of Martin's thoughts at Ciderspace.

As a little Christmas bonus KnowHowe 5 can now be watched if you click on the KnowHowe tab.