Sunday, 3 March 2013

AFC Bournemouth mistakes hand victory to Leyton Orient

Match Report
Saturday 2nd March
Leyton Orient 3 v 1 Bournemouth
Attendance 5136 (1407 away supporters)

The visit to the Matchroom stadium was not expected to be an easy match for the Cherries but most of the supporters from the south coast would probably have thought a little more confident of picking up something in this match than in their recent outings. But as we have seen in this league there are no easy games. Players have to be at their best to pick up three points and they need a bit of luck. Luck is something that the Cherries have enjoyed at some points during this season, but you can't expect it to continue for ever. Sometimes hard graft, endeavour and skill will win out and it was Leyton Orient, not AFCB, that had that in abundance today.

Main entrance to the Matchroom Stadium
Fans await kick off
Dave and Liam Porter travelled up from Salisbury to see the Cherries 
Cherry supporters were in good voice for the match. Not a kick had been taken when we had already had several choruses of ''Oh Eddie Howe'' and ''Barmy Army'' and with four Excelsior coaches outside the ground AFCB could not complain about the magnificent support behind them. The old wooden seats did not offer much comfort for these fans who stood all match long.

The Cherries go through their warm up

More Cherry fans in the Brisbane Road stand

The teams line up
The Orient mascot in the centre circle
Pre-match huddle
The game started with chances at both ends, Pugh had an early shot and Ritchie sent in  a dangerous cross before Dean Cox's header went over the bar after 15 minutes. It was Orient that were keeping possession better. Fogden was playing centre midfield on the left of O'Kane with Richard Hughes just behind them both. Arter was serving the first of his two match suspension.

Orient were switching play quickly with Cox regularly finding Moses Obudajo on the right wing with long diagonal balls. David Mooney was also latching on to anything around the Cherries box and he had a shot that went wide on 18 minutes when he might have done better.

While Grabban had been lively early on and was working well with Pugh nothing was really falling to him cleanly up front and when Pugh crossed from the left on 20 minutes there was no AFCB player in the oppositions box. Even when we had free kicks on the right that Ritchie came across to take, with Cook coming up from the back to get numbers in the box, we couldn't get a clear sight of goal. 

Then a calamity took place at the back as a long ball that all the Cherries seem to think would go out was chased down hard by David Mooney, while Jalal seemed rooted to the spot on his six yard line, hoping for his defenders to return. Mooney simply hooked the ball back towards the penalty spot for Charlie MacDonald to have the simplest of tasks to tuck the ball away unopposed from just a few yards out on 26 minutes. There was lots of pointing and shouting among the Cherries defenders and goalkeeper but nobody had taken the responsibility upon themselves to clear the danger.

Orient kept on the front foot with Cuthbert catching Ritchie out on our left and firing just wide on 33 minutes. AFCB looked shaky at the back and second to every ball and even when they broke with speed after 35 minutes Grabban hit a very tame shot at the Orient keeper. Fogden and McQuoid seemed to switch over around this time with Fogden playing more on the right.

But it was Orient that were causing more problems with Mooney regularly finding himself free and unmarked. While AFCB thought that Seaborne had found the net with a header on 40 minutes it was disallowed and moments later there was a handball shout for Bournemouth that was also turned down. The Cherries continued to apply the pressure before half time with Cook's long throw that created a chance that flew over the bar, while Ritchie shot wide and Grabban smashed one over from a corner.

The second half started with Odubajo again finding space on the left and sending in a dangerous cross. Worse was to quickly follow when a ball from Orient's half was sent up towards an onrushing O'Kane and Seaborne who were 15 yards in front of the Cherries'box. O'Kane jumped to try and head the ball clear but only succeeded in heading the ball over the oncoming Seaborne and through to MacDonald who ran on to slide the ball past Jalal, and we were 2: 0 down after nine minutes of the second half. 

The mistakes had clearly unsettled the Cherries who continued to be sloppy in defence with Francis and Jalal getting confused about a clearance with no one calling. AFCB players were standing off too far and just not at the races all afternoon. Fogden was pulled off for Pitman to come after 60 minutes, not that Fogden was our worst player, but Eddie Howe had to try something else.

With Pitman and Grabban playing together upfront the midfield had more to aim at and it almost worked straight away with Pitman finding the ball at his feet on the D on the edge of Orient's box, but he couldn't get his shot cleanly away. 

At least the sun was out and the glare was making Cherry supporters shield their eyes from the errors that were mounting for AFCB on the pitch. Grabban was next to fire wide as he attempted an ambitious volley that he failed to connect properly with. Hughes manfully struggled on winning balls in midfield to set the team going and O'Kane was getting his foot in to win back possession. 

Too often though Orient would find Odubajo on the wing who was linking up dangerously with Mooney. Vincelot picked up a yellow with 20 minutes to go but he and former Cherry Baudry had played well all afternoon and were virtually untroubled. However, with 17 minutes or so to go Pitman volleyed a cross home to give the Cherries a foothold in the game. There was a moment when it looked like things might turnaround and Grabban went down claiming a penalty, but when Lisbie came on for Mooney - who took an age to get off the pitch - Orient seemed to find yet another gear with Cox coming close.

AFCB brought on Tubbs for Grabban and Jimmy Smith later came on for Lloyd James for the Os. The game was effectively over though when Odubajo again wriggled his way down the left wing and sent in a cross for Lisbie to score on 78 minutes. While Ryan Fraser came on for Pugh and we saw a few more glimpses of Fraser's quick feet and a driving run that earned a free kick, the game had already gone. Lisbie had a chance to make the scoreline even bigger in extra time and with Orient subbing MacDonald for Lee Cook they comfortably saw the game out.

Bouenemouth fans leave the game
AFCB simply look fragile at the back. There was little calling, no marking and Ritchie was shown why left back is not his best position today when he came up against a quality winger. Bournemouth lacked Arter's bite and aggression and again looked lightweight in midfield. The Cherries need to be better organised and start thinking more about keeping clean sheets rather than dreaming of the Championship, because at the moment you have to wonder how the team got so far up the league when too many players didn't do their job during this match.

Player Ratings

Jalal 5, Francis 6, Cook 5, Seaborne 4, Ritchie 4, McQuoid 6, Fogden 5, O Kane 4, Hughes 6, Pugh 5, Grabban 5    

Pitman 65

Used Subs: Pitman 6, Tubbs 5, Francis 5
Unused Subs: Allsop, Partington, MacDonald, Fletcher 

Leyton OrientGoals MacDonald 24, 68, Lesbie 78
Yellows Vincelot 65, Cox 83

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