Saturday, 16 March 2013

Allsop saves the day at Boundary Park as AFCB go fourth

Match Description
Oldham Athletic 0:1 Cherries 
3540 (including 194 Cherry supporters)

Well I'm glad that I didn't get the team line up quite right for the game at Boundary Park. AFCB had a welcome change with Charlie Daniels coming back into the starting eleven for his first game since we Hartlepool, on 22 January 2013. That meant that Matt Ritchie found himself on the bench, while Fogden retained a starting place on the right wing. It was also great to hear that Tommy Elphick was on the subs bench.

Oldham matched Bournemouth's 4-4-2 with Lee Barnard lining up as one of the forwards against the Cherries, having played for them earlier in the season. It was always going to be a battle with Oldham's lowly position in the league and the game was perhaps short on thrills and skill in the beginning, but there was plenty of late drama lying ahead.

The Cherries were going up hill first half defending the slope. Fogden won an early free kick, Francis and Seaborne came up for Daniels kick but the Cherries quickly lost possession and Baxter, Obita and Iweluma broke away after a resulting throw, but luckily Allsop gathered safely.

Pugh was making a poor start giving the ball away several times, much to Willo's disappointment on BBC Radio Solent. 

Arter went down on his right ankle after 13 minutes, but he was soon back up. Oldham seemed to be kicking the ball high into the air with Tarkowski the main culprit. It wasn't much of a spectacle for either team of supporters, but Cook and Francis were doing the clearing up most of the time.

The game was turning scrappy. O'Kane fouled Obita to give Baxter a set piece opportunity, but Seaborne cleared for a corner. 
Then a moment of swift and decisive counter attacking. O'Kane broke with Grabban, and Pitman slotted home on 22 minutes to put the Cherries on nil up! Grabban had put the ball on a plate for Pitman having battled on when he could easily have gone down, but he found Pitman who side footed the ball into the net.

The game had a flow now, Fogden made a great cross that went out for a corner after 23 minutes. Francis then won another corner and, even though Oldham cleared their lines after a frantic scrap, AFCB kept the pressure on for a short while.

Oldham surged back again though with Baxter getting a cross in that AFCB put out for a corner on about 30 minutes. Barnard took a shot in but Allsop held it. 

AFCB were chasing down everything and giving Oldham little room to play. It almost paid dividends when Pitman found himself close to getting on a back pass from Mvoto. Before much more happened it was half time.

It was Oldham who started well in the second half with Wesolowski almost getting on the score sheet.

Pitman went down with a bang on the head but it was nothing serious. Perhaps AFCB players were seeing who else could join the injury list? The commentary team said that Pugh had come out with a strapping on his wrist in the second half.

Seaborne continued to head the ball out of our box as Oldham pumped more high balls in. Oldham were still in the ascendancy with Baxter having a shot after Grabban gave the ball away, but it was put out for a corner. Mvoto got away from a couple of players and was looking dangerous when he carried it 30 yards with Arter trying in vain to get a tackle in.

Obita and Grounds were also ganging up on Fogden but Foggy was scrapping away well. Pitman then had a great chance a couple of minutes later but the keeper parried with Daniels following up also going close. Grabban also had an effort saved.

Then in the space of a few seconds, Obita managed to break and Allsop had to turn his shot on to the post and away for a corner on 59 minutes. Oldham were getting closer!

Lee Croft was subbed and Millar came on for Oldham on 60 minutes. It was Bournemouth who were putting the passes together and had 13 or 14 at one stage before winning a corner. Arter then picked up his customary yellow card for a foul on Barnard, pulling him back as he tried to break free. 

Oldham were trying everything they could now, usually lumping the ball forward. Obita was then subbed for Montano on 67 minutes. Baxter tried his luck on a knock down but it went high and wide. Simpson then came off for Iweluma. 
The main drama happened after Oldham won a corner and a penalty was quickly awarded to the Latics as Mvoto won a header and Grabban was accused of hand ball, not for the first time this season if I recall.

Baxter picked the ball up and prepared to take his kick. He had easily been Oldham's best player to this point and you would think that Allsop would be up against it to keep the ball out from 12 yards. But Baxter tried to dink his kick in flamboyant style only to see Ryan recover and put up a big hand to save it. If ever there was defining moment to the game that was it, Allsop was a hero. 

Arter and Pitman linked up again afterwards and Grabban got passed the centre half, but could not pull the ball back to a red shirt. Grabban came off for Hughes giving an extra one in midfield and Daniels came off for Ritchie with 15 minutes to go.

Oldham mounted some pressure at the end but AFCB are a good team when they have a goal lead these days. Seaborne gave a free kick away just outside the box in the centre but Allsop again beat it out well. Allsopp was having a great game and just growing in confidence now. 

Still AFCB were giving too many free kicks away and Pitman was booked. Allsop made another great save from Barnard after Simpson's touch but it was off side any way. Brown then got a booking for Oldham, the ref was loving his yellow cards.

Seaborne went down for a while after a challenge form Wesolowski and Ritchie took the opportunity to change his boots!

Cook again won the ball in the air as Oldham's aerial bombardment continued.Cook found Pitman who was one-on-one but he dinked it over the bar when he could have wrapped the game up! It might have made things easier for Ritchie who was having to do his fair share of heading the ball which was probably not what he needed.

Then in a strange incidence McQuoid was booked with two minutes of normal time left, even though he was not on the pitch for apparently not retrieving the ball. 

There was four minutes of extra time for the Cherries to hold out. AFCB were playing out having a number of free kicks given to them in the Oldham half. Then the ref blew! Three more points for the Cherries.


Allsop was the MoM, not just for the penalty save but for many other shots he saved and punched away. His kicking was also good all day. Francis too was merited with having a good game. The two centre halves were brave and Daniels did well in his come back. All in all, the whole AFCB team had to put in a gritty performance to earn the three points. We are becoming like the old Arsenal with these tight 1:0 victories but hey, its three points.

After the game Eddie Howe remarked on how the team had kept two clean sheets now and the back four and goalkeeper had given an excellent display. "It was all about the result," he said. He was right, there wasn't much that was pretty out there on the pitch by all reports. Oldham were "very direct" in Howe's words and did not help the spectacle.

Howe gave a special mention to Charlie Daniels who had not had a training session all week. Howe said it wasn't a difficult choice to play him though as he is the only left back we have and Eddie was desperate to get him back.

Eddie also dismissed the penalty as he did not think Grabban had his hands raised to the ball, but he praised Allsop who stuck up a big arm to save the penalty and he made another top draw save later.

Apparently , Tommy Elphick was further ahead then Charlie in the week in terms of making the team but Howe felt the centre backs were playing well at the moment and there was no pressure to bring back Tommy early, even though he is the voice of the team. Indeed, Howe said it was good to have him around in the changing room, getting involved again.

Eddie Howe said he was not surprised by the twists and turns that seem to be happening with results in the league. "I have been preaching it," he said.

Allsop, Seaborne , Francis, Cook, Daniels, Fogden, Arter, O'Kane, Pugh, Pitman, Grabban

Jalal, Tubbs, Ritchie, Hughes, Elphick, McQuoid, MacDonald

Bouzanis, Brown, Grounds, Wesolowski, Mvoto, Tarkowski, Croft, Obita, Iweluma, Barnard, Baxter

Cisak, Simpson, Montano, Millar, Taylor, Smith, Winchester

K Hill

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