Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cherries find their goal stride against Bury

Match Report

AFC Bournemouth 4 V 1 Bury FC
Attendance 7229
23 March 2013
Luther Blisset pre-match with Michael Batto
Bury FC players warm up
It has been a long time since the home crowd were treated to more than one goal from the Cherries at Dean Court, but today the goal drought was well and truly ended. Bury were not lambs to the slaughter by any means. They had plenty of opportunities to make the day a difficult one for Eddie Howe's team and in the first half they frustrated and confounded the Cherries for large periods of the game. But what made the difference for me was the desire and constant threat that the Cherries posed from both wings and the tireless chasing from Pitman who acted as a spearhead for AFCB attacks all game.
Teams come out to start the match

The start of the match saw Bournemouth play confidently for the opening minutes before there was a devastating break down the Cherries left by Worral, Bury's No 7 who powered past Seaborne and shot right across the Cherries' goal. There was a stunned silence at the pace of Bury's wing man and his hard hit shot. Early warning noted!

O'Kane started a great move a few minutes later that Pitman and then Pugh were involved in before Ritchie got a header in at the Bury keeper. It was from the resulting efforts of Bury defenders trying to move the ball back up the field that O'Kane got onto the ball and threaded a pass to Pitman who found himself bearing down on the Bury keeper. He chose to go round him to the right, leaving an acute angle to slot home from, putting AFCB 1:0 up after just 8 minutes. AFCB fans were buzzing! Just what we needed an early goal.

From the re-start it looked like the Cherries were at it again, but Grabban fired wide. Seaborne an Cook were dealing well with Bury's aerial preference for the game and Bournemouth pressure continued with Pitman holding the ball up well up field. A loud cheer then went out as Tommy Elphick did some warming up with Tubbs on 15 minutes.

Bury were finding Worral in space on the right and on he picked out Craig Jones but he couldn't quite reach the ball on the edge of AFCB's six yard box as it sped away. Arter was sitting in midfield ensuring that AFCB kept possession while O'Kane was trying to pick out the dangerous through balls, even if he was only succeeding in finding the opposition most of the time. Bury's keeper was actively employed having to clear before Grabban, and Pitman almost got on the end of a Daniels cross shortly after but he missed his kick.

AFCB had been well in control when Seaborne tried to cushion a low header to Daniels at the back only to feed Jones who crossed for Bishop to rise and power his header home on 23 minutes. The nerves in the home crowd were back again. All square at 1:1.

AFCB immediately tried to gain the upper hand again with Grabban claiming for a penalty on 26 minutes which was waved away, while Ritchie blasted a free kick against the Bury wall on the edge of the 18 yard box. The Cherries then had Seaborne to thank when he managed to just get a toe in ahead of a fast sprinting Bishop on 31 minutes who would have been in on goal but for the last ditch tackle.

We had not seen much of Arter as an attacking force but when he did get fed a pass on the edge of Bury's box he over played it and the ball squirmed away for a throw before he could get a clear shot in.

Bury then made a sub on 35 minutes as Jones left the field and Nicky Ajose came on. Arter had another chance to fire a shot but he hit 'row F' in the newly tarmacked car park with his effort. Allsop was then called into action as Worral found Bishop in the Cherries box and Allsop made a powerful save from six yards.

Bury's no 7, Worral, was booked on 43 minutes for preventing a Bournemouth free kick from being taken. Francis was getting his crossed in and Bury were looking unsettled at the back with Pitman almost picking up a short pass before half time.

After watching Nando's mascot take a direct hit on the nose from a Junior Cherry penalty and seeing Bury's zorb king whisk across the pitch and back again before the Bournemouth zorber had hardly moved, we tried the keep the cold out as the players returned for the second half. Oh, and Doncaster were winning terrific, Not!

O'Kane found himself caught out early on as he ran into a barrage of Bury players before Worral shot at goal and Allsop saved. From the corner Sodge headed over. Bournemouth had a chance as well as Cook shot wide from a corner, Daniels then had a shot that went over on 53 minutes and Cook went even closer from a corner again, but it was saved. It was only when Daniels had a driving run down the left before pulling back a pass for Ritchie to latch on to for his first AFCB goal that the Cherries took back the lead.

Bury tried to reply as Thompson had a shot go wide, but AFCB were in the ascendancy again now and Ritchie fancied another crack at goal on 58 minutes, but it also went wide. He had another shot blocked on 63 minutes. Pugh was also getting more involved although he kept slipping at the vital moment once he had beaten his man. Bury were playing on the break and almost found a way through before Daniels intercepted on 68 minutes. Tubbs came on for Grabban after 74 minutes and Bury subbed Thompson for Clarke-Harris, while Bury's Ebanks-Ladell picked up a yellow.

Cook was really trying hard to get on the score sheet having fashioned a scissor kick after Bournemouth corner but he failed to connect. Bury made their last sub as Carrington was replaced by Mezague on 79 minutes. It was followed by another yellow for Schumacher this time for a foul on Pugh. The game was virtually over as a contest when Arter stormed through the centre of the Bury defence and fired home a powerful shot into the roof of the net on 80 minutes.

Eddie Howe now looked to protect the lead with Hughes on for Pugh. Daniels was still playing well and had another shot wide after 84 minutes and Buy still kept going with Clarke-Harris heading wide a minute later. AFCB's final sub saw Ritchie come off for McQuoid. Tubbs was playing up front on his own but there were gaps for him to run into now and when Daniels and then O'Kane pounced on Sodge's slowness to clear a ball near the goal line, he found Tubbs who had a simple task to slide the ball home from six yards for the fourth AFCB goal.

The North Stand leaves contented

Bournemouth players celebrate the victory


This was the day that AFCB reasserted their presence as one of the top sides in the division. Bury were brushed a side in the second half as AFCB's passing and movement created the space to get their sharp shooters in position to fire at goal. Bury's aerial efforts to disrupt AFCB's passing just could not last for 90 minutes and while they had players who were no doubt quicker than our central defenders there were only a couple of saves that Allsop made, even if they were very important ones. Like most, I would like Elphick back in the team and Seaborne's mistake in the first half may give Eddie Howe the reason he needs to bring him back into the starting line up against Colchester. 

Most of the credits in terms of performances went to Ritchie and Pitman, but I felt that Charlie Daniels edged man of the match for his powerful runs and some fine tackles, especially in the first half when he tried to put the ball and Bury's right winger into 'row z' on several occasions. All in all, I think most AFCB fans went home fairly happy with the team now in third and actually looking forward to the next game with some confidence rather than with worry. We are well in the play-off mix for the moment.  UTCIAD!

Jason Tindall soaks up the applause 

Another good day for Eddie

Player Ratings
Allsop 8, Francis 7, Cook 7, Seaborne 5, Daniels 8, Ritchie 8, O'Kane 6, Arter 6, Pugh 6, Pitman 8, Grabban 6.


Jala, Tubbs, MacDonald, Elphick, McQuoid, Hughes, Fogden. 

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