Thursday, 31 October 2013

Unstoppable Pugh will be out for more goals

What can you say about Marc Pugh? He has scored in our last two games and is relishing his football in the Championship. He has had to wait so long for this chance and he must be delighted that he stayed with Bournemouth so that he could play at this level.

His goal last Saturday was one of the sweetest strikes I have seen him make in his Bournemouth career. To gather the ball and then swing your leg quickly with a small backlift, having already seen where the keeper and the goal, is quite a talent and Pugh loves hitting the ball early. I don't think any less a shot would have beaten a class keeper like Shcmeichel, Pugh had to hit the top corner and he did that beautifully.

Pugh lines up a shot during the warm up on Saturday.
During the rest of the game I did not see him and Pugh enjoy as much left wing raids as they would usually make but the opportunities to get forward were not so many against a well organised Leicester team. Pugh did get crosses in and worked hard all game. I was pleased to see that he has upped his performances in the last few games and in interview he seems to acknowledge that having missed some of  the pre-season he was down on his fitness for the first few games this season.

Pugh is striking the ball confidently.
It is also good to see Marc keep our goal scoring record going for each game and in quite spectacular fashion. Mind you I do not mind if the goals are not so amazing as long as AFCB keep scoring and picking up points, because this league is already popping up surprise results every week and to keep scoring in every game is one way that AFCB's consistency is showing through.

Pugh is now equal second in AFCB's goal scoring chart, level with Pitman and just three behind Grabban who has netted seven times. I thought Grabban looked good on Saturday and with a bit of luck he could have added to his goal count and I would make him favourite to be among the goals on Saturday against Bolton Wanderers. If Pugh scores again though that will be three in three for the popular winger.

Elphick in pole position to start against Bolton

Elliott Ward's red card in the Leicester match immediately gives Tommy Elphick a great opportunity to regain his place in the team. He already came on for Lewis Grabban as Bournemouth reorganised after Ward received his red card.

Tommy Elphick played about 25 minutes in the second half at Leicester.
Tommy during the warm up at Nottingham Forest.

It will be great to have our captain back on the pitch.
While Bournemouth were chasing that game for the last 20 minutes, Elphick played his part in a good defensive back three with Francis and Cook either side of him. There is something about Tommy that exudes confidence and his calm carrying of the ball is something that I have missed this season. His appearance in the Bolton game should bring back the successful centre pairing of Cook and Elphick. We know they each know each others game well and if they can get a clean sheet it just may mean that Elphick can re-establish himself in the side again.

I don't think Ward has played too badly for Bournemouth so far this season and his heading ability in defence has been really strong. Where I think he looks vulnerable is when he is pulled wide to the wings marking fast forwards who might turn him as we saw in the Leicester game. I find Elphick a bit more alert to danger and he has great balance which I feel equips him better to compete with nippy forwards, even if he hasn't the Premiership experience of Ward.

Ward and Arter at Leicester.

It will be interesting to see if Ward remains out of the team for a while.

On Ward's showing last game, it can't do AFCB much harm to be able to call on the services of Elphick. I suspect Addison will also be recalled to the bench as cover for the centre backs.

Meanwhile, it is great to hear on AFCB's official website that Matt Ritchie is now working on his fitness and not far away from coming back.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Eddie Howe looks set to bring in experienced keeper - Lee Camp

Despite Neil Moss giving Ryan Allsop a vote of confidence this week after the young keeper's misjudgement at Leciester City, last weekend that arguably led to the winning goal, Eddie Howe is reported by the Echo's Neil Meldrum to be closing on deal to bring West Brom's Lee Camp to Dean Court on a month's loan.

The move is not a great surprise considering that Howe made a similar move for West Ham's Stephen Henderson last month but it underlines that Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall feel that an experienced keeper is required at this level and that perhaps it is not a position where they can have any uncertainty.

Lee Camp (29) has played in the Championship at Derby County and Nottingham Forest and has qualified as a Northern Ireland international. His experience is something that has attracted him to the Cherries as injuries to Stephen Henderson and Darryl Flahavan have ruled them out of contention, while Ryan Allsop and Shwan Jalal are inexperienced at the Championship. The short loan period of just a month may mean that Darryl Flahavan could be favourite to come back in goal when the loan period is up.

It is likely that Bolton Wanderers will also have a new keeper in goal for the game on Saturday as their No 1 Adam Bogdan has a knee injury which has meant Arran Lee-Barrett has come in as cover for at least six weeks.

Midfield injuries are still hampering the Cherries' progress

I had hoped to see Shaun MacDonald back in contention last weekend but he was not among the named substitutes, even though I believe he travelled with the team to the game as I spotted him getting off the coach. If he is still on the treatment table for a few more weeks we could be stretched again in midfield.

But there are others still out too. Josh McQuoid has not yet recovered from his operation to full fitness, Mohamed Coulibaly is receiving treatment on his heel, Richard Hughes and Darryl Flahavan are currently out alongside long-term injury worries Matt Ricthie, Joe Partington and Wes Fogden. Either AFCB have been really unlucky or there is something going on that has made our players more prone to get injured than other clubs. Perhaps last season's fabulous exploits have taken it out of our players more than might have been thought. I suppose that if they are a bit slower to the ball they are more likely to get injured or pick up knocks.

Macca would be great to have back in the side.
Coulibably has had a stop start season so far.

O'Kane or Surman could be the lead candidates to come in to the team.

Last season it was the left back and the centre baceks where AFCB looked really short of players and while we have really bolstered the numbers in midfield since the summer, it is in this area where Bournemouth have been stretched this season. We saw Ryan Fraser back on the pitch at Leicester but he did not last much more than the first half and we saw him playing more as a defender than an attacking winger in that game. I hope he did not come back too soon.

I will enjoy seeing a few faces come back. Tommy Elphick will be a big boost to moral when he comes back in and I would be pleased if we could see some other faces on the bench like Coulibaly, Fogden or McQuoid. Perhaps Macca will also have improved enough to make a start on Saturday, otherwise it looks like O'Kane who also needs some game time. Eddie Howe certainly has to play someone in midfield next to Arter now that Collison has departed.

"Little Bournemouth" syndrome

I was a bit puzzled by Nigel Pearson's post-match comments on Radio BBC Leicester when he said that : "They play the little Bournemouth card very well." I don't know if he had been reading the post Nottingham Forest game feedback or if he felt that AFCB surprise opposition managers who don't do their homework, but it obviously bothers him to think of us as "little Bournemouth". In a way we should probably take it as a compliment because Pearson sees AFCB as an equal in the Championship and as a team on the up.

Perhaps the wool has been pulled over the eyes of some Championship managers when they see the Cherries have only just come up and have not been in the second flight for a couple of decades. I think most managers are well aware of AFCB's style of play and know that you can't judge a team on either the size of its support or the town.

During a game I can't really see how it can influence anything. I don't subscribe to the little teams get the decisions, but going to places like Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge you can expect the bigger team to get the majority of decisions. I expect Nottingham Forest were especially annoyed that a small team like Bournemouth can go to the City ground and get a point and even more annoyed when they tripped up at Yeovil last weekend. But the smaller teams that  are in the Championship on merit are all dangerous and, on their day, can beat any of the other clubs in the division.

Sometimes the leagues do change around and the smaller teams are starting to rise which is annoying to teams like Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves, Coventry, Sheffield Utd, Portsmouth, Birmingham and dare I say it Bolton (I don't want to get them angry for next week). Even teams like Leicester are wary of the rise of clubs like AFCB and I think that is a good thing because I can see Bournemouth being at this level for some time to come with the infrastructure and management we now have in place at the club. I think Nigel Pearson can see that he will have a hard game when he brings his Leicester team down to the south coast next year. Indeed, count on it Nigel.

This little upstart on the south coast is not going anywhere - AFCB like it in the Championship.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Our day at the King Power stadium

Visiting the King Power stadium was always going to be high on my wish list as soon as I knew that AFC Bournemouth would be in the Championship this season. I had lived in Leicester for three years between 1988-91 when I was at university and I had not been back since. For Robert and Stephen it would be their first visit and we started out early getting to Newport Pagnall services in an short time before finding our way to Leicester and parking near Victoria Park, where I guessed it might still be free to park, midway between the town centre and the football stadium. A bit of local knowledge always helps.
At Newport Pagnall. Which way is Leicester boys?
Shame I can't send the boys away here for three years yet!
I claimed the fountain in front of the Town Hall for AFCB.
We had just as many stand sellers wishing us luck as those
wanting AFCB to lose. I get the feeling their were some Forest fans there.
We visited the local museum in New Walk where there were some
great dinosaurs, but we did not have the time to hunt out Richard III.
We walked into town to see how much it had changed wince my days there and enjoyed the new High Cross shopping centre which was massive. Having had a bite to eat and walking back to the car we collected our gear and walked to the King Power stadium for the game.

As we approached, two stewards came up to us and asked if Robert and Stephen would like to go down the player's tunnel and come out with the teams on to the pitch to lead them out. Not a bad freebie! Of course the boys were overjoyed to receive such a gift and hastily took the tickets with massive grins on their faces.

They won't invite you back if you misbehave like that in the shop boys! They might be
pointed the other way if they had AFCB on them and were painted red I suppose.
Robert and Stephen and the other lucky children get to line up with the teams.

If you have not seen it already this is the clip from 
Fox player that shows the teams getting ready to come out
led by the mascots and including 
Robert & Stephen
(with Steve Cook and Harry Arter) - lucky devils!

The stadium is one of the most modern in the Championship being built in 2002 and we had a great time looking in the club shop, picking up a free bit of pizza, from the brand that is supporting Championship football this year, and we took in the atmosphere with plenty of Cherry supporters packed into the corner of the ground on our left.

Out they come on to the pitch.
We were seated in the Mixed Family zone and the whole day was a special FA 'Respect' day which we hope we contributed towards. This seating was a trial area where families of both teams could sit for reduced ticket prices. I paid just £20 for an adult ticket and £5 and £3 for my two boys. That was the same as just the adult ticket price for an away fan sitting with the Bournemouth fans. While I would say it would have been better to be with our own fans in terms of singing and enjoying any goals, we had a better view with so many children instead of adults sitting on front of us and we were sat closer to the pitch than the Bournemouth fans.

Glad to see know one tripped up.
It was a bit of a flag frenzy. 
Steve Cook acknowledges the Bournemouth supporters.
Robert and Stephen had their big moment leading out the AFC Bournemouth team. They held on to the hands of Harry Arter and Stephen Cook, respectfully. I was a proud dad, but a bit gutted it wasn't me out there.
Wow, listen to the crowd roar and the trumpets blazing out boys.
Stephen is definitely enjoying the walk.
Arter looks in determined mood, next to Robert.
The boys proudly wear the Respect T-shirts.

AFCB mascots talk with Simon Francis.
While Bournemouth could not get the win we so wanted, it was a good match with plenty of incident. Perhaps Elliott Ward had wished there had been a few less incidents, but sometimes you can be unlucky as a defender and Elliott did not have his best day at the office. Pugh's goal was amazing though and we jumped up and down while all the Leicester City fans sat like statues around us - quite a weired feeling.

I have to say the stewards at the ground were some of the best I have spoken to in all my time in going to games. They went out of their way to make sure everyone had a good day and they were always smiling. As an away fan it is these little things that make you want to revisit grounds and the Leicester City staff were excellent.

Should Eddie try and extend Collison's loan?

Jack Collison has been ever present in AFCB's team in the last month and there are several good reasons why I can see Eddie Howe doing all he can to persuade Jack and West Ham to extend the loan. From interviews it is clear that Jack has enjoyed his time at the Goldsands stadium and he has found the club very much to his liking. To go back to West Ham is something that I am sure he wants in the fullness of time if he is going to get selected for the first team, but if he isn't going to get the games with Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan ahead of him he is probably better off playing at AFCB.

Jack Collison at the King Power stadium.
Has Jack done enough to merit Eddie Howe coming back in for him?
While Jack has not scored for the Cherries during his loan period he did help the team earn some valuable points against Millwall and Nottingham Forest. The strength of Bournemouth's squad was certainly aided by Jack being involved and without him the club is reliant on MacDonald and O'Kane remaining injury free, while Hughes continues to recover from injury. A few goals could have helped Jack's cause but he has played in a fairly defensive midfield role during his time at the Cherries.

Harry Arter has said that he enjoys playing with Collison which must also give Eddie Howe reason to see if he can get Jack until the end of January. When I look at other teams in the Championship many of them have such quality players on loan and I think it is important that AFCB continue to try and attract Premiership quality if they are to hold their own in the Championship.

Certainly it is harsh on O'Kane, Hughes and MacDonald, but they will be training and learning from how Collison plays and if it makes then better players and more eager when they do get their chance it will be better for AFCB in the long run. Eddie has made no secret of the fact that he likes Jack and regards him as a quality player and so I have a pretty good feeling about the possibility of hearing that Jack Collison will be a Bournemouth player for an extended period if talks are positive this week.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Allsop must start believing and we must support him

For Eddie Howe it would probably be easy for him to think about bringing in another keeper to take Allsop out of the heat, but Ryan Allsop will not learn if he is taken out of the equation. While Eddie does not feel that Allsop is lacking in confidence, it is going to be a big boost for Ryan that his manager is sticking by him, because when the game comes when he is man of the match and makes some great saves it will be all the more pleasurable for both Allsop and the manager.
Ryan Allsop at the King Power stadium.
During the Leicester game Eddie underlined that Allsop had a decent game apart from the second goal that AFCB conceded. Eddie said that it was also "something that is an easy-fix". Perhaps the Leeds sending off was in his mind when Allsop was facing Vardy one-on-one, but more communication and decisiveness is the way forward. Francis seemed angry that Allsop started to come out and left himself stranded, but with Elphick on the pitch next week perhaps the calling will be louder to help the keeper make the right decision. 

I would go along with the fact that Allsop made some good saves and even more pleasing was the sight of seeing him come for crosses and catch them. He made it look easy at times, so I am not sure why he had not been doing that in his last few performances. But I thought he could have possibly got a hand to Leicester's fist goal which did bounce before him, but was not so out of reach that he had no chance. Perhaps I am being hard on Allsop there because the defenders gave Nuget far too much space, and Cook perhaps unsighted him a bit, but now and again you want your keeper to make a great save or two.

Allsop has to believe he is the number one keeper and that no one is going to score past him. If Ryan can build that feeling of invincibility he will perform much better on the field. However, if his distribution can't improve and he becomes too worried about making mistakes then Eddie will have to get another keeper in. I hope it does not come to that and that we can get behind Allsop and get him concentrating and applaud him when he makes a good save or sets up a good attack.

We have seen similar worries with Shwan Jalal when he has been in goal and I expect Shwan is working very hard no to see if he can get a chance of playing in the first team again. If he can push Allsop it will be helping the team. I do fear though if Eddie makes another keeper change in the next couple of games Allsop's confidence would suffer and I hope that Ryan is doing what he can to keep the mental side of his game strong. Conceding goals every week rather than keeping clean sheets is tough on any keeper and seeing the goals against column going up cannot be easy to live with, but Allsop has to believe that he can make a difference and a positive difference at that.

Whether Eddie Howe dips looks to bring in another keeper or not remains to be seen. When I look at the best teams in the division they all have keepers that are well respected and seasoned campaigners. Those options may simply not be available to Eddie Howe in which case we have to give Allsop all the support we can. 

It's a big week of training for Ryan Allsop.
Getting his opportunity again is a bonus for Ryan. He has to see it as an opportunity and not a given that he will be in goal. I feel that he could do with a big match where he makes many good saves and helps the team to a good win. Perhaps that will come on Saturday against Bolton Wanderers. Whoever plays in goal we have to back them and give them our full support. It is the hardest position on the field when things have not been going well. There is nowhere to hide so as fans we have to encourage our team and help get the best out of them. UTCIAD!

Howe can see positives despite defeat

It is never easy to think positively having seen your team suffer a defeat away from home. The mood of the camp is always a fragile thing and while AFCB went down to a 2:1 defeat at Leicester there is no need to feel that our bubble has burst or that Bournemouth are not a good team. I believe AFCB are turning into a very strong Championship outfit. Eddie Howe is confident that there have been some very good signs in the last two games which were against two of the best teams in the division.
Eddie has created the foundations of a
good team and there is lots to build on.
The first thing is that AFCB stayed in the game at Leicester. They came from behind to equalise and kept fighting with 10-men, when they were up against a home side who have only dropped two points at home all season. I felt that Francis and Daniels could not push forward like we see them do so often at home and this blunted our usual edge. Still it was necessary because Leicester were so powerful going forwards. Leicester were better than Forest in my opinion, because their defence did not really make a mistake all afternoon. Bournemouth struggled not to give the Leicester forwards some opportunities and the ball never quite ran for us in the areas where we needed a bit of luck to get a clear shot in.

However, AFCB even tried to get a goal when they went down to 10-men. There is something about losing a man on the pitch that also makes you stronger as a group. Everyone relied on each other. I saw Cook signal to Pugh to go our and cover one of Leicester's players in defence which he duly did and all of the team tried to cover the gaps. We could have seen their heads go down and been on the end of another heavy defeat, but I don't see that soft under belly anymore when AFCB are playing at these bigger stadiums. They have a confidence to stick in there and it will help them when they get ahead of teams, because they will feel so much stronger when they are a goal up with a full compliment of players. 

Eddie Howe changed things around to three at the back on Saturday, so that we still had an attacking threat. The team has already shown that they can cope when they are a man down and a goal down. 

Bournemouth fans at Leicester.
The only statistic I did not like in the Leicester game was how many saves Kasper Schmiechel had to make. That is something we need to develop, because if we can make the oppositions goalkeeper do more work AFCB will cause the opposition to defend more. I am not sure when the next set of easy matches are due for our team, if ever, but at least we have a home game next Saturday and no matter who AFCB play at home it will be a game when the team should aim to give the opposition keeper a very busy work out.
You'll see Michael Dunne has released a new All Departments' Kangeroo Court on Leicester v AFCB - see All Departments website or listen on Cherry Chimes by scrolling down the side bar until you get to Kangeroo Court.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Leicester Foxes too strong for Cherries 2:1

Leicester City 2:1 AFCB
26 October 2013
Attendance: 23,357 (incl 1007 away fans)

Visiting the King Power stadium and coming away with any points has been a task too difficult for all but one team this year (Leeds Utd) and for Bournemouth too Leicester City wore away at the Cherries, until their dominance told. For much of the game there was much to admire about both teams going forward as the beautiful playing surface provided an excellent grass carpet for the skills on show. The Cherries did their best at matching one of last year's Championship play-off teams and yet the difference in the defensive qualities of the two teams was the decisive factor. It might of helped of course if AFCB had kept 11 men on the pitch.

View of the Foxes logo above the reception on the King Power stadium.
Eddie How made a couple of changes to the previous game with Henderson being replaced in goal by Ryan Allsop and Ryan Fraser coming in for Andrew Surman. A reasonably strong away support gave the Cherries their usual vocal backing and with the Cherries lining up in a 4-4-2 formation we got underway.

AFCB fans. 
Robert and Stephen help lead the teams out, next to Steve Cook and Harry Arter.
Bournemouth fans before kick off.
The team on the big screen.
Bournemouth started well with Rantie winning a corner after just three minutes that was headed away. A second AFCB corner was cleared even further to the half way line. AFCB soon settled into their passing game at the back, but the balls forward for Rantie were too long or too high.

Leicester's Drinkwater then played in Jamie Vardy, but he was caught offside.  Leicester were coming forward with numbers though and Andy king and Danny Drinkwater were setting up the play on the edge of the Bournemouth box, before Knockaert found Lloyd Dyer in space and Allsop closed the angle to make a smart save low down, on the right side of his six yard box, and conceded a corner on six minutes.

Liam Moore got his head to the corner but Leicester couldn't follow up. From an Allsop quick ball out Daniels had Jamie Vardy tackling him on the edge of the box. AFCB did manage to get the ball up the wing to Pugh and Grabban eventually, but the cross was too long for Fraser coming in.

An important incident then happened on 8 minutes when Ward went to stop Vardy on the left wing but left a leg out when he had been clearly beaten. Ward collected a yellow card for his trouble. The free kick was taken by Knockaert and Liam Moore headed the ball goalwards but it hit Vardy and was cleared.

AFCB came back with a fabulous move that involved just about everyone in their team. With assured passing and clever movement, the ball was fed up and across the pitch until a shot was fired by Grabban just wide and a corner resulted. Pugh's shot was blocked form the corner. Grabban was the next Bournemouth player to have a shot on 13 minutes but is was well wide.

Wasilewski played well all afternoon and had to with Grabban to mark. Rantie also had a half chance after an Arter pass but did not collect it.

Now it was Leicester on the attack with Dyer and Konchesky on the left wing and passing into Knockaert who won a corner. Dyer fed King but his shot was blocked. Bournemouth were having to belt the ball out anywhere with Ward, Rantie and Arter just pleased to get the ball out of the box.

Leicester's back line forward again on 17 minutes and managed to get Dyer in some space on the left and having got the march on Francis, he passed to Nugent on the left edge of the box and with a swift opening of his right side, Nugent curled the ball majestically into the bottom left corner of Allsop's goal - 1:0 to the home team and the King Power stadium erupted in blue and white! I thought it was a bit of a soft goal on our part, but Nugent will score if you give him time and space in the box. Francis was beaten too easily by Dryer and Ward was slow to get to Nugent.

Now Leicester were even more confident and Vardy and King came down the left side ending in Cook having to come across to give away a corner. Knockaert took the corner and Nuget got up well and gave Liam Moore a chance that almost had Bournemouth two down.

AFCB were over hitting their passes with Collison the culprit this time. When Rantie did get a chase on Schmeichel would come out and hoof it back down the pitch. Francis was finding things hard going against Knockaert and Dyer, while Fraser was not seeing much of the ball.

Pugh and Arter were on the ball more and Arter fed an attacking cross towards Grabban on 26 minutes but even at full stretched he couldn't reach the pass. It was a good chance.

Bournemouth were losing control of the ball quite often, even Daniels was finding it hard to pass up to Pugh, while Rantie was being caught offside. Still, it was pleasing to see Allsop come and catch the ball.

In fact the whole Bournemouth team were giving it their all. Arter was sliding in the centre circle but too slow to catch the ball, Knockaert was already on his way and gave Nugent a headed chance which he could not take. 

Ward then had a lucky escape kicking a ball down the sidelines when it had gone out. The referee could easily have given him a second yellow, but it had not been a dirty or foul ridden game and it would have been harsh to send him off for a moment's frustration -not that the Leicester fans had any doubt that he should have been sent off. But I have seen them given. Ward was lucky.

Bournemouth were even more pleased when on 38 minutes an AFCB break saw Pugh receive the ball just outside the box from Rantie and he directed his shot straight into the top left corner to equalise - 1:1. It was an absolute cracker. The ball sat up well for him and he hit it first time giving Schmeichel no chance. The Bournemouth fans went wild Robert, Stephen and I were just stunned that Pugh could score such a great goal - a candidate for goal of the season. While the goal came a bit against the run of play, AFCB played well towards half time.
Cherry Bear made the trip up and celebrated Pugh's goal.
Leicester still had their chances though with Wasilewski finding Knockaert who shot wide. Drinkwater and Dyer were also causing Bournemouth trouble and when the linked with Knockaert, Pugh and Daniels tried to see the ball out in the bottom right corner, but Daniels was superbly beaten by Knockaert's sharp turn and was given a yellow on the edge of the box. The free kick was sent in too high for Liam Moore and AFCB escaped at half time with the score being 1:1.

Half time and the pitch gets a good watering.
Leicester players come out for the second half
with Bournemouth already on the pitch.
Bournemouth players limber up for the second half.

More pictures of the day are on the Match Day Gallery now.

Second Half
The half started with AFCB keeping the ball at the back. A draw would be good I thought, but how were we going to keep Leicester out for another 45 minutes? Nugent fouling Arter was a good start but we couldn't keep possession for very long and we were soon all behind the ball. I was hoping Leicester would put the floodlights on as the darkness closed in.

At least Vardy was getting caught offside from a Dyer chip, the assistant ref saw that okay. He also saw Fraser go down after a short run towards the box on the right wing. Daniels lined it up and was set for a strike but he hit the wall.

On 52 minutes Nugent was then subbed and Chris Woods came on. Later we found out that Nugent had a stomach bug. While Leicester had a corner that got nowhere because of pushing, AFCB were looking stretched. Bournemouth were blocking shots and hanging in there. Having seen off another corner AFCB subbed Fraser for Pitman - were we going to have a real go?

Allsop was then forced into a save off his shins from Dyer. Pitman was playing in a front two with Rantie and Grabban switched to the right wing. Astoundingly, Allsop came out and made another catch from a left wing cross! Has he been reading my blog - great to see him being more confident I thought. But this was perhaps a bit premature. 

Cook gave a corner away on 60 minutes and thankfully the floodlights came on so I could see what I was writing again. Arter was fouled on the break out but nothing given. Vardy's luck had seemed to run out when he got a yellow on 62 minutes for a late tackle on Cook at the back. But moments later Woods played in Vardy, after shrugging off Arter and Collisson in midfield, and Vardy ran on, as Allsop started to come and then stopped, enabling Vardy to round him to his right and slot the ball home - 2:1 to Leicester!

Just to compound things Ward then went in for a miss-timed tackle on Drinkwater on 65 minutes and his second yellow meant he was off. Grabban was subbed and Elphick came on at centre back. 

While AFCB still caught Vardy offside with 18 minutes to go it was getting harder for a 10-man Bournemouth team to get much pressure on the Leicester goal. Knockaert had a good shot saved but then spilt by Allsop for a corner. AFCB were defending most of the time now with Moore the next to blaze over.

Bournemouth made another sub with Daniels going off and Thomas coming on. AFCB went to three at the back with Francis, Elphick and Cook, while Pitman dropped to midfield and Thomas and Rantie stayed up front to give us more of a goal threat.

Collison was working harder this game and with Arter they were doing their best to thwart a strong Leicester side. Thomas made a good pass to Rantie, who had a half chance in the box, but he hit his shot over the bar with 9 minutes to go. While I hope for one more chance it was Cook making the last gasp tackles at the other end.

Even when Pitman took a free kick on the right wing he over hot it and another chance had gone. Leicester took off Vardy on 85 minutes and brought on Jeff Schlupp and then King was replaced by Dean Hammond which was met with Southampton (nickname!) calls from the Bournemouth fans.

While AFCB had five minutes of extra time to try and do what they did last weekend they could not do much more than a wide Collison effort today. It finished 2:1.

All over, AFCB fell away in the second half.
A good day for the Foxes.
I felt that Bournemouth started okay today, but our back four and keeper just aren't quite as good as those in the top sides however much we may like them. They are still learning and Leicester looked more accomplished at the back restricting Bournemouth to very few shots on goal. Fraser did not get into the game enough in the first half and Lloyd Dyer was man of the match for me, penning Francis back and beating him for fun most of the time. In short, try as Bournemouth did they were second best. The 10-men task was simply a step too far and Ward has to be more careful when he is already on a yellow. Pugh's goal was a marvellous strike but such moments were rare. Time to lick the wounds and brush ourselves down, because it was no disgrace to lose 2:1 to a side that will be pushing for automatic promotion this season. 

Allsop, Francis, Ward, Cook, Daniels (Thomas 80), Fraser (Pitman 58), Arter, Collison, Pugh, Grabban (Elphick 68), Rantie.

AFCB Subs:
Jalal, Elphick, Pitman, Thomas, O'Kane, Harte, Surman

AFCB Player ratings
Allsop 5, Francis 6, Ward 4, Cook 6, Daniels 6, Fraser 5, Arter 6, Collison 5, Pugh 8, Grabban 7, Rantie 6. 

Schmeichel, Moore, Konchelsky, Drinkwater, Wasilewski, Morgan, Knockaert, King (Hammond 87), Vardy (Schlupp 85), Nugent (Wood 52), Dyer 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Is Dean Court soon going to be too small for the Cherries?

Having recovered from his exploits of writing up his away day excursion to the Leeds United away game earlier this season, Damien Hill is back and has another guest writer's piece on Cherry Chimes. This time he is looking to get away from Dean Court again, and it may be a permanent move away from home for all of us if the Cherries can one day reach the Premier League. With the closing of the Legend's Cafe this week and the need for more space at Dean Court, perhaps Damien has a point.

Over to you Damien!

With the recent England ladies 6-0 world cup qualifier against Belarus and the up coming event of England school boys U16 victory shield game against Northern Ireland at Dean Court, on Friday 8th  November, it is exciting times to be a football fan here in Bournemouth. Not only do we have championship football here at our stadium, but we can watch the future stars perform the skills and entertain us.

Legends cafe 
Running out of space?
I remember going to Wembley stadium to watch these games back in the early 1980's and although the stadium was not full there was always a fairly good turn out and hopefully there will be a big crowd for the game and another chance for Dean Court to be show cased on Sky TV again.

With Jeff Mostyn now as chairman hopefully we will get more of these sort of high profile international games at Dean Court. Also it's not just football that has graced the stadium, the one and only Sir Elton John has performed on the hallowed turf and as football now has a massive global market the opportunities are endless.

I work for a leading super market and we often use the Exeter Chief's rugby corporate facilities and conference rooms to hold various meetings, so it's not just about football anymore at football grounds which leads me to the question of is Dean Court too small? We all have to look at the bigger picture and hopefully this year or in the next couple of years the mighty Cherries will be promoted to the Premier League and then, Yes, it will be too small.

View from the corner of the Ted MacDougall and West stand.

View from the car park before the Ted MacDougall stand went up..
So where do we go and how big does the ground have to be? It's not just about the football bringing in the money anymore, we have to offer a variety of options, not forgetting the possibilities of a hotel at the ground. So what size of ground would we need? Looking at some of our nearest clubs, 30,000 is a minimum I believe that we need as a premiership club. It might not always be full but you need bums on seats for revenue and turnover because if you limit it to 20,000 I believe you are then restricting the income you can receive and you would then limiting your options.
Most of us do not want to move away from Dean Court but we need to if we are to move forward and wake this sleeping giant inside the club, as I believe we now have the best chance to do this with the best management, chairman and with the financial backing from Maxim Demin, the club needs to move to a new stadium.

This could be the scene more often outside the 1910 club.
If you are a Cherry fan that wants to write an article on Cherry Chimes you are welcome to get in contact with me at  
It is great to hear from other fans and what's more I get a day off then!  
Many thanks to Damien for his contribution.

Please look out for Cherry Chimes answers to being interviewed by Leicester City FC World. A safe journey to Leicester if like us you are travelling up north today. I'm going for a 1:3 away win despite Leicester's impressive home win. We want to beat one of these big sides well away from home so I'm backing Eddie's lads to do it today. UTCIAD!