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 


  1. From the perspective of a Leicester fan, Bournmouth had plenty to be proud of from Saturday's performance. From where I was sitting, I did not see Bournmouth as second best and I was anxious from the point Bournmouth scored to the final whistle. You lot even had chances and put us under pressure after the sending off. The cheer after the final whistle was partly one of relief.
    I've been watching Leicester for over 20 years and I might be wrong, but this is the first time I can remember seeing us play Bournmouth. As a club not usually found in the second tier, you brought one of the biggest away followings so far this year. Supposed bigger clubs and clubs recently in the Premier League did not bring as many fans as Bournmouth.
    Well done, enjoy the Championship and be reassured you don't look out of place in it.
    Have a good season !!

    1. Thanks for your comments Stourbridgefox, Despite losing I enjoyed the excellent hospitality of Fox fans and stewards. You have a very strong team and AFCB can learn from games like this. Dyer was particularly good for you and you are one of the best teams we have played this season. I think we played Leicester 3 times in the late 1980s at Filbert street but this was probably our first visit to the King Power stadium and I though it was a great occasion with the respect campaign.

    2. Cheers for the info. My first live Leicester game was in 1990 so I just missed you.

  2. For once a team came to Leicester and didn't park the bus. That deserves great credit, I have no doubt Bournemouth will finish in the top half , the team plays the right way, but it takes time, As WE know very well,Rome was not built in a day...good luck for the rest of the campaign.

    1. I think most AFCB fans are realistic in that staying up this season will be a successful season, but if we surprise a few teams I am hopeful of a top half finish. We do need to start getting some clean sheets, but the players are trying to get better at the back.

  3. Nice to see a good write up for once.I can only echo the statement from my fellow foxes fan above Bournmouth look a good solid championship side im sure your going to have a very good season.

    1. I hope that is not the first time there has been a good write up on my blog :-). Seriously though, thanks for the comments. Leicester were excellent so no complaints. It was a good first half but your class told in the end.

  4. All three of Bornemouth's previous visits to Leicester were Boxing Day matches and certainly a couple were morning kick offs as I recall!

    From a Leicester supporter who thought Bournemouth, like Huddersfield the week before, came and gave a good account of themselves and contributed to an excellent game. Best of luck for the rest of the season, excluding our visit to your place of course!