Sunday, 3 November 2013

Match Report 0:2 - Bolton find clinical edge to defeat Cherries

AFCB 0 v 2 Bolton Wanderers
2 November 2013
Attendance 10,015 (inc 995 Bolton fans)

A year ago AFCB fans might have been apprehensive for the visit of Bolton Wanderers to the Goldsands stadium. Having played top end of the table teams like Blackpool, Forest and Leicester and put in respectable performances, I think the home crowd expected the Cherries to give a Bolton team, who had had a slow start to the season, too many problems but it didn't work out like that. Bolton came to block with two lines of four and to frustrate the crowd, and channel AFCB into areas of the pitch from where they could then break. Then they could look to take on Bournemouth's isolated centre backs. Sadly for AFCB, Bolton's plan worked and home supporters were left wondering why the Cherries could not create more and what had happened to the cutting-edge that had Bournemouth score in every game before this one?

It was a blustery day at Dean Court.
All seemed well at this point.
The teams shake hands.
Elphick was back in the team.
Match Day Gallery had more pictures from the day. Just click here.

Eddie Howe made three changes from the previous game with Lee Camp coming in for Ryan Allsop in goal. Shaun MacDonald started instead of Jack Collison, whose loan period had ended, and Tommy Elphick captained the team replacing the suspended Elliott Ward.

Bournemouth were quick to give Lee Camp his first touch at the back and soon after Arter was battling in the centre of midfield and surprisingly managed to win a corner from near the centre circle. The ball was sent back in after the initial corner by Francis and there were shouts of handball on David Ngog, but the referee waved that away.

Bolton's out ball all afternoon long was Chung-Yong Lee on the left wing and Francis had a problem keeping him in check. This time Lee was left sitting on the ground and Francis got away with the challenge. Bolton were letting AFCB have the ball at the back but were holding their position from just over the half way line with Ngog and Beckford leading their 4-4-2 formation. Dann was Bolton's link man to the forwards.

Bolton soon started to feed Lee as often as they could and he managed to get past Francis before Arter halted his progress to concede a throw in the last third. Kamara made a cross on the right and Beckford tried a backwards header but it was over the bar.

The wind was blowing around fairly strongly and the earlier rain had made the pitch pretty slippery. Many passes were going astray early on and there wasn't much pattern to the play apart from the constant stop/starting. Beckford saw the first offside flag but he thought he would have a shot anyway, probably to test the wind strength.

Francis then played a good ball through for Rantie, but his shot deflected off of Mills for a corner. The corner to the far post eventually ended up being a Bournemouth throw. Pugh was one of the first to find the surface slippery, but MacDonald received possession and Fraser forced another corner on 8 minutes. Bolton were looking stretched.

Francis and Lee resumed their afternoon battle. Rantie was full of little tricks in the first half hour and he looked most likely to open the door for someone if not himself to score.

The pressure was relieved though when Cook was pulled up for pushing on Beckford on half way when going for a header. While Bournemouth tried to clear, Danns managed to beat Daniels but shot wide. Bolton came even closer on 11 minutes when Baptiste had a shot after a Dann cross, which was palmed over the bar by Camp for a corner. Francis and the Rantie cleared the danger.

Lee again had the legs on Francis and Baptiste took a shot on the edge of the box which was deflected for another corner kick. Spearing then also had an effort that went out for a corner on 13 minutes. While Lee beat Fraser, Pugh recovered possession before Arter kicked the ball out.

Bournemouth's best chance of the half then came with Rantie getting in clear, with a quick turn on the left, before the keeper made a save with his legs. AFCB kept possession well but even when Rantie played a good one two with Grabban, just inside the box, Tokelo could only hit his shot right at the keeper on 16 minutes. Cook's long throw might have given AFCB another chance to score but Elphick headed it wide and on another long throw Pugh hit his shot over.

Spearing was asking for more movement and pressing from Ngog and Beckford as Bournemouth kept the ball at the back. Kamara and Danns were also pushing up more now, although Dann's cross was saved easily by Camp. A break by Ngog looked more promising for the visitors but Spearing blazed over.

Lee then picked up the first booking for a challenge on Fraser. Bolton enjoyed a bit of control around the Cherries' box before Spearing's heavy shot saw Arter throw himself at the ball to make a big block. Daniels though went in heavy on Danns and gave away a free kick. Danns was getting a fair bit of space and using it well. 

Grabban had a run up the right wing, but Bolton were organised at the back and he only won a corner. Soon after, Rantie played a beautiful back flick to Grabban on the break and his shot was blocked by a combination of the post and the keeper. A bit of pressure resulted with a Fraser shot being blocked and Arter then on the ball before he was up ended.The free kick was right in front of goal, some 25 yards out. Pugh took the shot and it went out for a corner.

For all Bournemouth's efforts in taking the game to Bolton, there was a Halloween trick just around the corner. Lee passed through to Ngog and as he ran into the box and veered to the right to avoid the Cook's challenge, Camp also tried to narrow the angle, only to see Ngog's shot back across goal squirm slowly but surely over the line to put Bolton one-nil up on 38 minutes. Cook had slid passed the ball when he might have blocked the shot had he not been so efficient with his slide.

That kind of knocked the wind out of Bournemouth, because it was against the run of play and as half time approached it was another comeback talk required by Eddie Howe.

The Cherriets entertain.
Not going so well now.
Second Half
Bolton kicked off the second half towards the South end. Everyone sat up quickly as Kamara had a sudden snap shot that went just wide of the right hand post. Rantie won a corner a minute later, but no one attacked the ball. Arter later went for a full blooded challenge and looked like he had pulled his hamstring as he laid up for a while on the ground.

There was then a curious decision by the referee to book Fraser for diving when he was clearly clipped by a Bolton player. Bournemouth were soon back on the attack with Grabban winning a corner. The ball ricocheted in the box but finally went out for a long throw which Cook took. Bolton were defending well though. While MacDonald was looking to find a way in he fouled Ngog and picked up a yellow card.

Bolton's players seemed to escape from similar action when McNaughton could easily have found himself in the book and Lonergran's time wasting only received a chat from the referee
 for him to hurry it up.

AFCB made a double substitution on 63 minutes with Fraser and Rantie replaced with Thomas and Pitman. Bournemouth were not getting their passing going though. A good chance did come to Daniels from a Pitman pass in the box, on 66 minutes, but he thundered it over.

Bolton brought on Odelusi and took off Ngog on 67 minutes. Odelusi was to do well with his runs up the right wing - another good out ball for Bolton. AFCB's best chance in the second half came to Pitman after Grabban crossed in front of the six yard box,
 but Pitman failed to make contact even though the slightest touch would have been a goal.

The last 20 minutes saw Cook pressing forward more and crosses and throws from Bournemouth being fired in, 
but Bolton always looked like they would hang on for the win. Ream was given a yellow card on 77 minutes and Pitman took the free kick which went well over the bar. Zat Night came on for Lee with nine minutes to go.

AFCB were trying there best but when Pugh shot over with 6 minutes left you just felt it wasn't going to be our day. MacDonald made way for Surman on 84 minutes. Pitman took a free kick with three minutes to go which hit the wall and Bolton seemed happy to play out time with just Beckford left to cut a lonely figure on the half way line. His moment would come though in extra time when he found himself up against Elphick, having received a pass from Odelusi, and as Elphick backed off and Francis was nutmegged, Beckford took a shot which looped up off Francis and gave Camp no chance. 
The ball sped past him and into the back of the net to give Bolton a 0:2 away win.
Home defeats hurt.
Disappointing but there will be another day.
Eddie comes on to say thank you to the players and crowd.
Bolton record their second win of the season.
Final hand shakes.
This defeat was disappointing for a few reasons. It was AFCB's first home match since the international break and most fans thought it was a good opportunity to get back to winning ways after the tough away games at Forest and Leicester. Secondly, Bolton were a team that had started to earn draws but did not suggest that they had much creativity or goal scoring power from previous results. Worst of all, Bournemouth did not look like scoring all afternoon and that record of scoring in every game was ended in this match. If only AFCB had tucked away an early chance. That first goal again has cost AFCB dearly, there's much work to be done.

Match Day Gallery had more pictures from the day. Just click here.


Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Thoms 63), Arter, MacDonald (Surman 85), Pugh, Grabban and Rantie (Pitman 63).

Allsop, Addison, Pitman, Harte, Thomas, Hughes and Surman.

AFCB Ratings

Camp 5, Francis 4, Elphick 5, Cook 5, Daniels 4, Fraser 5, Arter 5, MacDonald 6, Pugh 5, Grabban 5 and Rantie 5.

Bolton Wanderers
Longergan, McNaughton, Baptiste, Mills, Ream, Danns, Spearing, Kamara, Ngog (Odelusi 68), Lee (Knight) and Beckford.

Bolton Subs

Lee-Barrett, Eagles, Hall, Knight, Wheater, Odelusi and Kellett.

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