Sunday, 24 November 2013

Narrow defeat for Cherries against Derby 0:1 (plus Gallery)

AFCB 0 v 1 Derby County
23 November 2013
Attendance: 10,720 (inc 1391 Derby fans)

While AFCB had seen a mediocre performance last time out at home, there was a feeling that they could and needed to do much more when they took on Derby County. Still, I had my worries about this game, because the Rams had shown in previous games that they were a strong outfit and so it proved to be.

A full gallery of Dean Court yesterday is on show at Match Day Gallery

Team photo for AFCB.
Eddie Howe made a few changes. In came Shaun MacDonald to partner Eunan O'Kane in midfield and Tommy Elphick joined Steve Cook in the centre of defence. That meant Harry Arter and Elliott Ward, who had picked up knocks against Burnley, did not make the squad, while Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser were among the substitutes. Pitman was to play just behind Rantie up front and Grabban was to start on the right wing.

Derby County players just before kick off.
Bournemouth ring.

Bournemouth were pushing Derby back at the start with O'Kane making a great run as early as the second minute and as he looked for Rantie, the ball was played out for a corner. Pugh came flying in for the cross but could not make contact.

Derby looked a big physical side and Chris Martin was able to win headers fairly easily in the centre of the pitch. Pugh got caught in possession and Simon Dawkins had an early shot that was high over the bar. AFCB countered with a move including Cook and Daniels before Pitman squeezed out a shot wide, as he struggled to get a powerful connection.

Daniels tried to find Grabban with a speculative long range pass moments later, but 
Craig Forsyth dealt with it well and got the ball back to Lee Grant in goal. Daniels was working hard defending against Andre Wisdom and Jamie Ward. Simon Dawkins was also getting involved early on with a stern challenge on Francis.

Shaun MacDonald failed to find Rantie with a long ball, but AFCB won a corner on 8 minutes. Francis missed in his attempt to get his head on the cross. Elphick was then pulled up for leaning on Chris Martin when going for a header. Pugh eventually cleared the ball from the free kick. While AFCB's attacks with Rantie and Grabban were petering out around the box, Derby looked lively on the break with Will Hughes chief organiser on the gallop, putting in Jamie Ward whose shot needed Lee Camp to make a low save on 11 minutes.

Derby were winning more possession now and Francis blocked a shot from Craig Bryson. Simon Dawkins was also finding space on the right wing and while Daniels and Cook got in a tangle with a short pass they escaped with a throw. Derby were certainly looking to catch the Cherries high up the pitch in possession, but AFCB seemed alert to this.

A good chance fell to Chris Martin on 16 minutes when he was just inside the box. He turned quickly to fire a shot that Lee camp turned over. Pitman cleared the resulting corner and was fouled any way. Derby then had a great move with Ward and Simon Dawkins, but Dawkins got the ball stuck under his foot just when he had a real opportunity to open the scoring.

AFCB almost did get on the scoreboard, after 17 minutes, when Grabban found Rantie and Tokelo got round the back of Derby on the right side, only to see his shot from six yards pushed away by Grant. If only Rantie had pulled the ball back, I think Pitman, Pugh or Grabban would have scored. Still, it was a corner that was cleared.

On the break Derby kept the ball well and Wisdom's shot was blocked. The referee was having a strange game in that he seemed to let just about everything go, including a strong Dawkins challenge on Pugh. Daniels and Cook were holding up Ward, Hughes and Dawkins as they tried to get Bryson round the back. It was Derby in the driving seat with Ward forcing Camp to save.

AFCB won another corner on 27 minutes, but Pitman's header went wide. Pugh was dropping back a lot making it a back line of five at times. 

Derby then won a corner on 31 minutes which O'Kane headed out and when the Rams were awarded another corner Lee Camp was held back and given a free kick. Rantie was up against Andre Wisdom through the middle on 32 minutes, but when he went over he made rather a lot of it and nothing was given.

The Cherries had another free kick and then a corner on 35 minutes which Grant caught. Pitman then put in a cross which O'Kane through himself out but could not reach, while a second Pitman cross was dropped by Grant although he recovered quickly to gather.

The game got rather messy before half time with both teams winning free kicks but it was not until the 41st minute that the referee actually booked some one - Jake Buxton. He had scythed down Rantie.

Martin had his shot blocked and O'Kane stopped Hughes, before Dawkins shot over after Shaun MacDonald got a foot in the way. The corner was headed over by Buxton. The only other major point before half time was Francis being given a yellow card for a challenge on Will Hughes. So it was 0:0 at half time.

Cherrietts on the touchline.
Eddie Bear and the penalty shoot out.
Matt Ritchie warms up at half time.
Second Half
Derby came out quickly in the second half with a cross come shot from Dawkins. Pugh then got on the ball and made mincemeat out of Jamie Ward on the half way line with a terrific turn that left Ward dumbfounded. AFCB then made a great move down the right wing with Grabban making a cross that Rantie dummied leaving Pitman to run on to the ball, but he blazed over on 48 minutes.

Derby got back on the ball and Martin lifted his shot over. Dawkins and Ward continued to link up well. AFCB tried to get things going with MacDonlad on the right hand side, switching play towards Pugh but he was given offside on 51 minutes. Derby were also seeing lots of possession, but Hughes of all players was careless with his passing.

Rantie won a corner on 55 minutes. Pitman's ball in did not beat the first man though. A short while later AFCB were thankful for Cook who made another heroic tackle on Ward, when he would have been clean through. MacDonald fouled Bryson in a dangerous central position in front of the box on 58 minutes. Ward took a curling shot which Camp saved to his right, catching the ball in full flight.

Just when the threat seemed to be dying down and the away supporters started their "La, lal, la, lala, las" - alah Stevenage songs, Derby broke up the left wing with Forsyth in front of those fans and a fast, early cross found Jamie Ward closing in on goal in the box. Lee Camp managed to get a hand to the ball, but Ward buried it in AFCB's net from six yards out. It was 0:1 to the visitors!

That was right on the hour mark and from the restart Derby quickly won a corner. AFCB brought on Fraser and Ritchie on 63 minutes and took off Pugh and Rantie. Fraser got straight into the action with Daniels. Fraser made a good cross which Pitman had a go at with an overhead kick, but his contact took the ball well wide.

Derby were still looking great in possession and O'Kane and MacDonald were working hard. While Fraser was getting crosses in, Derby were repelling them fairly well. Daniels was giving Fraser good support. Ward decided to take a time out, which annoyed home supporters and Derby had decided that time wasting was the order of the day now, although Grant had been doing that as early as the first 10 minutes with his slow goal kicks.

Ritchie made a strong run down the right and his ball in found O'Kane with a free header in the middle which he put over. Eddie Howe then subbed Pitman and brought on Wes Thomas after 73 minutes.

Derby subbed Dawkins and brought on Mason Bennett. Derby took a corner on 75 minutes which Camp caught. Hughes was then given a yellow card for kicking the ball away I think. On 78 minutes Ward was substituted and Johnny Russell came on. The snail's speed with which Ward came off the pitch was unbelievable.

Matt Ritchie was proving very lively on the right and took on a shot that went wide. There was a better chance for Fraser when Thomas' cross was headed wide by Fraser on the run, under pressure from Wisdom. AFCB won a corner on 83 minutes but it was punched out by Grant.

Lee Camp had to make a last ditch save then against Bennett on the break when he was one-on-one in the 84th minute. Derby then subbed Chris Martin and brought on Conor Sammon. While AFCB had five minutes of extra time the only major incident was Cook getting injured when he tried to shoot inside the box. He came off worse as a defender tried to block the shot and the medics came on and strapped up his leg, before taking him off on a stretcher. Bad luck can really hurt some times. The game was also lost 0:1.

Steve Cook receives medical attention.
Single goal defeat.
Eddie leaves the pitch.
I thought it was a brave effort by the Cherries. Derby are going to be one of the sides near the top of the table and they showed that they are one of the best technical sides in this division. While AFCB still did not threatened Derby's goal nearly enough, they were always in the game and just needed some luck in the final third to get them the lead they so desperately needed. It didn't come and much of that has to be down to Derby's great defence. 

We found out where AFCB are today. They are close to being on a par with teams like Derby and the gap is not so big, but they could do with a bit more physical presence up top to hold onto the ball better in my opinion. I prefer it when Grabban leads the line. The Cherries defence is getting better and Eddie Howe must do what he can to try and extend Lee Camp's services, who made several high quality saves.

The overall performance of the team was pretty good and it was great to see Ritchie and Fraser back on the pitch. I feel what AFCB needs though is a bit more steel against Brighton, QPR and Reading and as we know a lot more shots at goal!

Cook and Francis picked up yellow cards, but I must have missed Steve Cook's card.

Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Grabban, O'Kane, MacDonald, Pugh (Fraser 63), Pitman (Thomas 79), Rantie (Ritchie 64).

AFCB Subs:
Flahavan, Addison, Harte, Surman, Thomas, Fraser, Ritchie

AFCB ratings
Camp 8, Francis 7, Elphick 6, Cook 8, Daniels 7, Grabban 6, O'Kane 6, MacDonald 6, Pugh 6, Pitman 6, Rantie 5.

Derby County
Grant, Bryson, Forsyth, Buxton, Keogh, Hughes, Eustace, Dawkins (Bennett 74), Wisdom, Martin (Sammon 88), Ward (Russell 79)

Derby Subs:
Smith, Davies, Bennett, Sammon, Ball, Morch, Russell.


  1. I HAD hoped, that coming up into this league, we'd not suffer the dire officials of Div 1. Yet again, I left seething, after witnessing ANOTHER totally inept display by a referee. Disappointing to lose? absolutely, you're quite right, that we don't look far behind the likes of Derby, but the difference, is a lack of quality in certain areas. Some, are STILL whinging about Rantie. I can't deny he had a poorer game today, but for me, he still did more, and looked dangerous at times, in fact I felt he'd done more than Grabban, Pitman and Thomas combined, they looked completely toothless. Ritchie showed exactly why us fans have been so anxious to get him on the pitch again, he should of had MOTM, and HE only played 30 minutes!! Fraser too showed what a difference it makes when he's out there. What might of been, had that useless referee given us the penalty that was obvious to most, except himself, or that blatant free kick outside their area in the 2nd half, PLUS, the countless free kicks he gave Derby, but failed to give us similar decisions for innocuous challenges, AWFULL!! Please don't think this as sour grapes, Derby are a good side, their support was excellent, shame the same can't be said for ours, missing again!! The usual ones did their best, but for crying out loud, those in the North Stand especially, GET SINGING, MAKE SOME NOISE FOR THE BOYS!! I'm an old git, but my throat is suffering for trying to do my bit. Desperately sorry for Cook, hope it's not as bad as we all fear, and with Ward also out for a few weeks, we're in real trouble.

    1. Completely agree, referee brought no order to the match, and I feel that's why Cook got injured, and with (in my opinion) our two best centre backs out for the foreseeable future, we are in real trouble. And yeah we definitely need a physically big centre forward (another Steve Fletcher), someone with real passion for football and the club, who isn't afraid to take one for the team. As for for Fraser and Ritchie, I think Pugh might be fighting for a starting place. Hopefully with Cook no news is good news, and with Eddie it usually is that way.

  2. 1) Craig Bryson played centre midfield not left back, that was Craig Forsyth.

    2) Saul Deeney is Derby's reserve goal keeper currently out injured and wasn't on the bench, he did not play as a outfield player and had a shot saved as your report says.

    3) It's Andre not Andrew Wisdom.