Monday, 30 December 2013

Cherries fightback against Ipswich to earn point

Match Report
AFCB 1 v 1 Ipswich Town
29 December 2013
Attendance: 11,096 (1412 Ipswich fans)

Spot the missing AFCB player.
There was no hiding from the calibre of an Ipswich Town side coming to Dean Court on the back of a strong unbeaten record and sitting just outside the top six. But AFCB are not afraid to rub shoulders with the Championship elite and Mick McCarthy's side soon knew that they were in for a hard days work. The Tractor Boys managed to get a lead after half time when the game had looked to be headed for a nil-nil draw, but that goal only stirred the Cherries into greater endeavours and the inspired substitutions of Pugh and Pitman combined to fashion a deserved equaliser. More could have perhaps followed, but for the second match in a row the Cherries had what looked like a perfectly good goal chalked off. However, Tommy Elphick though has since stated that the referee was correct to disallow what would have been AFCB's winner.
Daniels and Grabban play leap frog.
More photographs are available to see on Match Day Gallery.

Eddie Howe made an enforced change to the previous side as Harry Arter was suspended. Josh McQuoid was the man who was selected to replace the midfielder and played just behind Grabban. Meanwhile, the subs bench was much changed with no Shaun MacDonald or Tokelo Rantie, but the reappearance of Richard Hughes.

All ready to go.
The game started with Ipswich Town pressing Bournemouth back and winning a succession of corners in the first 10 minutes as they looked to get the upper hand. One of the Ipswich Town supporters had told me pre-match that they tend to start well and are usually at their strongest in the first half hour. That seemed to be the pattern of the game with Cole Skuse being particularly influential at picking out team mates from his central position in midfield.

Francis conceded the first corner and Aaron Cresswell's back became a familiar sight for Cherries fans in the Family stand as more corners were to follow. McQouid then fouled Cresswell and Daniels gave another corner away with a diving defensive header. Another corner followed from a Francis block and we hadn't even had five minutes. I was getting concerned knowing that two of Ipswich's goals in their last game against Doncaster had come from corner kicks.

Skuse had his shot blocked and O'Kane was making his presence known before the ball came of Francis again for another Ipswich corner, followed by another! AFCB then got some passing together and Francis put in a tremendous cross from the right which Grabban did not make an effort to reach, much to my disappointment.

While AFCB were battling for everything, Ritchie gave the ball straight to the tall Frank Nouble right in front of the Cherries' box. Luckily O'Kane did a great job of clearing up. 

Ipswich were not easing up and Nouble fired a warning shot on the turn, but Camp made a clean save. AFCB then attacked up the left with Daniels, and while Luke Hyam went over leaving a gap, AFCB did not prosper as Ward's pass to Surman was too strong. 

O'Kane was suddenly in ball winning mode and when McQuoid found Grabban, Fraser almost came close to troubling Gerken in goal but at least he won a corner. Francis was next to have a shot blocked and Daniels played in Grabban but he was offside.

Elphick and Ward were winning headers and looking solid at the back as Ipswich tried to disrupt AFCB's passing game with a lot of high balls. It may have worked because there were some misplaced passes like a strange left to right wing effort from McQuoid that seemed to be aimed into empty space. Even Ritchie was finding it hard to find team mates.

McGoldrick had his back to goal for most of the first half and was doing his utmost to link up with Tunnicliffe and Hyam. On 20 minutes AFCB won a corner and while nothing came of it at first, when Bournemouth retrieved the ball and Grabban back heeled a pass to Daniels AFCB went close to getting in. But the biggest let off for Ipswich came on 22 minutes when Cresswell inexplicably decided to pass the ball back right across his own box after a throw and Fraser found himself given a one-on-one opportunity to put the Cherries ahead, only he blasted over!

The Scot was not too disheartened though as he got on the end of a Daniels pass to win a corner. The ball broke to O'Kane who whipped in a ball that had Dean Gerken in goal scrambling backwards to tip the shot over the bar. Ward had his shot blocked from the corner and then Francis' drive was saved down low. 

It looked like AFCB now had control and were playing some of the kind of football that would trouble Ipswich. McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy were finding it hard to hold on to the ball for long. O'Kane was doing his robbing job well, jostling in front of the big number 10 whenever he could to spoil his game. 

Meanwhile, Luke Chambers was finding Ryan Fraser a right handful and resorted to tripping as the best way to stop him. 

Ipswich managed some pressure with McGoldrick, Skuse and Murphy linking up with Hyam and Cresswell on the left but a corner was as far as they got. The ball in went right through Nouble's legs on the near post but was thankfully cleared. Surman then fouled McGoldrick on Ipswich's left wing, his hands were high around McGoldrick's neck. McQuoid won the header out and Fraser played a great ball to Ritchie who had his shot blocked. 

AFCB's best move of the half came on 33 minutes when Francis and Grabban joined with Surman who then played Grabban in with a glorious back heel to keep the move going. But Grabban shot straight at Gerken.

Ipswich enjoyed some possession without really threatening before Grabban had a volley that was blocked on 38 minutes. McGoldrick's frustration led him to handle the ball on the half way line. The half was ending with AFCB more in control but Murphy hit a shot over and Hyam fired wide before half time was reached with the score at 0:0.

An Ipswich fan celebrates hitting the cross bar at half time.

His prize was two tickets to the FA Cup tie
against Burton next week - that'll teach him.
Second Half
Ipswich started well winning a corner and Hyam had an early shot blocked. The opposition won another corner on 53 minutes. AFCB had not really got going when Fraser was a bit late on a tackle on Christophe Berra. McGoldrick chested the ball on from the free kick and Frank Nouble put in a cross from the right, and while the ball flashed across the six yard area, Daryl Murphy slipped away from Francis, coming in on the far post, and had a simple task of putting Ipswich 0:1 upon 58 minutes.

Pitman was then brought on for McQuoid. At this point Tunnicliffe started to enjoy himself more and became much more influential for Ipswich. AFCB started to be feeding on the scraps as Ipswich looked to press home their advantage. Fraser won a corner on the hour and a moment later his cross might have been handled but nothing was given. Surman then had a shot which had Gerken at full stretch, but AFCB just could not find that bit of magic they needed. 

Meanwhile, Tunnicliffe was trying his luck with a deflected shot, but Camp was equal to it. AFCB were having plenty of possession again now and were responding well with Ritchie taking a shot that Gerken saved. Fraser was subbed on 73 minutes and Pugh came on. His first cross caused panic in the Ipswich box and after a barrage of shots, with Pitman going for an overhead and Surman forcing Gerken into a diving save, Pitman fired home into the roof of the net from six yards to make it 1:1. The home crowd could finally celebrate a goal.

Ipswich brought on Taylor and took off Nouble on 76 minutes. Pugh obviously had a taste for the action and he won a corner as AFCB's momentum gathered pace. The corner was cleared but when it came back in and Elphick rose for the header with Gerken the keeper dropped the ball and it landed in the net. It looked like a goal had been scored but the ref disallowed it for a foul on the keeper I imagine. That was as close as the Cherries came to a win. The last 13 minutes saw more corners for AFCB but no clear chances, while Hyam picked up the only yellow card of the game.

One result that got away from AFCB.
Eddie shakes hands with the officials.
While AFCB fans and the club will know that this was a game that the team probably did enough to win, it could easily have been lost and a draw against such a strong side should be recognised as a well earned point. Ipswich were physically strong and came to intimidate in the first half hour but Bournemouth stood up to them and kept playing their football. Had Fraser taken his chance and Ipswich not defended so stoutly at times the score could have been a better won. But there is lots to like about the way the Cherries are playing now. This was a good fightback and for much of the game Bournemouth looked the better team. Moreover, it is another game undefeated and part of a run that may well be extended at Brighton on New Years Day. See you there!

Pitman interview

AFCB: Camp, Francis, Ward, Elphick, Daniels, Ritchie, O’Kane, Surman, Fraser (Pugh 73), Grabban, McQuoid (Pitman 60).

AFCB Subs: Allsop, Addison, Harte, Hughes, Thomas, Pitman, Pugh

AFCB Ratings: Camp6, Francis 6, Ward 7, Elphick 7, Daniels 7, Ritchie 8, O’Kane 8, Surman 7, Fraser 7, Grabban 8, McQuoid 7

Ipswich Town: Gerken, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell, Hyam, Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Nouble (Taylor 76), McGoldrick (Mings 87), Murphy.

Ipswich Subs: Loach, Tabb, Edwards, Anderson, Graham, Taylor, Mings


  1. I see in the Oche that Tommy Elphick understood the decision to disallow that goal, which is more than I did when it went in. Very pleased for and with Brett - he got us into the division in the first place, Ryan Fraser did a great job but needs to think about why he missed that chance.
    McGoldrick came in for a lot of banter (being generous) about where he started off his career but I had mixed feelings on that,
    - his goals pretty much kept us up the season KB took over
    - our number 4 has similar stains on his resume.

    So far we have beaten the bottom six and two other sides. That game makes me more optimistic about our chances against the better teams.

    The first time I tried posting this, "Preview" deleted all I had written. Was it *that* bad?

  2. Sorry if you have had posting problems in the past. Preview should not have deleted your words. I did not see the Elphick challenge that well but the ref gave a foul and Tommy thought he jumped unfairly at the keeper so I can see why it was ruled out.