Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Reality hits home for AFCB fans as QPR win 3:0

Match Report
QPR 3 v 0 AFCB
3 December 2013
Attendance: 16,331 (including 1467 AFCB fans)
The teams are out at Loftus Road.
Front of QPR's ground.
We went to Loftus Road more perhaps in hope than in expectation of a turnaround in AFCB's fortunes, but the rug was well and truly pulled from under our feet by a team that knows how to score goals, when the opportunities arise. AFCB did not play badly. In fact, for period of this game they had QPR on the back foot. It was pretty football, superb possession and movement that was so pleasing to see. But some things are apparent now with the team, they are still not sensing danger quickly enough and keeping switched on all the time and more worryingly, for all of AFCB's pretty football, they are looking toothless upfront.

Eddie Howe made a couple of changes to the starting line up with O'Kane and Rantie being replaced by MacDonald and Surman. Pugh also replaced Fraser on the left wing. When you are playing QPR away and they have not been beaten at home all season you can see why Eddie went with five in the middle and Pitman on his own up front.

QPR v AFCB match day photos are now up on Match Day Gallery tab.

AFCB's obligatory team photo.
As usual Tommy Elphick rushes up after his own pre-match ritual for
the team photo but doesn't make it in time.
The early signs were quite good. In the first minute and a half Austin was caught offside and AFCB were pushing forward and had an early chance to use Cook's long throw. While Elphick did not win his header, when the ball ran out to Ritchie he fired a shot over. Perhaps a sighter we hoped. Surman was next to make an impact by chopping down Hoilett, but AFCB cleared Barton's free kick. A few moments later Barton went for a chip over the back line to Austin, but Charlie was offside.

Cook again had a long throw on the left, but possession was soon lost and Barton chipped through for Johnson this time who was also offside after 7 minutes. QPR had a good bit of possession then but an awkward moment came for the central defender and goalkeeper, Rob Green, almost got in a tangle. A resulting shot from Ritchie went wide.

It was Lee Camp who had to make the first real save when a cross found Austin and his effort was tipped over on 10 minutes. AFCB were finding it hard to make a clear chance with Pitman given offside on 12 minutes. Surman was psasing too strongly for Brett to get hold of the ball, but Pugh won a corner. Pitman took a poor corner kick though. Arter was then fouled and Ritchie's free kick was similarly wasteful, going straight out on the full on 16 minutes.

There was an almost predictable moment then when Arter and Barton clashed and the ref took them both to one side for a good talking to. Barton had caught Arter and he was not amused and had retaliated with Barton then dropping to the floor - it was a lot of fuss about nothing really. Neither player was booked and the game went on.

AFCB's main weapon seemed to be Cook's long throw, which QPR seemed to deal with fairly well. Elphick and Johnson were enjoying quite a battle, with honours perhaps just in Tommy's favour in the early exchanges. But when Francis and Hoilett collided, QPR had a free kick which an on rushing Dunne got a clear head to but put it over.

AFCB were still pushing forward with Pugh who got into the box and turned well but shot over. AFCB were doing better now with Arter and Surman on the ball and Surman's shot deflected for a corner. Cook then had another long throw, but QPR soon had their opportunity. Johnson was found on the left wing in space and when he delivered a low cross into the box, Charlie Austin took a short while to bring the ball down on his chest, adjust his feet, before slotting home in front of the on rushing Lee Camp - 1:0 to QPR. Worryingly AFCB had switched off and it seemed like Austin had an age in which to steady himself to score and Johnson had been given far too much space - oh well.

Bournemouth managed to win a corner soon after but Arter blasted the ball miles over. On the half hour, Elphick then found himself one-on-one with Austin as he lost his footing and he went to the ground, but managed to ensure the ball did not get through to Austin on the edge of the box, by the use of his arm. Barton was furious and seemed to think he should have had a penalty, but after conferring with the assistant referee it was a free kick which hit the wall. Barton was obviously still incensed and fouled Francis, which ended in Barton going into the book. Moments later though he almost scored with a shot that just cleared the top right corner of AFCB's goal! AFCB fans seemed to delight ion that QPR's boo boy was going to come in from some stick now from AFCB fans.

AFCB won a corner on 40 minutes, which Cook headed over. Another corner for the Cherries came on 42 minutes after Pugh's strong run into the box. Yet, it was QPR who looked like they may score on the break but for a saving tackle by Arter, sliding back. AFCB then had their best chance of the half with Elphick of all players, threading a ball to the left of the box where Pitman was running on, but he hit a weak shot straight at Robert Green. That was half time - 1:0 to QPR but the Cherries were well in the match and the goal had come against the run of play.

QPR's 2003/4 promotion winning side do a lap of honour at half time.

Second Half
AFCB looked the brighter as they came out for the second half. The Cherries were keeping the ball well with Ritchie and Pugh causing problems for QPR. Daniels also made a good run. The pressure was soon relieved though when MacDonald picked up a yellow card for a foul on Hoilett. Arter had a moment he would rather forget when he dallied on the ball and was caught be Hoilett from behind. 

Worse was to come though as a break on the right led to a cross which everyone seemed to miss at first, or at least one of the QPR strikers had an air shot at it before it found its way through to Hoilett on the left, and he buried his chance to make it 2:0 to the home team on 54 minutes. Bournemouth had played so well in the few minutes after half time, but they were just punished when they lost possession. Francis just never looked like getting to Hoilett.

AFCB had been dominating the game but were now really up against it. Elphick next fouled Austin and while Johnson made a good turn, Camp retained possession. Pugh put in a cross for Pitman but it was too high. Then it was back to Arter and Barton resuming their battle with Barton having a shot that went for a corner. 

A short while later Pugh was fouled by Simpson. Pitman took the kick but Pugh missed his chance, falling  back on the shot. AFCB then made a double substitution. Pitman was subbed on 60 minutes and Rantie came on, while MacDonald came off so that Grabban could play behind Rantie. AFCB's play did not improve much though, Daniels hit a very wild cross on 67 minutes, while Ritchie had faded enough for Howe to decide to replace him with Fraser on 68 minutes.

After the restart, Austin almost got in between Elphick and Camp, before Arter at the other end had his shot blocked by Dunne. Francis also tried his luck with a shot and won a corner after a good opening by AFCB. Fraser then had a low shot saved by Green. You could not fault the Cherries effort, but no one really looked like scoring for us.

QPR took off Johnson and Hoilett on 72 minutes and brought on Jermaine Jenas and Matt Phillips. Just afterwards, AFCB were claiming a handball, after Francis had got into QPR's box but nothing was given, despite Arter's protests. Things were virtually all over then when QPR won a header in the middle and put Phillips in, between Cook and Daniels and Phillips finished emphatically to make it 3:0 on 77 minutes.

QPR made another sub on 80 minutes with O'Neil being replaced by Traore. In the last 10 minutes Cook almost gave the ball to Jenas in a dangerous position, but luckily won it back. While AFCB had the ball they just could not find a way through and in some ways it was a relief to hear the final whistle.

I was listening to TalkSport on the way home when one AFCB fan came on saying that this should be Eddie Howe's last game! I wondered if he really meant it. Mike Botto came on the radio moments later saying he almost crashed the car when he had heard what the previous AFCB fan had said. While Mike did not say Eddie was untouchable he did put the result into some kind of perspective - QPR were a Premiership team last season and have a vast budget compared to the Cherries. He also pointed out what Eddie had done since coming back to the club and surely there is no one better to manage AFCB? At times AFCB played fabulous, attractive football and had QPR really stretched. The problem is AFCB have no cutting edge. They simply don't hurt teams and they have to find a way of doing this soon.

Sorry its the back of your head Mike - you sat just in front of me. Mike Botto was annoyed that an AFCB fan
had moaned at the team and Howe and called into the radio station.
Reading is another hard game, but after that there are some very winnable games and AFCB fans should not lose faith yet. In fact, I have to say the AFCB support at QPR was magnificent. We can't lose the knowledge of who we are - we are Bournemouth - and coming to places like QPR was always going to be a big test for the team. It is just that AFCB are lacking that bit of quality in some positions where teams like QPR have it in abundance. 

Pain over. AFCB found it hard going.
The players knew that the crowd had put in a lot of effort as well.
The all black kit was not so lucky.
Thoughts turn to Reading now.
Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Surman,  Ritchie (Fraser 68), Arter, MacDonald (Grabban 61), Pugh, Pitman (Rantie 61).

Flahavan, Fraser, Rantie. O'Kane, Thomas, Harte, Grabban

AFCB ratings
Camp 6, Francis 5, Elphick 5, Cook 5, Daniels 5, Surman 6, Ritchie 7, Arter 6, MacDonald 5, Pugh 6, Pitman 5..

Green, Simpson, Dunne, Assou-Ekotto, Barton, Hill, O'Neil (Traore 81), Carroll, Austin, Johnson (Jenas 73), Hoilett (Philipps 74).

QPR Subs
Traore, Philipps, Jenas, Kranjcar, Henry, Young, Murphy


  1. Having been at the match I thought the starting formation left us looking dis-jointed and players in the midfield not being able to find each other with passes. We are clearly lacking in areas of the field not least in midfield. Although Barton is a disgrace as an individual he ruled the centre of the park, something we desperately need to allow the flair players a chance to flourish. Why oh why was Pitman the sole striker, slowest of the three surely Grabban should have started if we were playing with a lone striker. All in all it showed the difference between the premier and league one standards and the difference in spending power. Still will be at Reading and hope for the break we desperately need otherwise the next games, although winnable will be become real delegation dog fights. UTC.

  2. The irony of last season was us being top scorers and yet missing hatfuls of chances. I thought then, if we were to go up we could well struggle, because we'd be up against far stronger defences, so less chances, and we'd have to be really ruthless. Well now the season is beginning to settle down, teams are gelling and over coming their early season blips, we are without doubt totally inept up front. Much as I fight TK's corner, he obviously is, along with Brett and Lewis just not able to come close to scoring (note I never included Thomas in there, a complete waste of wages, I'm hoping they pay him off and get rid in some way come January). I can only go by the commentary on Silent last night, I'm hoping someone who went will correct me, but Willo said how he thought Surman had a better game than previously, yet it didn't sound like it, add to the fact Francis sounded as though he was struggling, yet we bring in Yennaris and he's not even a sub. People have been saying they wanted Rantie dropped, well they've had there way and the difference was?? Pitman misses atleast TWO chances!! It sounded as though TK was a threat when he came on, without actually creating a chance for himself. I say for himself, because unlike Brett who had passes the created his chances, TK usually has to create his own. As for Grabban, I'm not sure if his name was hardly mentioned!! Sounded as though Arter was doing his damndest to give as good as he was getting, but up against Barton, it was a tough ask. McDonald doesn't really cut it for me I have to say. Defensively we conceded poor goals again. Much as I love Cook and Elphick, Cook Saturday, not being close enough to Barnes, enabling him to get a cracking shot away cost, us, were either, or both responsible yet again last night?? We seem to be missing Ward!!
    On the one hand I'm being unfair, we were basically up against a Premiership team, with a League One side. Yet these comments could be written about any of our last goodness knows how many games. Unlike many, I'm not panicking, I've said it many times, I'll have to say it again judging by many Tweets and posts elsewhere, Eddie has not as yet been able to make many changes from last season, but I fully expect him too in January and especially the summer. I really do believe we're close to being a very good side, and once some real quality is brought in, about three I'd say, then the ship will be steadied and we'll be fine, look at the difference those loan signings have made to Yeovil!! However, if Eddie doesn't bring in much to improve the squad come January, then I will be concerned. Just one last point, I understand the " Look where we were only 2 or 3 years ago" brigade, and you're not wrong, but we must look forward, not back for excuses!! UTCIAD

  3. "Elphick then found himself one-on-one with Austin as he lost his footing and he went to the ground, but managed to ensure the ball did not get through to Austin on the edge of the box, by the use of his arm. Barton was furious and seemed to think he should have had a penalty, but after conferring with the assistant referee it was a free kick which hit the wall."

    Are you for real! Not one but 2 handballs, one inside and one outside of the box. Stone wall red card and probably the worst decision I've in 20 odd years.

    1. I felt initial contact was outside the box. The ref does not get a second playback and I don't think he could see from behind. It was directly in front of AFCB fans. I'm as keen as you to see the replay.

  4. This post seems to have quite a bit of interest. From my view we were not as sharp as against Burnley, Leicester and Notts Forest, we seemed tired and I'd suggest the team did not click. This was in my opinion Surman's best game so far, but he's still not the player we had on loan all those years ago. I did not enjoy the game, not sure why it seemed disjoined, but saying that we were better than Watford on day 1 and Huddersfield away. So what I am summarising we're better than in August, had a tough run in November, this is a tough league, but you can see we've got potential. Pitman was on his own and I am sure he will get the luck soon with a couple of goals his confidence is low. Rantie I think we've made a boo-boo there, but please prove me wrong. Eddie is the right man, he needs that luck as well, I am hopeful that Saturday will be closer and then after Saturday we can get on a run of results and get back to mid-table. This season is all about consolidation let's not panic yet.