Monday, 23 December 2013

The Cherries are hitting form

Just watching back the second goal at the weekend that Grabban lashed in against Sheffield Wednesday had commentators Kris Temple and John Williams on BBC Radio Solent more than a little ecstatic. It was not until I could see the highlights that I could truly appreciate the part that Harry Arter played in the build up to the goal. While Kris and Willo explained that the pass was exceptional and played with the outside of the foot to curve back in towards Grabban's run, it was even better than probably Arter could have imagined - it was inch perfect.
Arter's pass to Grabban was a beauty for AFCB's second goal.
Grabban has shown that he is usually good at running the lines to collect the ball, but does not always make the most of such opportunities. But he was like an Olympic athlete at Hillsborough, speeding to the ball with electric pace. His hunger and desire was great to see and even the finish was made to look very simple when in reality he had very little to shoot at, but blasted the ball in at the near post. 

The pleasing things I felt about the whole move was that both Harry and Lewis were on the same wavelength. They knew what they were trying to do before the picture developed and making that kind of space was no fluke, it was part of a game plan to spring Grabban when the opportunity arose. Just a few moments earlier Ritchie also tried a similar pass to Grabban, so the team is looking to play this way.
Grabban on target yet again.
Another good game from Surman. That is three starts in a row now although he was
subbed at half time in the Birmingham match.
Having seen the move back again it was good to see that it was Surman that initially won the ball tackling back to give AFCB possession in the first place, while he also had an assist with the first goal from Ritchie.

It is all very well to say our strikers should be scoring every once in two or three chances but doing it is a different matter. It would be easy for players to have become a bit despondent in recent weeks but as Steve Claridge admitted, on the Football League Show, with AFCB having come through a sticky spell , "they have shown a bit of character and fight to turn things around." I think that's the most praise our players will ever get from Claridge. 

Anyway, AFCB players are starting to show that they can play with grit and determination especially when trying to get that all important first goal. AFCB soaked up the early pressure so well on Saturday and awaited their chance to play their football. When they did, they were clinical, first shot - one nil up!

Is this the springboard now for the Cherries to start winning even more games? I don't see why not. The away form is simply stunning at the moment, even if the clean sheets have not quite materialised. It is possible that the knowledge that Connor Wickham was not playing for Sheffield Wednesday probably gave our players a boost pre-match, but even more pleasing was the way that they coped with a heavy pitch and players that were very much playing for their shirts with a caretaker manager taking keen note in their performance. AFCB were more often than not first to the ball, winning headers and playing with pace and great accuracy despite the sandy pitch. I am hoping that their latest win will remind them a bit of that run they went on last year, because if they can do anything half as good as that it will be a very successful season back at this level.  

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