Sunday, 9 February 2014

Cherries' comeback at Bolton was pleasing

When your team goes to a place like the Reebok and goes 2:0 down in the first half you have every right to think that your team is not going to get any points on the day. But the pleasing thing is that neither the players or Eddie Howe felt that it was a lost cause against a Bolton team that had been largely out played and must have considered themselves lucky to be ahead by such a margin.

It was a similar feeling I had when Bolton played AFCB at Dean Court earlier in the season. AFCB had dominated only to concede from a rare Bolton attack. Once again Chung-Yong Lee had been a real threat that day and so he proved at the Reebok stadium in scoring the first goal against the Cherries yesterday. The problem was that the Cherries did not react to the second ball and Lee was able to punish their mistake.

More alarming to me was the second goal which reminded me of one of the goals that Leyton Orient scored against AFCB about a year ago. A simple punt over the top and it caused havoc with our centre backs, while Justkiewicz provided the finish with great calm.
Eddie Howe was pleased wit the comeback,
but disappointed with Bolton's goals.
Eddie Howe was not so pleased with Bolton's goals: "We had some good moments. We started okay and conceded two disappointing goals and I have said that a lot this season. But the first goal, we switched off in the second phase from a set-piece, which is unlike us. And the second goal is just a long punt down the pitch, which we haven't dealt with."

Still, AFCB's heads did not go down. They had plenty of time to get back into this match and Grabban's strike was as Willo described "a Worldy!". I think goal of the season is going to be a hard one to predict for the Cherries this season. Going in only 2:1 down at half time must have given the team something to grab hold of because in the second half it was virtually one way traffic from the commentary BBC Radio Solent were giving. While the equaliser came from an unlikely source it is pleasing to see the defenders trying to help out and Francis' goal should give him some encouragement for future games. I think it was one of the lowest headers I have ever seen, but it went it. 

The way the game panned out it looked set up for an AFCB late winner. That it did not come is perhaps a sign that AFCB's forward line needs a bit more time to sharpen it's work in that final third. But I would also give credit to Bogdan who made some important saves, especially from Kermorgant's flicked attempt.

Had AFCB lost the game without a fight I would have been displeased. But you have to say it is a point gained against a team struggling to stay in the division. AFCB may still lack a bit of a killer instinct and are not making things easy for themselves, but each game like this will be valuable for AFCB's players who are getting used to playing in such magnificent stadiums and are managing to play their style of football even when they go a couple of goals down. 

Defeat would have been hard to take but a draw should make AFCB hungry for more in the next game.  

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