Sunday, 23 February 2014

Quality counts in the Championship (highlights video)

Well there wasn't much to choose between Steve McClaren's high flying Derby County and the Cherries. The game at the iPro stadium was one of two halves as they say. AFCB dominated large parts of the first half and Derby knew that they could have been down by a couple of goals as the interval arrived. But it was only 0-0 at half time and that gave them hope that they could only play better in the second half.
Lee Camp couldn't quite annoy his family by keeping a clean sheet against Derby.
The match was won though with a moment of quality. That is not to be frowned upon, because a top class finish is what all players should be looking for at this level. Chris Martin no doubt practises his free kicks whenever he can and on a day like yesterday that proved to be the difference. I had thought that Lee Camp and his defenders were going to hold out for that clean sheet and Tommy Elphick was certainly unlucky to be penalised for his tackle on Will Hughes. The lateness of the goal is what also hurts, because it took away any merit from the very creditable performance that Eddie Howe's team put in against the one of the best form teams in the division away from home.

The quality of the free kick was special and it needed to be to beat Camp. Lee would have been celebrating madly if he had just kept Derby out for five more minutes, but it was not to be. It is now the Cherries turn to try and find that quality themselves to haul themselves away from any trouble. We have seen that Matt Ritchie has that ability but some of the other attacking players have to start finding the back of the net now. Sharp shooting must be one of the main objectives on the training ground next week as Bournemouth must take their chances against Doncaster Rovers.

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