Sunday, 2 February 2014

Was it really fully over the line? AFCB 0 v 1 Leicester City

Match Report
AFCB 0 v 1 Leicester City
1 February 2014
Attendance: 10,719

The weather cleared up enough to get the game on.
There was only one major talking point in this game and it was a pretty big one. When Anthony Knockaert powered in his cross from the right wing in the 81st minute and the veteran Kevin Phillips rose, unmarked on the far post to head the ball, time almost stood still as Lee Camp made a desperate attempt to deflect the ball's path with a big left hand. His touch certainly slowed the ball down, which was still heading for the goal line, but did it fully cross the line before Elliot Ward made the clearance? I didn't have a clue sitting so far away in the Family stand. I don't believe the Mr Drysdale, the referee had a clue for most of the second half let alone what to make of this vital decision. At least he did go and confer with his assistant referee, while the Foxes were already celebrating in front of their fans. The goal was awarded and Leicester had claimed their ninth win in a row, while AFCB fans could feel desperately unlucky at conceding so late on.

AFCB and Leicester City before kick-off.
More pictures of the game can be viewed in the Match Day Gallery.

I was always told that the officials had to be 100 per cent certain to give a goal and if there is any doubt whether a ball crosses the line it should not be given. So the assistant referee had to be 100 per cent correct in his decision, yet there has been a lot of debate over what Lee Camp called "a very brave decision." Having seen the replay on the BBC Football League show and slowed it down frame by frame I am not convinced that the ball did cross the line fully, but there is only one man's opinion that counts. I am sure others will say it did cross the line - so take your pick.

Does this pick prove the ball was over the line,
sides as well? Sent in by Rob Johnson. I may have to change my opinion!

In fairness to Leicester City fans though their team was excellent and they had had several other chances to take the lead in this game, and it was only the stunning abilities of Lee Camp who was rightly named man of the match that held them at bay for so long. However, that is not to say that AFCB weren't in this game. They too look a much improved side and are starting to cause the big teams a lot of problems in this league. 

Eddie Howe made three changes to the Cherries who had been unchanged in their last three games. In came Ian Harte for the injured Charlie Daniels, while Ryan Fraser replaced Marc Pugh and Tokelo Rantie had a starting place instead of Matt Ritchie.

The conditions were gusty to say the least with the corner flag near the Family stand blowing towards the South stand and on the other side of the goal it was blowing towards the north stand. The pitch itself was bobbly in places with a fair amount of sand down in one corner and along the main stand. But that did not detract from what was an exciting game.

AFCB's tactics seemed to be to try and get Rantie running in behind at pace by feeding him lots of long balls over the top to run on to. O'Kane was usually the architect of the pass, but the ball always sped away too quickly. We had to wait quite a few minutes for the first shot which came from Andrew Surman's speculative drive that went high and wide over the corner of the cross bar.

AFCB won a corner the in the sixth minute as Ian Harte bent a good pass round for Grabban to run on to. Elphick had a header that was cleared only for AFCB to win another corner. This time Kasper Schmeichel won the ball but then seemed to drop it when trying to clear and was given a free kick.

Wes Morgan was doing a good job at keeping Rantie out, while Arter seemed slightly more forward than we have seen him in recent games.

Leicester were content to play on the break with Danny Drinkwater seeing a lot of the ball and feeding Vardy and Knockaert when he could who intern looked for Lloyd Dyer on the left wing. Dyer's cross was headed by Harte, but hit Ward and went out for a Leicester corner on 9 minutes. Drinkwater managed a shot but Fraser cleared.

Vardy was quick to capitalise when Harte missed a high ball and his cross caused more confusion in the Cherries box with Dyer having and air shot and Nugent's shot coming off of Elphick for another corner on 13 minutes, which O'Kane defended well.

AFCB broke well with Rantie getting in behind Morgan and running along the byline and when he pulled the ball back to Arter it looked like it would be a certain goal but some how the shot stayed out. The next bit of AFCB possession ended when Rantie was given offside. 

Leicester were looking equally dangerous with Knockaert slipping the ball to Nugent and he was working well with Vardy on the right side. When the ball came over to the other side of the box, Dyer had a great chance to put the Foxes one up but he shot against Camp's chest and it went out for a corner on 17 minutes. 

The threat grew larger a few moments later after Grabban had been flagged offside. Leicester came back on 19 minutes with Drinkwater slipping in Vardy who was clean through against Camp and while he blasted his shot towards goal it hit the underarm of Lee and bounced hard against the turf before bouncing off the bar and out for a corner. It was an amazing let off, but has to go down as a great save by Camp.

After the corner Ritchie de Laet put in a great cross for Vardy, but he missed the ball and Camp could make the save. AFCB were finding it hard to get their grip back on the game with Grabban not having his usual influence and Rantie chasing lost causes, while Arter was misplacing a pass or two. Another bout of Leicester play ended with Konchesky on the left playing the ball back to Vardy to have a shot from the corner of the box which Camp held onto well.

O'Kane was having a good game and was hoovering up the ball in the middle whenever it was loose. Surman too was working hard and made a good tackle on Drinkwater to regain possession, releasing Francis on the right who passed to Grabban to have a shot that was saved well by Schmeichel on 26 minutes.

Wasilewski was pulled up for a challenge on Rantie that gave AFCB a free kick. But it only resulted in a Leicester break with Knockaert's shot being deflected and Camp collecting the ball. 

Meanwhile, Francis was still trying to get Rantie away but Wasilewski was in charge. Before you knew it though, Vardy had been slipped in again and Camp half saved it or slowed the shot enough for Elphick to clear off the line when all the Leicester fans had been celebrating a bit early with 30 minutes gone.

AFCB had a free kick next on the left. Elphick won the first header but Ward could not get to the second ball. It wasn't working for Rantie either when he stood on the ball in the box a few moments later.

Leicester's next shot came from Dyer but it was wide of the left post. Konchesky was starting a lot of Leciester's moves off and was getting well forward on the left wing, while Knockaert was probably Leicester's hardest working player, chasing everything. At the back for Leicester Wasilewski was also looking very impressive with his clearances.

AFCB just could not get anything to work in that final third. When Francis put in a descent cross and Rantie headed it on, the ball just ran across the six yard area. 

Leicester on the break quickly got the ball to Nugent on the edge of the box when Arter put in a thunderous block. Nugent wasn't getting that many opportunities and he had a bit of smile on his face after that one. So it was 0-0 at half time, but keeping it that way was going to be difficult.

half time repair works to the pitch.
Second Half
Eddie Howe made a double substitution with Rantie and Fraser being replaced by Matt Ritchie and Yann Kermorgant, to huge cheers on Yann's debut. Play started a bit slowly with Grabban getting caught offside. AFCB did not get a couple of decisions and as the half progressed we would see more of that.

The touch of Kermorgant was pleasing to see as he took a ball down cleanly on his chest and turned to set up O'Kane, but AFCB's attack was stopped by a blocked shot on 50 minutes that went out for a corner. Leicester soon cleared, but Ward ended up with a yellow card for cutting across Vardy's run. Knockaert took the kick but it went well over.

The next main action happened on 58 minutes when Grabban had a shot that went just wide. This was followed by a Ritchie cross to Grabban and he missed his kick in a great position. Leicester went up the other end and Knockaert had a header that Camp acrobatically, with one had out at full stretched. An incredible save.

With an hour gone things were hotting up. While Arter was not getting the decisions I was already worrying about him. Sure enough he was given a yellow when he scythed down Knockaert on a run. Moments later it was Wasilewski that put an arm out to stop Yann Kermorgant on the left wing and he was given a yellow.

On 72 minutes Kevin Phillips came on and David Nugent went off. Surman soon won a corner then as Wasilewski cleared with a header in the box. Ward won the header and when it came out to Ritchie his shot was blocked. Yann Kermorgant was showing some good touches and was being closely marked by Morgan.

With 78 minutes gone Matty James was replaced with Andy King, although two minutes earlier he was going to come on for Knockaert. The goal came soon after Yann Kermorgant had been given offside. I had told those sitting next to me that if we lost this it would be cruel now having played well for 80 minutes, but Kevin Phillips is a born finisher and he is a proven match winner at this level. AFCB's real failing was to have no one close enough to him.

Pitman replaced Andrew Surman for the last eight minutes as AFCB looked to rescue a point. Sadly they could not muster much more with Ian Harte deciding to have a pop at goal from distance the best effort. Leicester ran the clock down with Vardy being replaced by Dean Hammond with a few minutes to go. Leicester then almost made it two with Elphick putting in a fabulous tackle to stop Phillips as he got into the box. The five minutes of extra time did not add much more drama to the game and Leicester ran out winners, while the referee had to be escorted off the pitch.

Mr Drysdale is escorted off of the pitch having made some poor decisions.
Camp had much to be pleased about his performance.
Leicester keep the winning run going.
While AFCB lost the game in a bit of a sickening way, there is no doubt that Leicester are the best Championship team and that they had a real game on their hands today. On other days Leicester could have been a couple up by half time, but by the end of the game they could have been trailing if the Cherries had managed to slip a player in. But there is one statistic that says what the difference is between these teams - shots on target. AFCB had one all match while Leicester had seven. Bournemouth had the possession but Leicester had the cutting-edge. I hope that Kormorgant can help the Cherries find that missing quality in the games to come.

Camp, Francis, Elphick, Ward, Harte, Fraser (Ritchie 45), Arter, O'Kane, Surman (Pitman 83), Rantie (Kermorgant 45), Grabban.

AFCB Ratings:
Camp 9, Francis 7, Elphick 8, Ward 7, Harte 8, Fraser 6 (Ritchie 6), Arter 7, O'Kane 7, Surman 7, Rantie 6 (Kermorgant 7), Grabban 6.

AFCB Subs:
Allsop, Cook, Smith, Pitman, MacDonald, Kermorgant, Ritchie.

Leicester City
Schmeichel, de Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Wailewski, Morgan, Knockaert, James (King 79), Vardy (Hammond 7), Nugent (Phillips 73), Dyer.

Leicester City Subs:
Hammond, King, Schlupp, Logan, Mahrez, Philipps, Wood.


  1. 9 in a row!!!!! UTF

  2. Their goal was very inconclusive at best, so quite how the linesman could of been that certain is beyond me. That said, the officials were dreadful, no surprises there, we're used to that this season, 9 out 10 have been pretty average at best. It seems elbowing someone in the face is only a yellow card, I didn't think the "foul" on Arter, was any more than 2 players going for the ball, and blocking each other. That said, we've seen AFCB players sent off for similar. Leicester players were allowed to tackle right through our players. So all in all, I don't mind losing the game, it's losing when it's not an even playing field that bugs me. Certainly, Camp made some sensational saves, you can argue they could of won by several goals, but they didn't, it was by several, no, many dubious decisions, plus a dubious goal IMHO, but as we know from last season, those going up, get the rub of the green. We move on to Bolton!!! UTCIAD

    1. Inconclusive!!!!!?? Have you not seen the various pictures showing that the ball was clearly over the line? All a majority of afcb fans seem to do is moan and blame the officials for the defeat. Maybe you should look at your inability to do anything productive with the ball in the final third. You gave lcfc a decent game and credit to afcb but you rarely threatened Schmeichels goal. On the other hand, your keeper was rightly the MOM. And trust me, lcfc have their fair share of dubious officials and poor decisions against, it happens to everyone as the standard of refereeing in this league is poor so dont feel as if it's just poor ole Bournemouth that are hard done by. And how did city win by several dubious decisions? The ball was over the prove that. So..accept defeat graciously and move on.

  3. "All a majority of afcb fans seem to do is moan and blame the officials for the me, lcfc have their fair share of dubious officials and poor decisions against"

    Thanks for that lesson in hypocrisy.

  4. How is that hypocrisy? It doesnt blame any defeats on poor officiating, nor is it moaning about them, it is just a statement of fact that lcfc also have poor decisions against them.