Monday, 17 March 2014

Boro game - a point gained?

If you look at the stats of the Middlesbrough match you might be slightly surprised how dominant the Cherries really were without seeming to create that much. I thought it was a hard contested game with both teams looking unlikely to concede, especially having seen the kind of game it was after the first 45 minutes. AFCB ended up though with possession stats of 65 per cent and 18 shots compared to five. Of course it's shots on target that we want though and AFCB only managed 3 in the 95 minutes and Boro managed just 1.
The Cherries had to settle for a point against Boro, but was it a good point?
When you consider that Middlesbrough only forced Lee Camp to make one save you have to say that the Cherries are doing extremely well. Yes, they need to be better in front of goal at times and it's not just about holding these teams but also being creative enough to make openings, but Boro came with an intent to get at Bournemouth from the start and stop the team building up any momentum by preventing them from playing out from the back. On another day it could have worked better for Boro but the longer the game went on it was Bournemouth that were pressing for the win.

We can rue the referee's decision to disallow what looked like a perfectly good goal from Lewis Grabban in the first half, but these things happen. Had either Andrew Surman or Simon Francis' shots gone in the Cherries would have been really a team that were showing promotional form. There is no shame though in getting a draw against Boro who may well be a team looking to do better in the not too distant future. Bournemouth were more than a match for them and that shows progress to me. 

Had Boro come and played with more ambition it would have left more gaps for the Cherries to exploit and in the team's current vein of form Aitor Kananka did not need to take that risk playing away from home. I think it was a good point for both teams and as the Cherries run is extended to four games it gives them added belief to go into the Charlton game knowing that they are still a very hard team to beat and knowing that Charlton really have to come out and play. So hopefully the Cherries have a good chance of getting back to winning ways on Tuesday.

While Boro was not that goal busting extravaganza that we all hoped for, it was a valuable point that gives AFCB room to make a couple of changes to the team if Eddie Howe wants to try something else at the sharp end, knowing that his back four are still keeping the goals out at the other end.

Michael Dunne has been recording another Kangaroo Court with Duncan Graham as they mull over the only goalless draw of AFCB's season so far. You can visit All Departments website to hear the podcast or scroll down the right hand panel to the All Departments' sound bar and listen on this site. 

Pictures of Dean Court and the build up to last Saturday's game can be seen at Match Day Gallery.

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