Sunday, 2 March 2014

Oh please Kerm again to Dean Court Doncaster 5:0

Match Report
AFCB 5 v 0 Doncaster Riovers
1 March 2014
Attendance 8983

It was billed as a must win game for both teams and yet I am struggling to remember such a one sided game at Dean Court in the last year. This was not a close game as had been predicted by so many but a demolition of a team that had not yet found its feet in the Championship against another that has fully adjusted and has finally grown some teeth in front of goal. If the score had been six, seven or eight nil, Paul Dickov still could not have moaned, because his side were out passed, out fought and out scored in a dazzling display that even caused him to shake hands with Yann Kermorgant when he was subbed after scoring his first hat-trick for the Cherries in his first home start at Dean Court.
All systems go, AFCB and Doncaster line up for the game with the mascots behind.
Eddie Howe had decided not to play Tokelo Rantie from the start and removed the South African international to the bench to let Kermorgant have his start, while Ryan Fraser came in for Marc Pugh on the wing. 

Alexander Mawhinney borrowed a shirt from fellow AFCB supporter Deklan Hill so
that he could be an AFCB mascot for the Doncaster game. Thanks to all those who
offered to help out Alexander, I get the feeling he had a good day.
Catch up on more pictures from the scenes at Dean Court yesterday by visiting Match Day Gallery.

With Doncaster's dog mascot and Cherry Bear having stretched their limbs and an eager home crowd looking pensive over what the afternoon might bring, the two teams began proceedings and if you were expecting a physical battle, the early signs backed that up as Kermorgant hit the deck quickly as Doncaster's centre halves made their presence felt.

It was Ryan Fraser that was buzzing around the fastest though and provided a good cross as early as the third minute that Kermorgant headed straight at Sam Johnstone in Doncaster's goal. While I looked to work out Donny's formation, it appeared that it was a 4-4-2 with Brown and Wellens most forward. Doncaster soon got into their stride with Coppinger on the left wing working with Richie Wellens, but Jordan Bowery was caught offside.

While AFCB were careful in possession at the back with Cook and Elphick they were looking to spring Grabban and Fraser early when they could and Grabban was next to be flagged offside after Arter's good work to rob James Coppinger of the ball.

Coppinger and Wellens were looking the most lively of Doncaster's players in the early stages, but they were being kept out of the Cherries box and Dean Furman was the first to have a shot from outside the area which was high and wide on 10 minutes.

Ritchie then had his shot deflected and Grabban retrieved the ball  for Francis before seeing Doncaster clear again. Meanwhile Elphick was quickly on Wellens when he made the break. The first real hairy moment for Doncaster's keeper came on 13 minutes when he raced out to stop Grabban getting on the end of a pass from Arter. A moment later it was Fraser who did a great one-two on the edge of the box but he hit his shot straight at the keeper having got into the box. The corner went over Kermorgant and out of play.

Doncaster saw Husband getting more into the game as the left back pushed forward. Brown and Coppinger were unable to build on his play though and after a Ritchie clearance then put the Cherries on the attack with Surman having a shot tipped over. Fraser did a neat turn but he also found his shot blocked.

Some 20 minutes had passed by and Bournemouth were starting to get control. Surman was getting his foot in frequently, winning the ball back and setting up play and he even blasted a thunder bolt off that would have taken the net off had it been on target but it smashed its way into the South stand. A second later it was Kermorgant who shot wide.

Elphick was still having an aerial struggle with Brown and when Camp released the ball quickly Meite and Johnstone were soon under great pressure from Kermorgant. Elphick was less pleased when Francis tried a back pass that was a bit close for comfort with Brown lurking, but he got away with it.

The physical contest caught up with Fraser though as he was brought down by Keegan who picked up the first yellow card on 24 minutes. It was Ritchie then who had a shot deflected in the box and a corner was won. AFCB's had a one-two that broke down but a cross from the Ian Harter left found its way to Kermorgant off a Doncaster head. He was unmarked in the box and he did not hesitate to finish instinctively by directing the ball at goal and under the keeper's legs to make it 1-0. The Cherries had that vital first goal after 25 minutes.

While we celebrated in the stand Surman and Francis almost played Fraser in. It was Surman then who was brought down inside the box and we screamed penalty and yet the assistant referee and referee did not even give it a moments thought, waving away any protest. Not surprisingly the "you're not fit to referee chants," were shouted out.

Brown then fouled Arter and AFCB had a free kick, but no yellow card for Brown. The game slowed a little up to the half hour mark but the Cherries always looked dangerous with Ryan Fraser on the left wing. But it was Ian Harte after some glory when he had a bash from distance that was well wide.

Fraser was still picking up free kicks and Ritchie was putting in some good crosses, while Grabban almost ran on to an Arter pass that saw Johnstone coming racing out again, jumping in ahead of the forward to clear. Ritchie was next to win a free kick as AFCB pushed Doncaster back. 

A Doncaster break with Khumalo and Husband saw Furman head wide on 39 minutes, but Bournemouth were just about to turn the screw. Fraser and Kermorgant linked up again and the wee man found himself in the box and in the clear and he struck his shot from around 14 yards to the right side of the goal but Johnstone made a finger tip save which was simply magnificent. 41 minutes had gone and 1-0 would be a slender lead to take in at the break, but while the corner led to nothing the score was about to be doubled.

A Ritchie cross on the right was blocked, but Francis was right behind him and his cross curled into the box and there was Yann Kermorgant to head home a 2-0 lead on 43 minutes. Ecstasy for the home crowd. This game we sensed was ours.

As if to underline that Grabban almost stole in from the restart. But we were happy enough at 2-0 as the half time whistle went.

Half time and the Cherriets keep the entertainment going.
Second half
Paul Dickov made two subs at half time to try and stem the tide. On came Coterill and Robinson for Furman and Bowery. Arter gave away a free kick on Cotterill but Doncaster lost the ball and Grabban was caught offside. Meite made a great tackle on Grabban on 48 minutes, but AFCB were pushing for more goals.

While Ritchie was getting stuck in at the corner, the ball eventually came out and when Bournemouth found their shots blocked in the area the ball kindly fell to Arter on the edge of the area and he made no mistake, burying the ball in the back of the net with a superb rocket of a strike on 50 minutes, 3-0.

I think most AFCB supporters were now fully relaxed and just enjoying the entertainment from this point on. The first thing to enjoy was Steve Cook's kind of tackle when he slipped on his backside but still recovered well enough not once but twice to make crucial interceptions. Robinson was a bit bewildered quite how he had out foxed him.

Simon Francis went down for a moment, much to Doncaster's annoyance as they were on a good break. But it had taken the referee ages before he had stopped play. Tamas then picked up a yellow card for a foul on Fraser. Grabban was still running strongly while getting his shirt tugged by Meite.   

AFCB were dominating play and Doncaster did not seem to have an answer. The main solution was for Johnstone to come out and kick poorly to clear or for their midfield to just try and stop the balls being passed through them. Bournemouth's passing though was crisp and fast and a real pleasure to watch. Grabban was getting caught offside fairly frequently as he sought to get on the score sheet, while Khumalo was another Doncaster player to pick up a yellow card.

Surman was still doing much of the hard and unglamourous work but he was also getting forwards and won a corner on 64 minutes, having seen Fraser and Ritchie not quite get away from a ball over the top Surman had just tried a shot from distance. Cook received treatment for a facial injury on 68 minutes, but there was no way he was coming off.

Kermorgant got clipped and it looked like a Doncaster player would get away with it, but the fourth official came on to explain to the ref that there had been some afters. It did not affect the Frenchman though as he steamed into the box to meet Francis' cross from the right to make it a memorable hat-trick and a 4-0 scoreline on 73 minutes. It was party time now.

Doncaster were going to give it one last go with a right wing cross from Tamas and then a shot from Robinson. AFCB had fresh legs to bring on though and Rantie came on for Kermorgant while Pugh replaced Fraser, both on 75 minutes. By now Johnstone's kicking was a source of amusement for most of the home crowd who were pleased to remind him of "that's why your going down, with Yeovil."

Cook and Harte were starting to enjoy themselves in coming forward now. While Doncaster were still working hard Cotterill and Coppinger could not make any inroads and Brown's shots were getting blocked.

Rantie's introduction did not fail to disappoint. He skinned Doncaster's defenders with glee and was probably the last thing they needed to see. Ritchie was finding lots of space again and while he got in a shooting position he tried to feed Grabban before Khumalo got a despairing last ditch interception in for a corner. The Keeper's punch out fell to hot shot Harry Arter on 80 minutes and he blazed in his second to take the Cherries into a 5-0 lead!

Time for Mr Coulibaly to come on and Grabban retired from the match on 81 minutes. Coulibaly some how won a corner when up against Khumalo even if it should have been a goal kick, but we weren't complaining after the decisions that had gone against the Cherries in the last few games.

Arter found Rantie in acres of space next but TK sadly pulled his shot wide, much to his frustration. Pugh was playing his part on the right wing with Ritchie tucked inside and Coulibaly on the left wing. Everywhere you looked AFCB had attacking options and you wondered what Paul Dickov could possibly be thinking - blow the whistle?

He did not have much longer to wait. While Robinson tried a long range shot on 89 minutes that went well wide, only four minutes of extra time went up which was probably kind to Donny. AFCB fans still shouted out "We want six" which is not something you hear often at Dean Court. They almost got their way as well when Rantie found space and got on the end of a Pugh pass only to blast his shot over from inside the box. Perhaps he will do better against Brazil next week? For this game though the match was well and truly over as a contest. It was an emphatic three points to the Cherries. 

This was the Cherries most complete performance of the season. The hummed and purred and at times you wondered can they really ever play any better than this? Doncaster may not have been the stiffest of opposition but they did not want to be on the end of a thrashing like that. They kept trying but were simply overwhelmed by the speed, creativity, power and accuracy of AFCB's finishing. There was a clean sheet as well and Lee Camp's spectator watch may need him to bring a comb and a mirror next week just to give him something to do during the 90 minutes.

When you think that O'Kane was not even introduced and Kermorgant looked like playing with AFCB was the most natural thing in the world, AFCB really clicked today. We have waited a long time to see the team mature to such a standard but everyone of them was a credit to themselves, the manager and the shirt. The three points is massive but the performance was historic. 
Now that's a score you don't see every day at Dean Court.

Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Harte, Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Fraser, Kermorgant, Grabban

Allsop, Smith, Coulibably, Pugh, Pitman, Rantie, O'Kane

AFCB Ratings
Camp 7, Francis 7, Elphick 8, Cook 7, Harte 7, Ritchie 7, Arter 8, Surman 8, Fraser 8 (Pugh75), Kermorgant 9 (Rantie 75), Grabban 7 (Coulibably 80).
Doncaster Rovers
Johnstone, Tamas, Husband, Wellens, Khumalo, Meite, Keegan, Furman (Cotterill 45), Brown, Coppinger, Bowery (Robinson 45)

Doncaster Subs
McCullough, Maxted, De Val, Cotterill, Robinson, Peterson, Stevens

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