Sunday, 27 April 2014

Cherries sign-off at home with great display to stun Forest 4-1

Match Report
AFCB 4 v1 Nottingham Forest
26 April 2014
Attendance: 11,021

AFCB v Forest at Dean Court.
Tommy Elphick and Danny Collins at the coin toss.
You might  have though that  recent results would have left their mark on the Cherries as they had nothing to really play for in this last home game having seen their play-off chances virtually disappear on Friday night. That wasn't the case though. While there was plenty of silverware being handed out to Simon Francis and Lewis Grabban for their performances over the season there was still plenty of business to do. The Cherries came out all fired up against a Forest team who were still in the play-off hunt, but were lacking in fight and creativity. Bournemouth dominated this game and showed just why they are a team that could well do even better next season. They simply passed Forest off the pitch and 4-1 was just reward for their superiority.

More pictures are available to see on Match Day Gallery.

Here we go.
Eddie Howe rested Charlie Daniels and Elliot Ward was left out of the squad, so it is likely that he picked up a knock in training during the week or at the last game against Ipswich. This changes allowed Ian Harte and Tommy Elphick back into the starting line up, while the bench included Coulibaly and Arter.

Gary Brazil brought in Lee Peltier to the Forest starting line up as Jamie Paterson did not travel, while Evtimov and Cox were brought into the subs.

First Half
From the start the AFCB players drew on the support of the home crowd and set about their game at a high work rate. O'Kane was making the early play while Halford, Derbyshire and Osborn did their best to frustrate. The first shot come on two minutes with O'Kane finding Ritchie who fired just a foot wide of the post. Ritchie then almost got played in by Grabban as the Forest defence started shakily. 

Camp also had an early shock when Derbyshire closed down a clearance of his but it went straight out for a goal kick. With play going end to end in the first 10 minutes we saw Jamie Mackie and David Vaughan on the right side working well with Peltier and Osborn. Grabban always on the last man and was given offside from an early ball up the field from Cook. A moment later Peltier put a back pass in that de Vries had trouble keeping in play on the back line and looked just pleased to get it clear in the end.

Dorus de Vries was then called into greater action as Grabban escaped up the right side of the box and fired in a shot that hit the keeper full on from point blank range and went out for a corner on 10 minutes. Bournemouth were stringing together good passages of play now and every one in red and black was getting a touch of the ball. Ritchie's touches and flicks were coming off and Surman was always finding space and making himself available. It was like clockwork at time with the interchange of players moving from one position to another seamlessly and it was not easy for Forest to cope with at times. Peltier was perhaps doing best to get a foot in while Derbyshire kept chasing up front. 

Forest first chance came with Ritchie giving the ball away and Derbyshire breaking on the right and making a good pass to McLaughlin who shot well wide from the D on the edge of the box after 21 minutes. This was a period when Forest were having more joy though. Pugh was caught in possession and Cook and Francis were clearing up from the attentions of Matt Derbyshire.    

Mackie and Vaughan started to see more of the ball but Forest's best player at this moment was the captain Collins, at centre back, who was kept busy with Kermorgant who seemed to be on the end of most of his challenges that often left him on the deck. Steve Cook came forward trying to carry the ball out of defence and played Surman a good ball who struck his shot past the left post as we neared 30 minutes play.

Ritchie was not letting Harding at left back settle on the ball and he went in hard on him, which the referee gave him a talking to about. Mackie was starting to do well against Harte and Surman and his cross  to Vaughan who tried to get Harding in, but AFCB were quick to snuff out the danger. Bournemouth's next attack saw Grabban fire over. 

Forest came back well with Harding and McLaughlin winning a corner down forest's left wing Osborn took the kick which bounced in the box before Elphick cleared. AFCB were back on the attack and Pugh screwed his shot off target on 38 minutes.

The first goal looked certain to come though when Derbyshire was played in over the top from Forest's right side. The assistant referee was so far behind play he had no idea if he was off side of not but he seemed to be in acres of space and clean through on Camp. But Lee stood tall and put out a right boot that saw the shot deflect away. AFCB were still trying to get the lead as well though and Grabban was next to fire a shot wide on 39 minutes.

Another Forest break with Mackie went out of play and Cook took a throw up to Kermorgant who beat Collins in the air. O'Kane and Grabban then took things on and Francis came up on the right and flashed a cross in from the byline on the right having beaten his man and Yann Kermorgant was there, on the far post, to nod home a simple finish that put the Cherries 1-0 up on 42 minutes. AFCB held the lead and went in at half time one goal to the good.

Half time fun.
Cherry Bear in goal.
Second Half
O'Kane won an early free kick as Bournemouth looked to strike early in the second half. The Cherries were in full flow again with Kermorgant and Grabban working well on the right. O'Kane then had a shot before the ball fell to Grabban and it was 2-0 as Grabban notched up his 21st goal of the season with a low shot across the keeper to the bottom right corner on 47 minutes.

If that was excitement then Kermorgant almost took everyone's breath away a minute later when he went for an audacious chip from 40 yards out that had de Vries scrambling back on to his line where he caught the ball just in front of the line, with the assistant referee still trying to catch up with play. 

AFCB won a corner next while Kermorgant was downed by Halford off the ball. Forest were reassembling themselves and Vaughan had a good effort on about 53 minutes, again wide of the target though. Francis was pulled up just afterwards when he slipped and handled the ball in front of Derbyshire. A free kick was given on Forest's left wing as the kicker crept the ball forward about 5 yards from where the incident took place. The kick was swung in and as we have see so often the Cherries failed to mark up well enough and from a set play Forest struck back with a header from Halford on 56 minutes.

The Cherries were not to be discouraged though and even while the Forest fans sung Peltier and Vaughan were unable to keep possession and the pattern soon reverted to the Cherries back on the ball. Pugh was putting in crosses that had Collins and de Vries in a tizz more than once and Ritchie shot wide on the hour mark.

Lascelles was finally given a yellow card for taking Kermorgant out yet again and Ritchie almost profited from a ball lofted into the box that de Vries just managed to get to first. Pugh again caused havoc with a cross that Collins headed over as the Cherries looked to extend their lead.

Forest's passing was not as crisp and while Vaughan was doing okay, Osborn was wayward at times. Surman and O'Kane were looking more threatening as they tried to find a killer ball for Grabban or Kermorgant.

Forest made a sub on 64 minutes with Lascelles replaced by Jara. Francis showed his spirit with a good sliding tackle on McLaughlin as Forest came forward again. They won a corner on 67 minutes which saw Peltier and then Halford with the chance but it went over.

The 68th minute saw another Forest sub as Cox came on for Vaughan. Yann Kermorgant made a good interception while doing some defending and that sent Ritchie off on a run. Surman, Kermorgant and O'Kane got on the ball before Pugh took the ball into the box and his quick turn caught out Jara who tripped him and the referee point to the spot. It was no problem for Grabban who took a short run up and fired the Cherries 3-1 up which was no more than their play had deserved.

Forest could see their play-off dreams fading now and Henderson was brought on for McLaughlin as Gary Brazil looked to find a way back with 17 minutes left. Harding fouled Ritchie once too often and went in the book. Ritchie then swapped over to the left side for a bit before Jara made a clearance. Grabban was caught offside soon after and Forest's next attack ended with Simon Cox shooting from distance that almost caught Camp off guard but he kept it out. 

There was a better chance with Jara finding Osborn whose cross come shot was just kept out on the near post by Camp. No one made an good enough effort for a header from the corner and AFCB escaped again.

Ritchie almost got in the clear on 77 minutes when facing Harding and got into the box before going down. But he was judged to have been pulling a Forest shirt and the kick went the other way. Forest had the ball in the back of the net in the last 10 minutes as Peltier and Cox set up Derbyshire but he was offside and the goal was disallowed.

Pugh was then subbed for Fraser on 81 minutes. Another corner for Forest again went over everyone and Rantie came on for Grabban with five minutes to go. A break by Fraser who went down in the box was not given as a penalty although he was pushed in the back by Peltier, but just went over too easy.

Cook then picked up a yellow card for a foul on Mackie. It was still Bournemouth pressing though and Ritchie went for a curler from the left wing that de Vries collected easily. Elphick and Cook were still making blocks at the other end and when Francis made a clearance, Ritchie, Kermorgant and O'Kane soon had Forest on their heels again. This time O'Kane and then Rantie in the box kept the move going until Kermorgant put the ball into the net to make it 4-1. Job done! Forest had been blown away.

While Coulibaly came on for Ritchie there were no more major dramas as AFCB recorded yet another home win and could start to celebrate what has been a great season for the south coast Championship newcomers.
And the score did not flatter the Cherries - it could have been more.

Fans celebrate a great season for the Cherries.
The Cherries were in no mood to let Forest have much of the ball. They worked extremely hard at keeping possession and making their triangles work to good effect. On the break Simon Francis is a truly awesome player and he will always find a willing finisher in Kermorgant, while Grabban has really looked like a forward who enjoys the Championship and the pressure it brings. I expected this to be a difficult game but in truth Forest were no match for the Cherries who looked by far the better team. If Derbyshire had taken his early chance in the first half perhaps things would have been different, but you have to praise Lee Camp for keeping the ball out. Bournemouth still don't seem to be able to stop enough dead ball situations from causing problems in the box and Eddie Howe will be asking why Forest scored from their free kick just like Ipswich did last week? But there were far more positives from this performance and a top 10 finish looks on the cards for the Cherries if they can put in one more big performance at Millwall.

Match Highlights

Pitch invasion.
The North stand.
Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Harte, Ritchie (Coulibaly 92), O'Kane, Surman, Pugh (Fraser 82), Kermorgant, Grabban (Rantie 85)

Allsop,Rantie, Coulibaly, Daniels, Smith, Arter, Fraser

AFCB  Ratings
Camp 8, Francis 8, Cook 8, Elphick 7, Harte 7, Ritchie 8, O'Kane 8, Surman 8, Pugh 7, Kermorgant 9, Grabban 8

Nottingham Forest
de Vries,Harding, Collins, Mackie, Halford, Lascelles (Jara 65),Vaughan (Cox 69), Derbyshire, McLaughlin (Henderson 73), Pelteir, Osborn.

Forest Subs
Evtimov, Henderson, Greening,Jara, Tudgay,Majewski, Cox
AFCB supporters look to get near the players.

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