Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Forest inflict first defeat on Cherries (Gallery + Fan videos)

Match Report

AFCB 1 v 2 Nottingham Forest
19 August 2014

Attendance: 10,768

Karl Darlow kept AFCB at bay with some great saves.
Two second half goals from Britt Assombalonga and Matt Fryatt for Nottingham Forest sent them to the top of the table while the Cherries had to scratch their heads in wondering how they had lost this game. For 45 minutes AFCB bossed the match, in front of a packed Dean Court, and the only question was how had they not scored when the two teams went in at half time all square at nil-nil. Only a heroic display by on loan Newcastle Utd keeper Karl Darlow had the Cherries and Adam Smith in particular out, while Forest had simply been overwhelmed in the first half by Bournemouth's best 45 minutes of the season so far. But goals are what count and while the Cherries took the lead with a deserved goal on the balance of play after 57 minutes when Callum Wilson swept in from close range, Forest scored two goals in the space of five minutes to go top of the Championship.

Forest players get ready.
Final moments before kick off.
Match Day Gallery now has more photographs from the evening.

Eddie Howe made two changes to the starting line up as Simon Francis was said to have a thigh strain and Marc Pugh was moved to the bench. That meant in came Adam Smith for a rare home start and Junior Stanislas first home league start in a Cherries' shirt. Baily Cargill won a place on the bench, but did not manage to get on.

The first half was really a pleasure to watch for Bournemouth fans as they saw their side play some stunning football which had the Forest fans go quiet very quickly. The corner count got underway after just four minutes and they continued coming Bournemouth;s way. Cook went close early on with a header from one of the corners but it was Adam Smith who was the outstanding player of the first half, racing up the right wing causing Darlow to narrow the angle and save Smith's shot at his near post on 12 minutes. O'Kane followed up from the corner but side footed his shot straight at Darlow. A minute later Wilson had his shot blocked as Bournemouth started to turn up the pace.

After a Ritchie free kick that looked like it glanced off the post, Arter was next to see his shot saved. Most of Forest's play was being limited to Michail Antonio's short forays on the left wing, but he was constantly being out done by Smith and Ritchie. One of AFCB's best moves came after 21 minutes when Forest were cut open with a swift set of passes that put Ritchie through on goal but he hammered his shot against the tall figure of Darlow who was proving unbeatable. The home crowd was rocking by this point as it was a display so much improved from the last home performance against Brentford. 

Arter was again trying to get on the score sheet with an attempt that went well over after a knock down. Forest started to get more ball through Daniel Fox and Chris Cohen in midfield as they got more to grips with things and Chris Burke started to get more involved on Forest's right wing. Danny Fox picked up the first yellow after a foul on Ricthie when other tackles had perhaps been worse. Forest's best chance of the half fell to their new number 9, Britt Assombalonga after Antonio had sent a cross in from the left but he could only head over from near the penalty spot. As 40 minutes approached, Adam Smith again found himself through on goal and could not beat Darlow, and so it was 0-0 at half time.

Half time Chimes Fan Cam

Damian Garner is first up with his first half reaction.

Barry Smith adds some more comments on the Cherries first half performance.

The second half saw forest make two subs as off went Fox and Antonio who were replaced by Hunt and Osborn. Forest immediately seemed to have a better shape about them and for the first five minutes of this half had far more of the ball and pushed Bournemouth back. Callum Wilson was proving a handful and jack Hobbs had to marshal him away from goal with a strong challenge. For all AFCB's good play though they had not scored and Andy Reid was starting to have more influence on proceedings. Michael Mancienne was also having a good game for Forest at the back  But he could not do much about AFCB taking the lead on 57 minutes when Ritchie sent a ball into the box from the left and Wilson beat Mancienne to it, flicking it high into the air, before winning a header and seeing the ball come back to him after Kermorgant and Burke, I believe, had tried to reach the ball and he had a simple task of scoring with the keeper already on the deck.

It could have been 2-0 shortly after when Arter played a good ball through to Kermorgant but rather than shoot, the Frenchman decided to try and cross the ball to Wilson on the right hand side of the box but over hit the cross and the chance had gone. It was an important moment of the game as things changed very quickly not long after that. While jack Hunt received a yellow card and Cook went close again with a glancing header that he just did not get enough on from a corner, Forest won a free kick on the left  side with Ritchie give a yellow card. From Reid's free kick Assombalonga rose well at the far side of the goal and headed downwards into the goal, although from where we sat it had looked like O'Kane had got the final touch.

That was all Forest needed to have the belief to go on to win the game. Osborn and Hunt's fresh legs were really helping Forest's momentum and while we were contemplating who Eddie Howe should bring on a move down Bournemouth's left side saw a cross put in by Hunt and at the far post Fryatt easily out leaped Smith to head in and make it 1-2 to the visitors!

Seventy-two minutes had gone and there was still time for things to change, and Pugh and Fraser were soon ready to replace Ritchie and Stanislas. Chances still came the Cherries way with Yann Kermorgant sending Wilson almost grabbing an equaliser before Darlow claimed the ball near the goal line. Arter was then subbed as AFCB went three at the back and Rantie joined the attackers. Tokelo had a great run where he sped away from players and raced into a shooting position, but Darlow again kept the Cherries out. Cook also picked up a yellow card for a push on Assombalonga when he wanted to take a free kick quickly, but even as 90 minuted clicked over Forest were eating up time with their last sub as Reid seemed to find the trauma of running 20 yards more like a marathon with his 2 inch walking gate.

If any one was going to score in the last gasps of the game though it looked like Forest as Assombalonga raced through only to see his shot deflected and hit the side netting.Forest had done enough though by weathering the Cherries first half storm and putting away their two chances. It was a 1-2 home defeat.

Forest win out this time.
A hard fought game.
I think many AFCB supporters were left numb by the scoreline as the team had played so well and looked very comfortable for most of the match. However, two headers had sealed Forest's win and the power of the midlands side was what seemed to tell in the end. Perhaps AFCB's subs should have come on a bit earlier but the side had been on top for most of the match and if Kermorgant had decided to shoot instead of pass after the first goal things might have turned out differently. As it was Forest grew into the match and did not drop their heads when they went behind. It will be a big morale booster for them but AFCB have nothing to be overly disheartened about this performance. It is early days and they dominated Stuart Pearce's side for long periods, now they have to look to sharpen their goal scoring and keep working to get back to clean sheets.
Eddie gracious as ever.
Darlow heads off with team mates after Forest win.
Camp, Smith, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, O'Kane, Arter (Rantie 80), Stanislas (Pugh 75), Ritchie (Fraser 75), Kermorgant, Wilson

Flahavan, Cargill, Gosling, Fraser, Pugh, Rantie, Harte

AFCB ratings
Camp 6, Smith 8, Elphick 8, Cook 7, Daniels 6, O'Kane 7, Arter 6, Stanislas 6, Ritchie 7, Kermorgant 7, Wilson 7.

Darlow, Lichaj, Fox (Hunt 45 ), Cohen, Hobbs, Mancienne, Burke, Reid (McLaughlin 90), Assombologa, Fryatt, Antonio (Osborn 45) 

Forest Subs
Harding, Weldwjik, Hunt, Osborn, McLaughlin, Paterson, de Vries

Ref watch: Kevin Friend 5/10

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