Monday, 23 March 2015

Another top six team finally beaten by AFCB

The Cherries have not had the best of records against the top six sides even if they have not been beaten too often by other teams. The win against Middlesbrough though was a huge win as it showed that the Cherries are one of the teams fighting for automatic promotion and that they have what it takes to go all the way. If the Cherries had won just a few more of these crunch battles they could have been well clear by now, but it hasn't really happened in some of the key confrontations with other top six teams.
Middlesbrough drop to third after AFCB's win over them.
AFCB are starting to get a few points in crunch matches now.
I am not sure why that is exactly. The draw up at the Riverside earlier in the season was certainly a good point gained at the time and I still think Eddie would feel that about that game now. Watford away was another good point but certainly a game that the Cherries dominated and if they had have seen Ian Harte tuck away the early penalty on that day it would have been an easier game than it turned out to be. Norwich away was also a good point and was the game with probably the best team goal in it for the season when Callum Wilson finished off a fabulous 31 pass move. 

It was a hard lesson learnt up at Derby where the team almost held out until the last 10 minutes when events went against the Cherries, but I felt that AFCB were stronger when they played Derby at Dean Court and were unfortunate not to take all three points that day. The 2-2 draw with Ipswich at dean Court in November was a tough game, but again AFCB played the better football without getting the result. The battles with other promotion chasing teams had been fairly good, but the defeat to Norwich at home in January was a bit of a wake up call. The Cherries have to play on the front foot and keep playing that way to get results and the quality of some of the players in the Championship is good enough to upset the best even when they might only have 10 men on the pitch.

So before the Middlesbrough match, the Cherries had only beaten 10-man Watford at the Goldsands stadium out of the promotion chasers this season if you discount Brentford who have just slipped out of the top six. It was time that the lads took more points off one of the other strong teams and the way they did it to go back to the top of the league again will hopefully help them to stay there this time. So out of the nine games that AFCB have played against the other current top six sides they have accumulated 11 points, but if you tot up our rivals totals against the top six you might be surprised that AFCB have not done the worst of the top six in these games.

Watford undoubtedly punish lower teams well as do AFCB, while Norwich are the big game specialists. Watford amazingly only have a total of two points from the eight games they have played against other top six sides - they have Derby and Middlesbrough in their next two games. Norwich are by far the best team in the big games having won 18 points from their nine games so far with just Middlesbrough for them to face on 17 April. Middlesbrough have won 14 points from their eight games and have Norwich and Watford to play both away. Ipswich have secured 14 points from their nine games with just AFCB to play in their next game at home. Luckily Tyrone Mings picked up his 10th yellow card in the match against Watford and I expect that rules him out of facing AFCB in the next match. Finally, Derby have won 12 points with just Watford left to face in their next match. 

All Departments has released its latest podcast to review AFCB's 3-0 win against Middlesbrough. Visit the All Departments' website or scroll down the right side panel to the All Departments' logo and click on the sound bar to listen.

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