Sunday, 19 April 2015

Cherries let win slip from grasp as Owls snatch 2-2 draw

Match Report
AFCB 2 v 2 Sheffield Wednesday 
18 April 2015
Attendance: 11,280
Don't you just hate it when the men in black have a bad day!
Nobody said the last three games for the Cherries would be easy. This game turned out to be one of the hardest that the Cherries have had in the run-in and AFCB fans should give credit to Sheffield Wednesday for that. Poor refereeing decisions, hyper frustration and nerves all added to the atmosphere while for the first 45 minutes there was very little that was working well for the Cherries. An early headed goal for the visitors from Kieran Lee was not the worst of it as the Cherries were struggling to get any rhythm to their passing, and it was not until the end of the half when Harry Arter fired a vicious shot that Chris Kirkland turned over with a one handed save that it appeared that AFCB fans had something to shout about. The pressure was always going to fall on Sheffield Wednesday at some point though and when Yann Kermorgant headed the Cherries level the atmosphere changed. Now the home fans were in full voice and a Matt Ritchie special free kick strike sent them delirious knowing that the Cherries were on their way to three more points, but an extra time foul by Adam Smith on Atdhe Nuhiu gave Chris Maguire the chance to level the game from 12 yards and a severe promotion blow had been landed on the Cherries.
The Cherries prepare for another crucial 90 plus minutes in their season.
Steve and Sue have been enjoying AFCB's season.
There were no changes to the Cherries side from the Reading game and the mood was optimistic as the Cherries knew that three wins would guarantee them the title. By the end of the day the players would know that they were still in charge of their destiny for automatic promotion, but they would now need something to go their way now elsewhere if they are to become Champions. 

There were three changes for For Sheffield Wednesday, Sam Hutchinson and Chris Maguire came into the side and Kieran Westwood was injured in the warm up and was replaced by Chris Kirkland for the match. 

There are more pictures of the day on Match Day Gallery.

Tom and Trevor on Sheffield Wednesday before the match.

Sheffield Wednesday - another team that don't like to have shirts with visible numbers!
First Half
The match began with almost an immediate yellow card for Lloyd Isgrove as he clattered into Matt Ritchie. AFCB settled well and won an early corner with Simon Francis in lively form on the right, but this was going to be a physical test with Yann Kermorgant was next to go down after bumping into Sam Hutchinson and Filipe Melo. AFCB started to up the pace and Kermorgant had a blocked shot before Francis' early cross was just too high for Callum Wilson who had charged into the box trying to get on the end of it.

Sheffield Wednesday were playing best down their right side with Chirs Maguire making forceful runs. But while the Owls were getting into the game Sam Hutchinson made a late lunge on Charlie Daniels and came off worst and had to hobble off with the help of two assistants. It took an age to get him off the pitch - perhaps someone had misplaced the stretchers! He was subbed for Jaques Maghoma and on we went.

Matt Ritchie was shooting on site but sadly much too high. On 20 minutes he tried something else, Arter ran inside and played Ritchie in towards goal only for Kirkland spread himself at the wingers feet before he could score. Arter was starting to look dangerous playing around the Wednesday box and tried a reverse pass to Kermorgant but it was too strong for Yann to run on to and Kirkland got their first.

Things started to go array after 22 minutes when Charlie Daniels looked to switch play from one side to the other and gave Ritchie no chance of collecting the ball. While the Cherries tried to next play the ball out from the back switching from Elphick and Cook to Daniels, Maguire closed in on Daniels and his pass back to Cook left Maghoma right o top of him and Cook's clearance rebounded off Mahoma who found himself free with just Boruc to beat. Luckily Boruc made a fine save before another shot from Kieran Lee was hastily cleared off the line by Tommy Elphick who had gone back to cover. With Boruc now stranded and two AFCB players on the goal line, Sheffield Wednesday managed to mess up with Maghoma pirouetting in search of the ball that had vanished from his beside his feet. It was a huge wake up call for the Cherries.

The Cherries looked rocked and when Arter also lost the ball to Mahoma and gave away a corner his frustration was seen by him kicking the post in disgust. Luckily Kamil Zayatte headed wide. AFCB's best hoped seemed to be to get Wilson running at the Owl's back four but he was getting flagged for offside. Steve Cook then picked up a yellow for taking down Maghoma.

With 35 minutes gone AFCB had not really tested Kirkland, but Boruc was seeing far too much action. A cross field ball from Lee to the right wing gave Buxton the chance to put in a deep cross and it was met by Lee at full pelt and his header rocketed past Artur Boruc into the top right corner to put Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 up on 36 minutes.

Sheffield Wednesday's fans were in raptures of joy and it was all too painful for AFCB fans. Maguire snapped in a big tackle on Yann Kermorgant and it was followed by an equally big tackle on him by Tommy Elphick. The captain was willing his side to get into gear and showing them how. The message was well received by the team as they passed their way up the field and around the Wednesday box until Arter let a thunderbolt of a shot go that had Kirkland scrabbling to keep the ball out from under the bar with a one handed save. 

As the half headed to its conclusion though there was a big shout for a penalty for the Cherries as Pugh fed in Andrew Surman who went down but referee Paul Tierney didn't even raise an eyebrow.

Boruc had to make one quick dash out before the feet of Caolon Lavery, but Lavery had been chasing shadows for much of the first half. After a corner, a last minute run by Wilson in behind saw Steve Cook head wide, but the Cherries were behind at half time.
Half time score.
AFCB subs - who would have a big part to play?
AFCB are quick to come out for the second half.

Second Half
Sheffield Wednesday brought on Marnick Vermijl for Zayatte as the game began again. Both teams were starting to keep the ball a bit better and we hoped for a few more shots in the second half. I wondered if Kirkland's Yellow top with orange sleeves was putting our strikers off.

Things were pretty slow going with Lavery finding the offside trap too good for him and Charlie Daniels blazing over with head in hands when he had a good position on the left. Yann Kermorgant also waited an age in front of the D before he got a shot away that was deflected over for another AFCB corner.  Tommy Elphick tried to make something of the corner but there was not enough urgency in AFCB's play and Adam Smith was brought on for Marc Pugh on 57 minutes to change things. Matt Ritchie came over to the left.

A minute later Simon Francis found he had eared a yellow card for a foul on Llyod Isgrove. The free kick was taken by Maguire who saw it come off the post! The rebound was spooned over. Boruc looked rooted to the spot. Jeremy Helan was next in the book after fouling Adam Smith. AFCB were still playing out from the back and Cook was caught this time by Isgrove but Tommy Elphick got back to cover.

A double substitution followed with Sheffield Wednesday taking off Isgrove and bringing on Atdhe Nuhiu. AFCB decided to take off Steve Cook ad bring on striker Kenwyne Jones. Arter signalled AFCB's intent by smashing a shot high over the bar. It was Callum Wilson that looked most likely to score and the game's big talking point followed when Wilson got away and into the box down the left only for Lewis Buxton to bundle him over and yet inexplicably referee Tierney only gave a corner!

Sheffield Wednesday were still creating as well though and Maguire almost played in Nuhiu only he could not get a foot on the ball which was just drive wide. Ritchie was finding a bit more space on the left and he put in a cross that was snapped up by the head of Yann Kermorgant, who out jumped Buxton, and all of a sudden the Cherries were level at 1-1! There was 21 minutes to go and the crowd now really got behind the Cherries.

The AFCB train was surely coming now.A scramble in front of the Sheffield Wednesday goal with Wilson, and Arter almost brought another goal but Wednesday were being resilient. Kenwnye Jones made a good knockdown for Yann Kermorgant but he hooked his shot over. Wilson was even keen enough to put the ball down for Kirkland when he had a goal kick to speed things up.

A shock came though when Simon Francis was pulled up for a second yellow card on 79 minutes. That meant red and Francis was dismissed even if he did get a large round of applause. AFCB subbed Kermorgant and brought on Elliott Ward. A point would be better than nothing.

However, the game was to have more twists. Andrew Surman found himself the recipient of a free kick some 30 yards out and with Yann Kermorgant off the pitch it was left to Matt Ritchie to conjure something up. The conference of AFCB players broke up and a quick tap towards Ritchie was met with a powerful left foot strike that crashed into the back of Sheffield Wednesday's net! The Cherries were ahead - 2-1. Matt Ritchie was in full celebration twirling his arms and racing over to the Family stand where he whipped up the crowd to a frenzy!
It was looking great before that last minute.
With 86 minutes gone, surely the Reds were going up! The crowd seemed to think so anyway. Five minutes extra time went up on the board and it looked like AFCB had ridden their luck when a ball right across the area to Lavery was some how fired wide when he was looking at an empty net! The Sheffield Wednesday bench had their heads in their hands. AFCB were still not safe though and a last minute foul by Adam Smith on Atdhe Nuhiu saw Tierney instantly race with arm pointing to the spot! Maguire did the business, beating Artur in the bottom left corner and it was the cruelest blow 2-2 at full time!

What a difference a minute can make. AFCB were sitting comfortably at the top of the table on 94 minutes of this game but on 95 they were playing catch up to Watford. Sometimes you don't get what you deserve and this was probably one of those matches. The penalty decisions not give to the Cherries I hope do not have a massive outcome at the end of the season. I do think they cost the team two points in this game but that is not taking anything away from a Sheffield Wednesday team who did not give up and played with the kind of spirit that we only hope others will do to AFCB's competitors. As it is, a point keeps AFCB in with every chance of getting promotion automatically with two more wins and we have to wait now until Monday week to see how they recover from this last minute blow.
Some heated discussions at full time.
How many stewards can we get around the match officials?
Taxi for Tierney!
Eddie still believes and so do we - UTCIAD!
Boruc 6, Francis 5, Elphick 8, Cook 6 (Jones 64), Daniels 7, Ritchie 9, Arter 7, Surman 7, Pugh 5 (Smith 57), Kermorgant (Ward 81), Wilson

Camp, Gosling, Pitman, Smith, Fraser, Ward, Jones

Sheffield Wednesday
Kirkland, Buxton, Lees, Zayatte (Vermijl 45) Helan, Hutchinson (Maghoma 15), Melo Silva, Maguire,  Lee,  Isgrove Booked (Nuhiu 63), Lavery

Sheffield Wednesday subs
Westwood, May, Nuhiu, McCabe, Maghoma, Bus, Vermijl

Referee rating: Paul Tierney -5/10 what can I say? worst referee of the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment