Sunday, 30 August 2015

Injuries marr Cherries' draw against strong Leicester side 1-1

Match Report
29 August 2015
AFCB 1 v 1 Leicester City
Attendance: 11,155
The second Premier League game - AFCB v Leicester City.
AFCB must be wondering what the Premier League is all about after they almost had it sussed in this match. One-nil up and just five minutes to go and having seen three left sided players have to be replaced through injury, it had already been a hard afternoon, but one slip in midfield by Eunan O'Kane and a race against the pace of Jamie Vardy and matters would soon see Vardy lining up a penalty as Steve Cook mistimed his challenge in the box. Artur Boruc did his best by getting fingertips to the penalty shot, but the ball was blasted into his top left corner and Leicester had earned a draw having fought back from a first half strike from in form Callum Wilson, who had burst the back of the net in the 24th minute with a spectacular overhead kick that had given the Cherries the lead. So honours were even but the injury count was less even with Charlie Daniels, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel likely to be sidelined for some time now.

A big Eddie Howe flag in the North Stand.
Leicester were second in the league and confident before kick off.
The captains sort out which end to kick towards for their teams.
There are more pictures on the Match Day Gallery tab.

The team selection was a shock in that Lee Tomlin won his first start in the Premier League while Josh King did not even make the squad line up. Marc Pugh had to be content with the sub's bench again despite having scored in the previous match against West Ham. 

Jason Tindall gives the team news.

Leicester were paying AFCB a bit of respect by playing just Vardy up front with Albrighton and Mahrez on the wings when it might have been expected that they would have started with a more attacking strike partnership up top.

Megan and James give a preview interview of 
what we might expect from Leicester City.

Lee Tomlin wins his first Premier league start. 
This match was certainly keenly contested and as early as the first 20 seconds Max Gradel found himself in the book having displeased referee Neil Swarbrick with his challenge on Riyad Mahrez. Leicester had started well with Schlupp getting crosses in and AFCB's back four looking a bit jittery, even if Kante was not able to capitalise on it when he was in the box. 

Lee Tomlin was receiving the ball well and was always aware of where Wilson was making his runs. But Leicester looked just as promising going forward with Vardy up front and Albrighton on the wing. Leicester won the first corner, but Gradel soon levelled the count up with one up the other end. Mahrez latched onto a cross from the left from Albrighton and thought he had scored but was caught just offside. Lee Tomlin then made a tight turn to send Wilson on his way and another corner was won with 12 minutes gone, but getting a shot on goal wasn't a possibility. 

Leicester were building well in the game and keeping better possession than I'd seen in their previous games. Jamie Vardy hit a shot over after 16 minutes and to be fair the Foxes were looking good at this point. Andy King was mopping up a lot of the ball in midfield even if he tried to do so with his arms in one instant and a loud cheer of 'handball' went up.

AFCB were about to apply some pressure though with Daniels pushing up the left and having a shot, come cross, that went just wide of Schmeichel's left post. The Cherries goal though came soon after with Surman winning the ball and Gradel and Daniels joining with Tomlin. The ball lofted up towards Gradel in the box and while he could not get much of a head on it, the ball broke off of Robert Huth to Wilson who watched the ball's flight onto his right boot, as he attempted an overhead kick, which lashed the ball past Schmeichel's right hand and into the top corner - 1-0! 

There was a good chance for AFCB to extend their lead when Lee Tomlin was brought down on the edge of the Leicester box by Kante, although it was questionable whether the challenge was actually inside the box. Gradel took the kick but Schmeichel punched it clear.

The home crowd were getting a bit frustrated with some of the decisions though as Lee Tomlin was said to foul King. Still AFCB were keeping possession well and were in front. But on 40 minutes Charlie Daniels went down injured. While he soldiered on, he was certainly in discomfort but just had to last for a few minutes more before half time arrived with the score at 1-0.
AFCB subs warm up.
Cherry Bear at half time.
Half time scoreboard.
Second Half
Both teams made substitutions at half time with Daniels being replaced by Tyrone Mings who made his Premier league debut and Leicester's star man Riyad Mahrez being withdrawn for Shinji Okasaki. It was a wild start to this half with Robert Huth deciding that Callum Wilson falling over outside the box deserved him belting the ball against the striker for winning a free kick. Huth then handed off Tyrone Mings and a bit of a confrontation broke out with nearby players and the referee needed to calm things down with Robert Huth accepting a yellow card. Gradel floated the free kick in but it evaded all of AFCB's players.

Tyrone Mings had seen a bit of action down the left wing but he didn't find it easy to miss the attention of Drinkwater who chased him down and left him clutching his leg while play went on. Mings could not continue though and the stretcher came on for him after just six minutes of the second half. Adam Smith became the third left back of the day for AFCB.

While Leicester were winning corners, the Cherries looked comfortable enough at making clearances. Wilson was keeping Morgan honest at the other end and all we seemed to be missing was some shots on goal. More bad injury news was on the way though as Max Gradel now had to come off, hobbling with an injured left leg on 66 minutes. Marc Pugh was his replacement.

Leicester were sensing that they were well in this game now with a chance of getting something and Schlupp came mighty close with a run down the left and a shot that Artur Boruc did really well to keep out on the angle.

Leicester's midweek hat-trick sensation Joe Dodoo replaced Marc Albrighton on 72 minutes and AFCB were now really scrapping to keep control. O'Kane was yellow carded for a tug on Drinkwater and Okazaki was making things difficult for the back four. Pugh was doing more defensive work while Ritchie was also not such an easy outlet with Leicester pushing for a goal.

AFCB fans might have thought it would be their day when the game went into the last 10 minutes and Dodoo had a clear air shot which could have proved costly, only for Schlupp to then tried his luck again as he hammered a shot that flew very close to Boruc's left post. 

All seemed well until Eunan O'Kane trod on the ball in the middle of the pitch with the on looking Kante quick to win the ball and feed Jamie Vardy who accept the gift. His strong run to the left side of the box had three AFCB players around him. With Elphick twisting and turning and unable to get a tackle in, the lunge from Cook took Vardy straight out - a clear penalty! Artur had been great all game and guessed correctly to his left but the power was too much in Vardy's shot and the Foxes had levelled - 1-1.

Right on 90 minutes Leicester brought on Benalouane for de Laet to see the eight minutes of extra time out. Schlupp picked up a yellow for disagreeing with a decision, but the ball was soon back in the Cherries' box and Pugh's clumsy challenge on Vardy could have been adjudged a foul, but AFCB finally had some luck and nothing was given.

There was just one last attempt by Wilson to out sprint Huth and while he went down in the box the referee soon turned away as he was not going to give anything, despite the calls for a penalty.
Full time.
The players just after the whistle.
A tough day for Steve Cook.
Eddie was pleased the Cherries got something from the game.
The Cherries know that they have played well in their four matches and probably should have won more points than they have. Yet a draw against a team in second place is not a bad return on a day when they had to make so many changes because of injuries. It upset Eddie Howe's plans for tactical changes and the rhythm of the team was not as good in the second half. Leicester were always in the game and although chances were very few it always appeared that they might get something. The table does not look at all shabby though for AFCB who have now picked up a point at home and came very close to getting a clean sheet against an unbeaten side. Moreover, Callum Wilson is quickly growing into a formidable Premier League striker.

AFCB: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels (Mings 45, Smith 57), Ritchie, O'Kane, 

Surman, Gradel (Pugh 67), Tomlin, Wilson

Cherries' Subs
Federici, Distin,  Mings, Smith, MacDonald,  Pugh, Kermorgant, 

AFCB Rating: 

Boruc 8, Francis 6, Elphick 7, Cook 6, Daniels 7, Ritchie 6, O'Kane 6, Surman 8, Gradel 7, Tomlin 8, Wilson 9

Leicester City: 
Schmeichel, de Laet (Benalouane 91), Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Drinkwater, King,
Mahrez (Okazaki 45), Kanté, Albrighton (Dodoo 71 ), Vardy

Foxes Subs
Schwarzer, Benalouane, Fuchs, Inler, Okazaki, Dodoo, Ulloa

Referee watch: Neil Swarbrick 4/10 gave one penalty probably missed one or two more. Booking a player in the first minute is really all you need to know.

1 comment:

  1. A really good balanced report on an exciting hard fought game.