Sunday, 27 September 2015

Stoke snatch first win as Cherries lose Wilson 2-1

Match Report
Stoke City 2 v 1 AFCB
26 September 2015
Attendance: 27,742 (including 1635 Cherries) 
This was a record attendance 
at the Britannia stadium
Stoke City v AFCB - the teams are led out.
There are really small margins that determine whether a team wins or loses in this league. Stoke City know that well enough having not won a game before this match, but when the Cherries lost their golden goal scorer after nine minutes it was an upward battle for AFCB and Stoke won a lot of the personal battles in the first half. That dominance was reinforced with a tap in goal for Walters after half an hour once Marho Arnautovic had got to the byline and got the better of Simon Francis. A more galvanised Bournemouth side attacked with persistence in the second half and there fightback really came alive the faultless Jack Butland was finally beaten by a well struck low shot from Dan Gosling with 14 minutes to go. Perhaps AFCB scored too early as with just five minutes to go a Stoke move up the right by Glen Johnson saw Mame Diouf head in from six yards to earn Stoke their first home win of the season.

AFCB kept the same starting 11 from the Sunderland match and welcomed Josh King back onto the subs bench. Meanwhile, Stoke could bring in  Wollscheid and Charlie Adam to their line up.

Stoke City fans John, Nick and Mack talk about the 
form of Mark Hughes' team. I must admit the Stoke fans were a pleasure
 to talk to and made AFCB fans very welcome.

AFCB fan Barren wanted to see Glenn Murray start. 
The tannoy system got us today but AFCB fans were in optimistic mood.

There are more images on Match Day Gallery.

The initial exchanges were fairly often broken up with free kicks and both teams struggled to get their passing going with much consistency and accuracy. Steve Cook did not do much to settle nerves when he sliced a ball out of play. Any such initial problems suddenly seemed very minor compared to the injury that Callum Wilson then sustained on 8 minutes. His knee gave way after a challenge from Wollscheid and he managed to get up and tried to jog it off on the side line. While he did not look at ease he did come back on but broke down again almost immediately and we had nine minutes of him being attended to until he was stretchered off and the game resumed.

Glenn Murray was now thrust into the action and the match continued with Wollscheid making a mess of his clearance. AFCB fans were wondering if they would have many players left the way things ere going as Pugh went down next and then Tomlin started to hobble. Where the protection was from referee Lee Mason was I have no idea, but he was not the Cherries favourite man on the pitch. 

Stoke's first bit of quality play came on 23 minutes when Walters found Bojan who saw his shot deflect off Steve Cook and Boruc made a save. Keeping the ball was troublesome for AFCB as Ritchie was next to lose it. Sylvain Distin was looking more assured and was winning the aerial battles. Yet, Francis soon knew he would have a difficult day with Arnautovic forcing a corner down Stoke's left wing. Then a shot from distance from Glenn Whelan moved viciously through the players and Boruc just got enough of himself to keep the shot out for a corner.

Stoke were well in control and were winning the centre midfield battle and using the wings well. Pressure was finally released with Whelan's foul on Tomlin. But the annoying pattern that seemed to happen more than a few times is that Glenn Murray would find himself offside and merely hand back possession to Stoke City who were growing in confidence. When Murray was clipped from 30 yards out, we prayed for a Matt Ritchie special strike but he hit it straight at Jack Butland.

Stoke's reply was to get the ball to Arnautovic down the left and he had the beating of Francis who slipped in the box. Once Arnautovic had reached the byline, Boruc guarded his post but the cross found Johnathan Walters who simply stabbed the ball home from six yards. It was 1-0 to Stoke and AFCB were up against it with 32 minutes gone.

While the Cherries responded with some strong play it was costly to see Lee Tomlin not shoot again when given room on the edge of the box, instead choosing to pass to Ritchie who was wide on the right, but he only found Murray at the far post who managed a looping header with no power. Tomlin was making runs though and being positive. Distin as well was carrying the fight and Daniels managed to win the Cherries first corner on 42 minutes.

A few moments later and AFCB should have been celebrating a goal. Daniels and then Pugh made inroads through Stoke's defence by lifting the ball over his shoulder and past Johnson. The ball came to Murray who heeled it on to Tomlin in the box, and rather than shoot himself, he passed to Matt Ritchie who was free to strike his shot, with just Butland to beat, but the young keeper saw Erik Pieters get back in time  to make a lunging block that saved a certain goal.  

Gosling was the next Bournemouth player to have a chance at shooting but he decided cross instead and the ball was cleared. The corners that the Cherries took as well were not passing the first man when Pugh took them and so Tomlin took the next one when Ritchie had a shot deflected for another corner. From the cross though stoke broke through the middle, then to the left and Arnautovic luckily put the chance wide from the centre of the box right on half time. It was a huge let off. Meanwhile, Shaqiri had pulled up clutching his hamstring and had to go off. So Afellay came on just as the whistle went for half time.
The big screen.
The Match day ball.
Half time.
Second Half
The second half saw a more determined AFCB side go on the attack. Stoke had probably had the best of the first half in terms of possession but they would be tested in the second 45 minutes. The Cherries were still making mistakes though and Tomlin was robbed in midfield and almost set Stoke up through the middle. Charlie Adam was also still breaking up AFCB's attacks from the middle.

Again Tomlin would lose the ball this time to Wollscheid, but Arnautovic was caught offside. When AFCB did get the ball in the box and Murray challenged Butland it was the Cherries who saw the flag go up for offside rather than an infringement on the keeper.

The quality of the game seemed to be lacking as AFCB could not get a real hold of the game and Stoke probably were unsure if to twist or stick in their position. Glenn Murray then had a tame shot from the edge of the box that did not trouble Butland on 54 minutes. Bournemouth's pressure was starting to tell as the passing sequences got longer. 

Bojan was withdrawn for Mame Diouf to come on with 62 minutes gone.

AFCB were having their best part of the game and Pugh almost danced his way through three played in the box, but was blocked by Whelan. That was followed by another offside for Glenn Murray as the Cherries looked like they might be running out of ideas. Eddie Howe decided Lee Tomlin should be replaced on 71 minutes for Josh King as the southerners went in search of the equaliser.

More pleasingly for the Cherries we saw the back of Charlie Adam on 75 minutes as he was replaced by van Ginkel. The break in play did AFCB some good as Ritchie got on the ball and then Pugh had a shot blocked, but the ball broke to Gosling who thundered in a low shot right past Butland's outstretched left arm and into the bottom corner of the net 1-1.

AFCB were coming at Stoke now with real intent. Ritchie played the ball to Pugh who did a back heel for Gosling to run on to just outside the box. Gosling thought he might have scored again but Butland showed what a fine shot stopper he is by saving it on 79 minutes. That was as good as it would get though for AFCB as a move on the right wing, following a free kick against Glenn Murray, with the ever strong Glen Johnson saw his deep cross met by the on rushing Diouf who headed the ball down and the ball swept past Brouc in a flash! It was 2-1 to Stoke and all the Cherries' hard work had been undone. 

Adam Smith came on for Pugh with three minutes of normal time left. there were still chances to come. Distin hooked the ball onto Glenn Murray on the right of the box and he hit his shot well across the goal but Butland threw out his right arm and pulled off another brilliant save. The more cheeky attempt was that of Matt Ritchie from about 40 yards out on the wing. He drifted the ball in the air the full distance and Butland was caught well off his line and it was to his relief that the ball just landed a metre wide of his left upright! Whelan then managed to remind lee mason that he had a yellow card and he issued it for a foul on Smith in the 88th minute - better late than never!

With four minutes of extra time being played it was Stoke that might have extended the lead but somehow Afellay shot wide. The game was going to end 2-1 and Arnautovic was trying to make sure of it by throwing the ball back off the pitch whenever Jason Tindall tried to pass the ball to a Stoke player to take  the throw. How Lee Mason did not give Arnautovic a yellow card for time wasting is beyond me. Still, Stoke did enough on the day to get their first home win while AFCB will need to study this game carefully as they had chances to win it. 
The Cherries narrowly lose out.
Eddie has to reflect on a period now without Callum Wilson.
A bad day for AFCB, not so much for the result or the way that the team played but for the loss of Callum Wilson. The injury will have an impact on the team and I already feel it did in this game. But putting that aside Arnautovic and Pieters were able to have a big influence on the game for Stoke, while Butland made some great saves. The experience of Charlie Adam was also a problem for AFCB and the Cherries need their own ball winner back in the middle of the park as soon as possible. Still it was a strong second half performance and the Cherries have to try and build on that. What can't be hidden though is the fact that if the Cherries keep conceding two goals a game they will struggle to win many matches unless their strikers are on top form and put away all their chances.

Boruc, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Pugh (Smith 86), Tomlin (King 71), Wilson (Murray 17).

AFCB subs:
Federici, Cargill, Smith, Bennett, MacDonald, King, Murray.

AFCB Ratings: 
Boruc 6, Francis 6, Cook 6, Distin 8, Daniels 6, Ritchie 7, Gosling 7, Surman 6, Pugh 7, Tomlin 7, Wilson (Murray 6).

Stoke City: Butland, Johnson, Cameron, Wollscheid, Pieters, Whelan, Adam (van Ginkel 75), Shaqiri (Afellay 45), Bojan (Diouf 62), Arnautovic, Walters.

Stoke subs: Given, Muniesa, Joselu, Afellay, van Ginkel, Diouf, Crouch. 

Ref Watch: Lee Mason 3/10 - not a lot of protection for AFCB players and he might have forgotten he had a yellow card.

I am sorry to hear about the loss of Mick Cunningham this morning who I am sure many of you knew very well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment