Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Cherries let the Hornets off the hook 1-1

Match Report
3 October 2016
AFCB 1 v 1 Watford
Attendance: 11,187
Artur Boruc won't like the re-run of this game.
What a game we had a Dean Court. It was full on attack from both AFCB and Watford from the first minute to the last and while the game will be remembered for two incidents in particular both sets of fans may well have left this match thinking their team has enough to survive this season in the Premier League. Glenn Murray was always likely to make some of the headlines as soon as his name was given in the Cherries starting line up and he duly delivered in the 28th minute with a big header at the far post to put Eddie Howe team ahead. AFCB were almost imperious with their play in the first half and that comfort factor probably had a part to play in Watford's equalised as Artur Boruc's footwork saw him gift his attempted clearance to Odion Ighalo who rounded the spreadeagled and forlorn keeper to make it 1-1 at half time. The second half saw both teams go close with Ikecha Anya forcing a great save from Boruc and Steve Cook bring the best out of Gomes with an overhead kick, but when Adam Smith went down after a frantic scramble in the penalty box it seemed like Glenn Murray would put the game to bed from the penalty spot. But Gomes pulled off a superb save and the Cherries were left to think that two points had been dropped.
The teams are out.
AFCB team shot.
The captains in the middle.
Watford huddle.

There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.

The team selection was fairly simple this week without Wilson and Elphick in contention so in came Glenn Murray to make his full home debut and he was paired with Josh King up front, while the rest of the team stayed as it had been against Stoke. Lee Tomlin was the man who was dropped to the bench.

AFCB were put under a bit of pressure from the start but there was a clear indication that Josh King was going to be a big factor in the game from as early as the second minute when he put in a cross from the right that was gathered by Heurelho Gomes just in front of the feet of Murray. Murray then had a loopy header that fell on to the top of the net as AFCB tried to get ahead early.

Ben Watson put in a strong cross from the right that saw Boruc take a high catch as Watford started moving forward again. It was the speed of the Cherries play though that was most promising. Ritchie playing a long cross field ball to Pugh who fed in Daniels and his cross  was just missed by Murray even if he was flagged offside. King was not quiet either as he charged down a Gomes clearance. AFCB meant business today.

The Hornets were not going to sit back though and both Troy Deeney and Allan Nyom had shots blocked. King had often not got into many shooting positions in previous games but he was only stopped from testing Gomes by a Cathcart block on the edge of the box. It was King that was being the mischief maker putting another cross that Murray just failed to get to.

A Boruc miss-kick was met with annoyance from the home crowd on 22 minutes but worse was to come later. Four minutes later though it was AFCB on the attack and King broke to take on Cathcart one on one and when the ball fell to Murray the chance slipped by as Watford got back to block. The attacks kept coming with Pugh cutting a shot back to the near post that had Gomes scrambling to his right to make a low save. With Francis back on the ball down the right though the breakthrough finally came when Ritchie received the ball and crossed to the far post and Murray jumped highest and powered in his header to make it 1-0. "Championi" came the cries of the AFCB fans taunting the Watford supporters in the East stand as a reference to last season's final Championship table.

The lead was well deserved on the run of play, but after the first goal free kicks and over hit passes started to slow the play. Glenn Murray and Capoue were caught up in a squabble which further delayed play, but Murray was booked. All looked as though it would be a slim 1-0 lead at half time until Artur Boruc suddenly thought he had more time than he actually did at the back and his attempted pass to Distin was a gift to Ighalo right in front of goal. While the keeper tried to recover his mistake by leaping early as he expected the Watford striker to shoot, Ighalo simply kept the ball close and went around the isolated keeper and netted probably the easiest Premier League goal he would ever be presented with. It was 1-1 and half time! Oh, Artur!
AFCB fans can't believe that it is all square at half time.
Artur walks off with Sylvain Distin.
Watford players can't believe that they have been gifted a goal.
Second Half
While we digested what had probably been the best 45 minutes of play that we had seen from the Cherries this season which had only been blighted by an individual error. the second half was soon upon us. Ake won an early free kick, but Watford were finding it hard to get shots in on goal with Deeney playing quite deep and Distin keeping Ighalo in his sights at all times. On 5o minutes watford won the first corner and  that was followed by Watson trying his luck from distance and he smashed his shot against the bar!

AFCB managed to record their first corner just a minute later after a clearance from Prodl, but as the applause broke out on 55 minutes in memory of Mick Cunningham, who sadly passed away last weekend, Watford came rather close to scoring as Ikech Anya just put his chance wide.

The Cherries subbed Pugh on 57 minutes and brought on Adam Smith. Pugh had been quite so it was worth trying a change. It was shortly after that that Boruc had to make another rushed clearance with his feet which he did well after a hurried back pass and Ighalo closing in. AFCB were coming under pressure though and Riche and Murray finally got the ball away after another prolonged spell of the ball being in and around AFCB's box. Watford were turning up the heat and when Abdi played a ball through to Anya running past the centre backs the pacey winger only had Boruc to beat. But Boruc made himself big and pulled off a big save when Watford could easily have gone ahead on 68 minutes.

Eddie Howe was not liking what he was seeing at this point and O'Kane finally got on having waited a while and replaced Josh King on 70 minutes.Watford took off Nyom who went down in a tackle a minute later and replaced him with Ibarbo. Watford fans then thought they had won a penalty as Ighalo ran on to a ball from Abdi and went down, but the referee waved it away even with Ighalo chasing after him complaining.

It was then that Adam Smith put in a superb solo run that took him down the right wing and along the byline but he was kept out by Gomes just at the last moment. The game was open now and both teams looked tiered. Matt Ritchie tried to hit a free kick screamer from 20 yards but only saw his shot blocked. Murray also had a go from distance but his weak shot was comfortable for Gomes to fall on.

Anya was subbed after going down injured and Paredes came on for him with 11 minutes to go. Francis then put in a good cross that saw O'Kane, Ritchie and Murray trying to get on it but the header from Murray dropped wide. Steve Cook thought a moment of magic might do it and he hit an overhead kick from fully 20 yards that saw Gomes make an outstanding save to his left at full stretch on 83 minutes. That might have got Watford safe, but a collision in the box with Murray saw penalty claims waved away before Smith went down under a challenge from Capoue in the box and Watford were not let off for that one - penalty!

Glenn Murray was the man who would take the kick and he was complaining as a Watford player was kicking up ground around the penalty spot. The players settled though and Murray had the chance to win the game. He hit his shot to the right, but it was at a good height for Gomes who made the save and the score remained 1-1.

Four minutes of extra time were added on but there were no more chances and just enough time for Watford to make their last sub, Guedioura coming on for Abdi on 94 minutes.
Game over. Honours even.
No goals in the second half.
Happy Watford fans.
A point each.
Individual mistakes will cost a team at any level of the game, they are just more costly at the highest level. While Boruc and Murray will have reason to feel they could have done better for their teammates over the two big talking points a point at home against Watford takes the Cherries up to eight points from eight games and if AFCB had really been unlucky in this game they could have lost all three points. So while it probably should have been a home win, AFCB have to consider that they have played as well in this game as they have at any stage of the season and that they can do well without the players that have been injured in recent weeks. Watford are a powerful side and the Cherries minimised their chances to just a few all game. The omens are good and the points should follow in the long run. 

AFCB: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Pugh (Smith 57), King (O'Kane 70), Murray

AFCB Subs: Federici, Smith, C
argill, Bennett, Kermorgant, Tomlin, O'Kane

AFCB ratings
Boruc 6, Francis 7, Cook 7, Distin 8, Daniels 7, Ritchie 7, Gosling 7, Surman 7, Pugh 6,
King 8,
 Murray 7

Watford: Gomes, Nyom (Ibarbo 71), Prödl, Cathcart, Aké, Anya (Paredes 79),
Capoue, Watson, Abdi (Guédioura 94), Deeney, Ighalo

Watford Subs: Britos, Paredes, Guédioura, Ibarbo, Diamanti, Dyer, Arlauskis

Gomes was undoubtedly Watford's man of the match.

Referee watch: Michael Oliver 7/10 Just Gomes and Murray in the book. It was a fairly well refereed game considering that it could have been tasty affair at times between these two sides, but it was never allowed to boil over.

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