Sunday, 14 February 2016

Hesitant Cherries lose 1-3 to sharp finishing Stoke City

Match Report
AFCB 1 v 3 Stoke City
13 Feb 2016
Attendance 10,863

This game was built up as a great opportunity for AFCB to cement their place in mid-table. Instead a tale of haphazard passing, indecision and frailty in front of goal led to a fifth home defeat of the season. Stoke were ahead as early as the ninth minute when new signing Giannelli Imbula struck a precise volley past Artur Boruc. The Potters doubled the lead on 52 minutes when a Jonathan Walters' pulled back a ball to Ibrahim Afelly on the edge of Bournemouth's box who fired his shot into the left corner. Further damage was inflicted when Stoke City sub Joselu headed past Boruc three minutes later. The one bright moment in a dreary afternoon at Dean Court came on 57 minutes when Charlie Daniels' cross was met perfectly by Matt Ritchie's left footed volley18 yards out that beat Jack Butland low down in the left hand corner of the goal.
AFCB walk out.
Stoke City at the line up.
There was only one change to the Cherries starting 11 with Matt Ritchie moving to the bench and Junior Stanislas fitting in on the right wing. Mark Hughes brought in Jonathan Walters to the Stoke team and Arnautovic was left out of the squad.
Butland hurries to his goal.
Stoke are all in white for this game with a red stripe on the shorts.

Stoke City fans Luka, Darren and George preview the game.
AFCB players get themselves ready.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery
Stoke City to kick off.
There was a strange atmosphere in the stadium as the damp and cold tended to lessen the amount of singing support and there was not the usual euphoria when the Cherries took to the field. That said there was little to get too excited about early on. Mame Diouf set about seeing how many times he could foul Adam Smith and get away without getting a yellow card. Referee Graham Scott could have carded him more than once for a high footed challenge but consistently let it go.

AFCB were having trouble themselves keeping the ball without the persistent fouling. Junior Stanislas and Dan Gosling failed to clear the ball well in the bottom right corner and Afellay and Imbula made the most of it finding Shaquiri who hits his cross against Francis. The ball fell neatly to Imbula who hit his volleyed snap shot straight past Boruc and into the bottom left corner of the goal. It was a poor start by the Cherries and Stoke had scored with their first attack.

The Cherries might have come straight back into the game with a Pugh cross that landed at Afobe's feet, but the speed of the ball was too quick and Afobe's effort did not connect - a let off for Stoke City.

The nerves had set in and Francis was chief contributor knocking the ball to Boruc far too strongly and getting a timely rebuke from the keeper. The chat of disquiet around the ground was already growing with no fluidity to AFCB's passing game. Stoke won a corner on 17 minutes and Jonathan Walters hit his volley into the side netting! Stoke fans thought he had scored.

Adam Smith had decided to get one challenge back on Diouf but only ended up getting carded himself.  The whole game from an AFCB point of view was disjointed. Walters had a shot that Boruc only punched away when it was straight at him.

Francis won a corner on 28 minutes. It was taken quickly and led to another but Glenn Whelan headed the cross over the bar. The next delivery just saw Shaquiri on the break. The Cherries could not get any pressure on Stoke's goal.

A long ball gave Walters another invitation to shoot right at Boroc, with Francis the wrong side of his man and the keeper managed to keep it out with it striking him in the mid-rift. Just like Francis, Arter was now waving his arms about trying to find a pass but just getting frustrated. Afobe was making runs but the ball was not coming to him early enough.

Pugh managed to get yellow carded when he took down Shaquiri from behind and things were just going from bad to worse now. Lucking a few moments later Shaquiri shot wide when Afellay had played him straight through the middle.

A corner won by Marc Pugh was something to grab hold of but Jack Butland came to catch that with ease. Charlie Daniels did get AFCB fans excited for a moment when Butland tipped his shot wide of the goal when back tracking, but the Stoke keeper had not had too much to do all half. It was 0-1 at half time and AFCB were lucky to only be one down to be honest.

Stoke City fans.

Second Half
Eddie Howe did not wait long to change things. Stoke also made a change with  Teixeira coming on for Muniesa. Marc Pugh was replaced by Josh King and Matt Ritchie came on for Dan Gosling as AFCB went to 4-4-2. The change almost brought an instant result with Surman's dink through getting King in but Butland made a sharp save and Ritchie's follow up was blocked. Glen Johnson had gone down at this point having won an initial header before Josh King's chance but he had not got up and we had a long hold up before he gradually limped off near the North stand.

Stoke replied with Diouf hitting a shot wide. Sadly, better was to come for the Potters when Johnathan Walters ran into the space vacated by a Daniels forward run, and he beat Steve Cook and pulled back a ball to Afellay who hit his shot first time from 18 yards away and picked out the top corner in a stunning side foot finish! It was 0-2 to clinical Stoke City.

Johnson was now subbed for Joselu. He made a strong run that made Daniels tackle him for a corner. Pieters and Shaquiri managed to find some space on the left from the corner and the ball in from the Swiss player was met perfectly by the head of Joselu to make it 0-3, goodnight Vienna!

Bournemouth fans might have decided to call it a day there and then but the players kept trying and were rewarded on the 55th minute when Daniels cross was dispatched by Matt Ritchie with a crisp left foot volley outside the box to make it 1-3, Houston - we have lift off!

The chase was now on for a second goal. A corner might have brought that goal but when King went for the near post header it flew back to Benik Afobe on the far post and his volley was fired just over the bar.

AFCB were really giving it everything now as a Daniels' cross was almost met by a sliding in Matt Ritchie but he could not quite make contact.

Arter then produced ac lever little chip to see King race against Butland but the keeper just got there first. Juan Iturbe came on for Stanislas in the last 15 minutes as the Cherries tried to claw the goals back. Iturbe won a corner having hit his shot well but finding the chest of Glenn Wheelan in the way.

Simon Francis' bad day was virtually caped off by a yellow card to stop Walters on the break. Stephen Ireland came on to replace Afellay who had been one of Stoke's best players.

Five minutes of extra time only produced a volley from Steve Cook that was deflected for a corner while Arter picked up a yellow for fouling Diouf and Imbula also picked up a yellow. There was not much to be satisfied with though when looking up at the scoreboard which read Cherries 1 v 3 Stoke City.
The reality is AFCB were not at their best against
Stoke and they need to gain points quickly now.
A day of what might have been for Eddie.
A poor day at the office. The Cherries lost their way as soon as they went a goal behind and they never recovered. Aimless passes and bickering between players when runners don't make the moves that those with possession expect them to make was not good to see and yet the players just could not find a way to put it right. The second half saw more of a concerted effort to put the first 45 minutes behind them but two quick goals for Stoke meant there was no way back. If ever Eddie Howe had reason to be annoyed then this game merited it, but the players know they did not perform. That will stay with some of them now for two weeks as the FA Cup side could be a very different AFCB side if Eddie Howe wants to reward the players that have got the team to the fifth round.
Jack Butland receives a congratulatory hug.
Stoke City players applaud their fans who were load all game.
The lads troop off.

Boruc, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Surman, Stanislas (Iturbe 75), Gosling (Ritchie 45)
Arter, Pugh (King 45), Afobe

Federici, Distin, O'Kane, Iturbe, Ritchie, King, Grabban

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 6, Smith 5, Francis 3, Cook 5, Daniels 7, Surman 7, Stanislas 5 (Iturbe 5), Gosling 5 
(Ritchie 7) Arter 6, Pugh 5 (King 6), Afobe 6

    Stoke City
    Butland, Johnson (Joselu 53), Wollscheid, Muniesa (Teixeira 45), Pieters, Whelan, Imbula, Shaqiri,
    Afellay (Ireland 86), Diouf, Walters
    Stoke Subs
      Haugaard, Teixeira, Ireland, Odemwingie, Joselu, Crouch, Bojan
  • Ref Watch: Graham Scott 4/10 far too lenient in the first 20 minutes. Did not allow any quick free kicks.

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