Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Pugh returns to confound the Foxes 1-0

Match Report
AFCB 1 v 0 Leicester City
13 December 2016
Attendance: 11,068
Simon Francis was delighted to captain AFCB to their fourth home win of the season.
To finish the night with a fourth home win of the season, beating last year's champions and to see your side reach their highest ever league position is a pretty good night by all accounts. For Marc Pugh though it was a welcome return to playing in front of a home crowd and as the match winner he showed yet again that he is a very special player for the Cherries. He has been missed, even though others have been brought in to try and fill his shoes. As first to react to the save Ron-Robert Zieler made to Benik Afobe's rifled drive, Marc Pugh saw the ball curl towards him and he raised his right boot to put home the volley after 33 minutes. Despite a valiant attempt by second half substitute Ulloa to steal a point, Artur Boruc made a terrific injury-time save that allowed AFCB to climb to eighth in the Premier League table.

The pack as shuffled by Eddie Howe again as his side got ready for their second game in three days. Out went Dan Gosling, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser and in came Marc Pugh, Jack Wilshere and Josh King. There was also a surprise to see Max Gradel back on the bench after his long injury absence.

Leicester City just made one change with Danny Simpson replaced by Luis Hernández.

Leicester had only won one point in away games.
There are more pictures of the evening on Match Day Gallery
The Cherries started the game with much of the possession as the home side. However, the danger of Jamie Vardy was apparent from the beginning with Artur Boruc having to race out to dive at the striker's feet to win the ball.

The crowd were brought to life even more when Charlie Daniels blazed a cross from the left that Adam Smith launched himself at but failed to make contact with.

Leicester were not playing flowing football, but Mahrez could spot a pass and he did just that in sending Vardy through seven minutes, but again Boruc did well to come out and force the Foxes' number 9 wide ,and when he did shoot Steve Cook had recovered enough to block for a corner.

Another good chance fell to Leicester's big signing Islam Slimani near the penalty spot, but he managed to mistime his swing completely, and even handled the ball as the chance escaped him.

AFCB made more inroads with Simon Francis finding plenty of space up the right side. Harry Arter was putting some crunching tackles in and Aké and Cook were winning the aerial battles at the back. 

Following a free kick for Josh King, Charlie Daniels put a cross in the box before the ball came back out for Wilshere to make Zieler dive low to his left. Zieler was less adept at dealing with Afobe when it came to kicking the ball up the field. He hit Afobe on the back with his clearance and while the keeper won the race to the ball, he put it out and gave AFCB a quick chance for a shot on goal with him running back in panic. Unfortunately, Pugh could not get his shot on target.

At the other end Leicester came very close to taking the lead when a few headers won in the box from a long throw by Leicester players led to a clear pathway to goal for Robert Huth and yet he saw his shot deflect wide, off of Steve Cook, when he was looking down the barrel at Artur Boruc.

The let off was made even worse for Leicester when on 33 minutes, Adam Smith sped up to the byline and pulled a cross back for Afobe who hit his shot first time and Zieler was quick to get a cross with his left peg to keep the ball out. Unluckily for him, the ball sped out to Marc Pugh who calmly kept his eye on the half volley that passed the scrambling Zieler to give AFCB a 1-0 lead.

Andy King tried to pull Pugh back and received the yellow card for his ambition, but there really had been very little ambition from Leicester City this half.
AFCB are ahead for a change.

The Second Half
The Foxes made a change at half time with the ineffectual Slimani subbed for the energy of Shinji Okazaki. Leicester came out with more intent winning an early corner, before Adam Smith went close to extending the Cherries lead with a clever chip that just scraped over the bar.

Leicester were playing higher up the pitch and Vardy saw a header go over and lost out to Aké in the box finding himself left face down in the grass. A hooked shot from Vardy was then saved by Boruc and AFCB brought on Callum Wilson to sub Benik Afobe and relieve some pressure.

Josh King doggedly chased down Christian Fuchs until he won the ball in the right hand corner and sent a cross over that Huth just did enough to hold off Callum Wilson in the air. King was then subbed for Dan Gosling to come on.

Another Leicester sub saw Ahmed Musa come on for Marc Albrighton on 78 minutes. Huth was also withdrawn on 82 minutes for Ulloa to try and cause a dramatic turnaround of the result. Mahrez came close with a low shot that Cook and Francis scrambled away. 

Morgan's foul on Jack Wilshere saw him carded with seven minutes to go. It was then that Marc Pugh had the chance to put the game away. He had time to measure his shot and yet he lifted the shot too high.

Steve Cook had to make a desperate sliding block at the other end to deny Okazaki, before Hernandez was also shown a yellow card by fouling Callum Wilson.

The best save of the night came in four minutes of added time when Ulloa brought a save out of Boruc from six yards to keep AFCB's clean sheet. That was followed by the funniest moment for me when Adam Smith had a break and a chance to score a second, but he ended up turning away from the Leicester goal to keep possession rather than shoot - it was worth the admission just to see that. With Tyrone Mings seeing action for the last two minutes, AFCB held out for a win that was celebrated highly by the players.
A clean sheet and three points!
Eddie heads for Artur Boruc to thank him.
This was a narrow victory but a very important one that will most likely help see AFCB in the top half of the table come the end of the year. Marc Pugh deserved his man of the match tag, yet there were many blocks and clearances made by the back four that contributed to the win and Artur Boruc showed how important he can be right at the death in this game. AFCB still find these kind of games like walking through a patch of stinging nettles - they get through them, but they take a few nervy late stings when they could have avoided them by getting that second goal. Leicester were a shadow of the title winning credentials they showed last season. That shouldn't lessen the importance of the win though as it gives AFCB yet another chance to try and get that elusive back-to-back win.

Boruc, Francis, Cook, Aké, Daniels, Arter, Wilshere, Smith, King (Gosling 79), Pugh, Afobe (Wilson 68 Mings 90+3)

Federici, Gosling, Gradel, Wilson, Smith, Mings, Ibe

Leicester City
Zieler, Hernández, Morgan, Huth (Ulloa 82), Fuchs, Mahrez, King, Amartey, Albrighton (Musa 74), Slimani (Okazaki 45), Vardy

Leicester Subs
Hamer, Chilwell, Musa, Okazaki, Gray, Ulloa, Mendy

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 7, Francis 7, Cook 7, Aké 7, Daniels 7, Arter 8, Wilshere 7, Smith 7, King 6, Pugh 8, Afobe 7 

Ref Watch: Paul Tierney - 7/10 one of the better refs we've had. He did miss a few clear fouls but he judged fairly and tried to let little things go. 
Yes, Eddie!

1 comment:

  1. A great result...Bournemouth 8th in the first game was watching Bill McGarry as player manager...anyway

    Can anyone explain why Ryan Fraser did not make the bench and what is wrong with Callum Wilson....but I think Afobe is a better option upfront...would prefer a Wilson/Afobe partnership...if both fit...

    Poor old Mousset...Lewis Cook...looks like a lost season for both of them...

    Transfer window coming up...who will go..Grabban for sure...Mousset out on it worth bringing any body in if he is not going to play regularly...

    When will Ibe start again...maybe against Chelsea as Ake cannot play and maybe against Millwall....wander what eleven the manager will play...will lessons be learnt from Preston