Sunday, 12 March 2017

Hat-trick King steers Cherries to important home win over Hammers 3-2

Match Report
11 March 2017

AFCB 3 v 2 West Ham

Attendance: 11,369

Josh King celebrates with the match ball.
Eddie Howe, the players and all the AFCB fans knew how significant this game was and when the Cherries missed a penalty in the eighth minute, it was an even bigger nightmare when Michail Antonio put West Ham 0-1 up just 48 seconds later. Yet, the Cherries are nothing if not resilient and Josh King netted his first goal just after half an hour and everything was set up for Afobe to put the Cherries ahead from he spot, when Marc Pugh was tripped in the box. But Afobe saw his penalty saved and the Cherries went in all square at half time. There was some discussion over whether King's second goal should stand or not, but Mike Botto, the stadium announcer was quick to call the scorer's name out and referee Robert Madley spoke to the assistant referee, all was good and he let the goal stand. Far from being job done, West Ham fashioned an equaliser with André Ayew scoring in the 85th minute. But AFCB needed more than a point and the running power of Jack Wilshere broke through West Ham's defence, before Pugh put in a cross that almost saw Wilshere get on the score sheet, before Randolph's save fell perfectly to King to complete his hat-trick - the Cherries could celebrate their first win of 2017.

Francis returns to lead the team out.
West Ham fans sing for their team.

There were some enforced changes for Eddie Howe's team with the suspensions to Andrew Surman and Tyrone Mings. This gave chances to Dan Gosling and the returning Simon Francis to put the Cherries on a safer footing in the league table and they wouldn't disappoint.


West Ham just made one change with Antonio coming in for Robert Snodgrass. 

There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.

West Ham get ready to start the game.
The match began with West Ham making the play as Creswell sped down the left and put a cross in that flashed right across the box. Bournemouth's early attacks swiftly followed with Pugh making a cross from the left that Afobe headed wide.

Simon Francis and Andy Carroll were getting to know each other with Francis usually winning the header and Carroll looking beleaguered with his backside rooted to the ground. AFCB were having to keep their heads as West Ham pressed forward. Lanzini, Feghouli and Antonio were pushing up high and Adam Smith was doing well to block their advances.

When one of these attacks broke down though, Daniels, Pugh and Gosling made good progress up the left until Daniels was brought down in the box by 'octopus arms' Feghouli – penalty! Josh King resumed the responsibility with AFCB not missing a penalty all season to this point. It was a long delay while Mark Noble received a yellow card. Then it was disbelief as King slotted his kick wide of the right post!

Before that had sunk in, West Ham pounced on a slack pass from Harry Arter. Feghouli then played a ball in centrally to Antonio. A quick turn gave Antonio room to shoot and while he did not hit his shot cleanly, it still slipped past Boruc's outstretched left arm and right into the bottom left corner of AFCB's goal on 10 minutes.

It was hard to believe being so against the run of play, but West Ham were leading. There was a definite ploy for AFCB to get Afobe in over the top and Arter played an early ball in such a manner, but Randolph read it well to beat Afobe just in time.

AFCB kept up the pace with Pugh putting in Daniels up the left and he buzzed his shot/cross right across the goal.

West Ham were not putting many passes together, but Antonio was looking to add to his goals and had a long shot that just went wide on 20 minutes. Feghouli was less tidy and smashed his volley well over.

Bournemouth's reply came from Ryan Fraser who let go a sharp drive from just outside the D that had Randolph having to make a full stretch to his right to keep the ball out for a corner. Steve Cook then saw his headed effort tipped over by the Hammer's keeper.

AFCB kept up the pressure and, after good work from Dan Gosling the ball come out to Fraser to cross from the right. Afobe got a header on and Josh King seemed to flick the ball superbly over Jose Fonté and swiftly got a shot away on his left foot that flew past Randolph to equalise on 31 minutes.

Mark Noble was lucky not to get a second booking when he caught Gosling. West Ham were being forced back. Josh King was really on the gas and burned past three Hammer's players like they weren't there in an amazingly forceful run up the right. 

Minutes later it was Pugh putting West Ham defenders to the test - Jose Fonté brought him down – and after a few moments hesitation the referee pointed to the spot again. Benik Afobe too the ball this time and he hit a tame shot to the left side of the goal that Randolph saved. It was a big anti-climax for the Cherries - no goals from two penalties.

Antonio almost made matters worse when he was in a race with Francis and Boruc, but the Iron's winger just overran his chance. Feghouli had the last chance of the half but Boruc made a good save with his legs.
All square at half time.
Four of AFCB's subs.
Second Half
There were no changes at half time. AFCB started quickly though and Fraser won a free kick from a challenge from Obiang who was carded. The ball in met a group of heads with Steve Cook and Afobe going for the ball. It fell kindly for King, who just swept the ball into the goal. West Ham's players protested that the knockdown had been off an arm but having consulted the assistant linesman, who had seen nothing, referee Madley awarded the goal.

While Afobe and Simon Francis went down with injuries they were soon up and Josh King put another shot wide, after a good run from Adam Smith. Afobe also went close but Randolph made a save.

West Ham were reduced to shots from distance and Feghouli just didn't have his shooting boots on. So Slaven Bilic subbed Feghouli and Noble on 58 minutes and brought on Ayew and Snodgrass. Snodgrass was injured almost immediately but managed to get back into the game.

Pugh picked up a card for a foul on Kouyaté as the game moved on. Afobe had a shot saved before Boruc had to move to his left to keep a shot from Antonio out. Afobe made a big effort then to win the ball against Randolph after a short back pass and went in hard, but fairly for the ball from what I saw, but the referee gave him a yellow card.

Another move from the Cherries led Adam Smith to make a good cross that Afobe headed onto the roof of the net - it just wasn't going in for the ex-Wolves man. Soon after Andy Carroll hit a shot that caught Daniels on the arm, but no penalty was awarded.

Byram replaced Kouyaté with 12 minutes to go. Dan Gosling then entered the referees book for a foul he needed to make on Antonio. West Ham were pushing AFCB back and making them defend deep. Obiang was driving the Hammers up the pitch and he linked well with Byram who played in Ayew from the right, and the striker found it easy to level the scores with just five minutes to go 2-2.

AFCB replied by bringing on  Jack Wilshere and Lys Mousset for Benik Afobe and Ryan Fraser. The Cherries were not done yet and Arter gave a warning with a low drive that just scraped past Randolph's right post. Wilshere was making run after run down the middle of the pitch on breaks, and on one of these he passed the ball out wide to Pugh. A first time cross from Pugh brought the goal back in sight for Wilshere, and while his shot was parried out the ball fell again for King to lift the ball into the roof of the net - it was 3-2 to the Cherries on 90 minutes.

Five minutes of extra time would make the nervous fans start wondering if the ref had lost his whistle. Steve Cook was given a yellow for a foul on Carroll who had faded during the game as had West Ham's hopes.
Boruc had a fairly quite game for once.
Relief for the Cherries.
All over - the Cherries have their win. 
This was a pleasing result for the Cherries and they made it much harder for themselves than it need have been. Two penalties that didn't go in is a lot to give an opponent in such a tight game, but AFCB got away with it. The energy and sheer explosive power of Josh King is spectacular to watch and now that he has added goals to his game, he looks a quality Premier League player. But don't forget how Jack Wilshere came on and made those great runs bringing the Cherries out from defence and on to the attack - without those strong runs late on this could easily have ended up a draw as the Cherries are still giving two or three clear chances for opponents to score in games.

Boruc, A Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Arter, Gosling, Fraser (Mousset 85), King, Pugh, Afobe (Wilshere 85)

Allsop, Cargill, B Smith, Gradel, Mousset, Wilshere, Ibe

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 6, A Smith 6, Francis 8, Cook 7, Daniels 7, Arter 7, Gosling 6, Fraser 7, King 9,
Pugh 7, Afobe 6

West Ham Utd
Randolph, Kouyaté (Byram 78), Fonte, Reid, Cresswell, Feghouli (Ayew 58), Noble (Snodgrass 58), Obiang, Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll

Hammer's Subs
Adrián, Collins, Byram, Fernandes, Snodgrass, Ayew, Masuaku

Referee Watch: Robert Madley - impressed that he gave both penalty decisions to AFCB but the card for Afobe was wrong and for that I can only give him 5/10 - still a big improvement on last week's ref!

Eddie has got to be pleased with that.

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