Monday, 3 April 2017

A clean sheet at Saints is something to savour

We were all disappointed by not getting the win at Southampton that the side probably deserved. Yet, on reflection how often have we seen AFCB record a clean sheet? This was also a back-to-back clean sheet, even if the Swansea game was a couple of weeks ago. Such a result is something fans would have bitten your hand off for only two months ago.
AFCB had the Saints on the ropes at times!
Considering that AFCB have never won at St Marys, it will have been the optimistic few that expected an away win in the late evening kick off on Saturday. However, I do see a really gritty side of AFCB being reborn in recent games. They played a structured game at St Marys that saw them not only contain a good Southampton side, but actually gather themselves to really storm them in the second half, and play as if they were the home side. The penalty miss from Arter and unfortunate post hitting, by Adam Smith, came out of the rising pressure that AFCB were putting on the Southampton goal, and the creativity of the side is looking good. Good enough to keep Jordan Ibe and Junior Stanislas out of the side, by the way.

The performance of Artur Boruc was another one for the scrapbook. He may not have had to make many saves that Eddie Howe would not have expected him to get to, but he kept alert all game and made Southampton's strikers have to take a second look or think twice about their shots on some occasions, and his careful positioning made it easier for him to make the saves.
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Steve Cook is also raising his standard all the time. I kind of flinched when he went down in the first half as a result of his saving tackle with Rodriguez. But he shook it off fairly quickly and I find Steve Cook the most switched on and alert to danger of the back four. That's why I get worried when he is injured or out of the team. This season he has played in all the league games and he has to be a seen as a major bedrock for AFCB's success.

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