Thursday, 31 August 2017

Tyrone will be a titan for the Cherries

I gave my man of the match in the Man City game to Tyrone Mings. He may not be everyone's player of the game, but I was impressed by the way he gets himself right at the heart of the danger when it is there in AFCB's box and if you watch back Charlie Daniels goal you'll also see him bombing forwards to make the extra man.
Tyrone is impressing early n the season.
That's what I like about Tyrone - he's a team player. He doesn't wait for others to do the job if he can get there and he is willing to race back when the ball is lost. I like his galloping long stride and the way he thinks about the game. He is worth watching very closely when he next plays as you'll always see something that makes you think, I didn't know he was that good. There was a point in the first half of the Man City game when AFCB had just recovered possession and Tyrone spotted Gosling on the left, and chipped a delightful, curved ball out to him on the wing. He isn't afraid to try things and when his team is in trouble, he's always quick to react.

While he could not not do much about the first Man City goal, he was racing out wide to try and stop the cross that eventually got to Sterling when he grabbed the late winner. Mings goes the whole 90 minutes and he will be a titan for AFCB in games this season. I see the three at the back suiting his game especially well as he loves to go forward with the ball.

In his post-match interview you can see how he relished going up against the likes of Aguero and Jesus and that was after a week when he played his first 90 minutes against Birmingham City, where he took a painful blow in making a goal line clearance. He is one you can rely on when the chips are down, and I'm expecting to see Tyrone in many more games this season. He is a player that can break through and keep his place and his form also add some pressure to Steve Cook's position in a back four, and Steve Cook has not been not been challenged for a long time. 

Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. It's out tomorrow with special story - We do love Nathan Ake.

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Defeats don't sit well with Howe

It is not often that Eddie Howe can't wait to get off the pitch and back into the changing rooms, but he didn't much like the taste of the last minute defeat to Man City. It was not a outcome that really did justice to how well the Cherries had scrapped and frustrated Man City for much of the game and to be left sitting on zero points after three games is big punishment.
Eddie won't rest easy until he gets AFCB moving up the table.
AFCB fans are not used to seeing too many defeats, but the three losses would have been more damaging on morale if Bournemouth hadn't turned up in the Man City game. But the side did perform and they pushed Man City all the way. It is hard for the fans and players as well as the manager to get much comfort from that, but in the overall picture AFCB will have to look back and see that there is much to be pleased about in this latest performance.

The atmosphere in the ground made a huge difference to the Cherries. It picked them up and really encourage AFCB to take the game to Man City. At least this is the kind of match that showed the players in a better light than what had gone before. No one likes losing, and every team is going to have a difficult period in the season – it's just that AFCB's has come early. This team is stronger than the team AFCB had last season, they just need a bit of luck now.
Charlie Daniels' goal is one thing that gives the club something to be pleased about but it's the points that are more important. What is apparent is that AFCB won't feel that any team they now play can't be beaten. If they can give Man City a scare, they can give any team in the league a problem. I think that is also what frustrates Eddie Howe the most, as he has three defeats to show for his efforts when he knows this side is the best talent he has ever had to manage.

In other news, Josh King extends his contract with AFCB with a new four-year deal.

AskFans Match report AFCB 1 v 2 Man City

Daily Mail - The Verdict

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Charlie's goal was something else

It's usually Steve Cook that stuns everyone with a fabulous goal at the start of a new season. Well, Steve has competition as Charlie Daniels' rocket against Man City is going to take some beating this season. It was probably not the best angle to take a shot on, but something obviously told Daniels that he should just go for glory and what a goal it was!
Charlie doesn't hold back when it's time to shoot!
When AFCB struggle to score goals it is often that one goes in from an unlikely source. I am not sure what the odds were for Charlie being the first goal scorer last Saturday, but whoever had money on him would have been considerably better off this week. When the opportunity comes to strike what you know would be a sensational shot if it went in the ball usually ends up in the stands. Daniels got his body shape in the perfect position to keep the ball from rising too fiercely and there was very little deviation in the shot from its course when Daniels let fly.

I am not sure that Charlie had to hit the ball quiet as hard, but the way it came to him as a half volley must have just enticed him to put everything behind it. He has a habit of shooting with more power than would seem sensible at times, but you can't argue with it when the ball ends up at the net.


Of course every time now when Charlie gets forward we'll probably hear shouts of "shoot!" In fact there was one call I heard shortly after the goal when Charlie just stepped over the half way line with the ball. Well, we might not see another goal like that this season, but I suppose it is one up to the defenders and the other parts of the team will need to get going to give the Cherries a chance of beating their Premier League goal record of 55.

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Cherries' performance against City deserved a point

Despite the defeat to Man City there is more to be pleased about this week than the way AFCB played in the first two league games. A point against Man City would have been about right, and it feels that the team was cheated out of that with Sterling's late winner. But AFCB did miss a few chances themselves to get the win, and against such opposition you can't afford to have a day when you don't take every chance of scoring.

AFCB's players were stunned at the way the game ended after all their hard work.
What were the positives? Well, AFCB seemed more settled with playing three at the back and the way Eddie Howe spoke after the game of it being a system for this particular game. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see it again for the Arsenal game.

The tempo of the match was also set much higher by the Cherries than in previous games and not only did the crowd get behind the team, but the early goal just turned things up a notch higher. Unlike the Watford game, we didn't see so many passing errors and if anything it was Bournemouth players hounding Man City players into mistakes. Bournemouth just got at City and if they do that against lesser sides we could see an absolute pasting of an opponent fairly soon.

The stature of Man City certainly got the Bournemouth players up for revenge. I am not sure the intensity of the game would have been as high for any other opponent, but considering AFCB have never been City it was a target that really gave the players something to get into. After the match Eddie spoke about how it would have been a great achievement to get the point considering how much they had to try and break play up in the second half. While they ultimately came up short, the experience should put the players in good stead for subsequent games against the big teams. 

But the players have to get it into their heads that every Premier League game is as important as another and when you have no points it really does bring that fact home.


The performance mattered more to Howe than anything else. The game demonstrated that he has not lost the players and that they are still fighting hard for him. Whatever, led to the first two performances have hopefully been blown away as AFCB can hold their heads up high after this match – Dean Court is not going to be an easy place for teams to visit.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sterling's late, late, winner is a cruel blow to gallant Bournemouth

Match Report
AFCB 1 v 2 Man City
26 August 2017
Attendance: 10,419

There wasn't a Bournemouth fane in the stadium at the end of the game who didn't think their team had not been hard done by this result. Raheem Sterling always seem to score against the Cherries and he left it late or should I say probably in overtime as it was into seven minutes of added time, when only five had been held up on the assistant referee's board. It counted though and this one was cruel on Eddie Howe's side who had set about the game with real gusto and ability, which had been missing in previous games. A supersonic left-sided run by Charlie Daniels ended with a goal of the season contending missile of a shot that rocketed AFCB into the lead on 13 minutes. Yet, quick thinking City fought back with a fast free kick that was swiftly worked to the feet of Jesus who slid the ball past Begovic to draw level eight minutes later. While Josh King came close to regaining a Bournemouth lead when he smashed a shot against City's post in the second half, the match was stolen away from Bournemouth's hard working players by Sterling's late raid.
AFCB and Man City at Dean Court.
There were several changes to the Bournemouth line up. Deciding to play three at the back was certainly an inspired decision with Tyrone Mings coming into the team. Dan Gosling also joined Arter and Surman in central midfield to stave Man City of too much possession and Jermain Defoe got his first Premier League start for the Cherries.

AFCB look to give City a tough game.
More pictures are on Match Day Gallery

Adam Smith was the first Bournemouth to catch the eye in winning a free kick and finding space on the right side. One of his early crossed found Josh King in a good shooting position, but the front man unfortunately mis-timed his kick. 

Nathan Aké had a nervous early moment in having to get a touch back to Begovic after Kevin De Bruyne had fought his way into Bournemouth's box. 

AFCB's attacking presence was evident too as Surman found himself well placed to hit a shot centrally, but didn't get a clean hit. Bournemouth won possession back well though and as everyone expected Daniels to put a cross in, he unleashed an unstoppable half volley that rose beautifully to smash its way off the underneath of the bar to nestle in the top-side, right corner, of Man City's goal. The Cherries were 1-0 up on 13 minutes and the noise from the home fans was tremendous.

City had a great chance to strike straight back with Nicolas Otamendi firing wide of the left post.

AFCB almost made it 2-0 when Surman played a cross to Defoe who stretched to make the volley but Ederson moved to his left to keep it out, before Adam Smith fired a shot back across the goal. Bournemouth were playing so well at hustling for the ball that it was as though there was only one team on the pitch. 

Matters were about to change. Sterling tested Boruc's positioning with a tester of a shot that sunk into the keeper's chest. But wen Aké fouled Gabriel Jesus some 35 yards out, City took the kick so quickly that a hole opened up through the middle for Gabriel Jesus, who raced through and slid the ball past Begovic to make it 1-1 on 21 minutes.

Mike Dean was not getting any cards out despite some persistent fouling by Benjamin Mendy, holding back Adam Smith. Aké was not so lucky for a foul on Jesus that earned him the first card.

City had come alive and ridden the early shock. Gabriel Jesus had the chance to test Begovic again after a Mendy cross from the left, but he shot wide from just 10 yards out. 

Steve Cook was then fully extended on getting a superb tackle from behind on Sterling. Gosling and then Minds also put in crunching tackles to keep City out of the box.

A misdirected pass from Aké ran straight to Otamendi, but his shot found Begovic well-positioned in the middle of the goal. De Bruyne was running matters now. Mike Dean was also letting City's subtle holding on Defoe go.

Aké had an ankle problem that he ran off. Begovic was employed again though as the half drew to a close saving twice from Fernandinho.
Half time score.
AFCB subs warming up.
Second half
There was a surprise that  Mike Dean offered City a free kick when Otamendi lost his boot instead of a drop ball when play was stopped. But at least the free kick went over everyone's head. 

Vincent Kompany received a yellow for fouling Josh King and David Silva also saw yellow for arguing about it. Arter was having a quiet game, but Josh King was just about to get everyone off their seat as Arter slid a pass to him from the left that King hit first time, driving the ball against City's left post! 

AFCB's pressure continued on the hour before City subbed Bernando Silva and brought on Sergio Aguero on 65 minutes. Begovic was having to make more saves as Fernnadinho shot from 25 yards out and forced a low save from the Bournemouth keeper.

Afobe replaced Defoe on 72 minutes but City kept up the pressure with Gabriel Jesus being kept out by Steve Cook's best endeavours. 

A great chance escaped Man City when Otamendi headed the ball against the post from a following corner and Begovic claimed the ball as it ran close to the goal line.

Mike Dean added another City name in the book when Mendy fouled Josh King. With Gabriel Jesus subbed for Leroy Sane, Guardiola was looking for a winner. Tyrone Mings was still making blocks and had had a fine game. Steve Cook picked up a booking and so would Mings in the last few minutes.

A dangerous position for a free kick, 25 yards out, could have been a problem but City fired it wide of the wall.

As five minutes of added time went up AFCB fans would have been content with a point. Afobe was injured and was holding his back after what looked a foul on him, but the referee ignored the foul. Lys Mousset would come on for the last few minutes as Afobe could not continue. The time the referee added on for this was crucial.

Adam Smith was then carded as Bournemouth looked to hold on. 

Begovic punched a corner kick away and all looked good until Mousset was pulled up for a foul that looked a good tackle. Harry Arter was yellow carded for flinging an arm at Sterling.

King then beat a couple of players and shot well, but Ederson got down well to save.  

Mousset put in what looked to be a decent tackle at first, but Mike Dean saw the clipping of Otamendi's boot as a foul. It led to a free kick that was fed down the right. Sterling and Danilo did a one-two before Sterling spotted a gap to Begovic's right. He picked the shot out that was scooped into the goal to make it 1-2.

While the City players celebrated next to the away fans there was a pitch invasion of sorts despite the stewards' best efforts to hold the surge back. Mike Dean then showed a second yellow to Sterling for running into the away fans and he was sent off. The game had gone though and AFCB's players and fans just felt they had been cheated out of what would have been a fabulous result.
Man City fans celebrate.
A great battling performance form the Cherries might not have earned any points but the team has come out of its rut. Now it looks like a side that wants to win and is going to fight for every ball. The back three worked well and Bournemouth not only competed but bossed the game in the first 20 minutes. Had they got back ahead when Josh King hit the post they would have got something out of the game - it's that thin margin that costs teams sometimes. Eddie Howe can't be displeased with this performance. It was a determined effort for 90 plus minutes. Tyrone Mings and Begovic played extremely well and Aké and Steve Cook looked happier in a back three. There are some good signs here, especially with Josh King getting back to his best and the team looking more at one in their direction efforts.
Tyrone Mings fitted in well in the back three.
Eddie Howe said this  result was anew low for him.
The final score doesn't begin to tell the story.
Begovic, A Smith, S Cook, Aké, Mings, Daniels, Gosling, Surman, Arter, King,
Defoe ((Afobe 73) 
Moussett 90+4)

AFCB Substitutes
Boruc, B Smith, L Cook, Fraser, Ibe, Mousset, Afobe

AFCB Ratings
Begovic 7, A Smith 7, S Cook 7, Aké 7, Mings 8, Daniels 7, Arter 5, Surman 5, Gosling 6, King 7, Defoe 6

Referee Watch: Mike Dean - dreadful performance 2/10 - never in control of the game in missing clear yellow cards or ignoring some fouls. The Cherries never tend to get many decisions from this referee.

Man City

Ederson, Danilo, Kompany, Otamendi, Mendy, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva (Stones 90+1), Bernardo Silva (Agüero 66), Jesus (Sané 82), Sterling

City Subs
Bravo, Stones, Mangala, Y Touré, Delph, Sané, Agüero

Saturday, 26 August 2017

How do you outplay a team like Man City?

Taking on Man City at their own game is a bit like running into a brick wall. AFCB have tried to match them by playing their own game, but City's players have always been quicker and stronger at moving the ball. Thinking of a plan to change the dynamics of that is going to have kept Eddie Howe busy this week and more, but the players will determine if they can get on the front foot or not and they'll probably make up their minds very early on.

Man City are unbeaten in four matches against the Cherries
– can AFCB get a win against one of the league's best sides?
The opening minutes of Premier League contests are great spectacles to watch as both teams usually hold little back, but the small errors get magnified when play is at 100 miles an hour. AFCB often use the pace to their advantage. Yet, to beat a top side like Man City they will need more than that. AFCB have to be able to show their strengths in all aspects of the game, and beating Man City to the breakdowns is where they can establish their hold on the game.

Man City are not invincible. Everton did well to go to the Etihad, in the week, and to get a draw, and they could have won. The lesson is that hey achieved what they did by not sitting back. Eddie Howe is likely to want his side to play as much as they can in the opponents half, even though the counter-attack from Man City will be devastatingly quick and more than likely, they'll be very accurate in their passing. Everton challenged Man City and kept asking questions and AFCB have to do the same.

It's surprising how a team can find it hard to turn on the style at any given moment when they don't see a game unfolding in they way they had expected. Eddie Howe needs a surprise of two up his sleeve for Guardiola's side. Special moves practised for corners, a flexible system to defend and attack and careful positioning at set plays will enter Howe's thoughts, but at the end of the day the one aspect he can't do much to control on the day is AFCB's accuracy on shooting. If AFCB are to get something against Man City it is vital that we see better shooting from the Cherries.

In other news, three club directors have stepped down - Mikhail Ponomarev, Oleg Tikhturov and Igor Tikhturov.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Is Josh King ready to start influencing games?

While Bournemouth have had a slow start to the season and the focus has been firmly put on seeing how quickly Jermain Defoe can break the net for the Cherries, there has been little talk about the form of Josh King. Josh has played for 90 minutes in the matches against WBA and Watford and I'm probably not the only one who is struggling to remember many goal attempts for the number 17, apart from a header that went over in the second half against the Hornets.
Can Josh King get off the mark with a goal on Saturday?
No doubt Josh has set himself a goal target for this season, and he probably even has a rough idea of how many he'd like to be on by Christmas. Yet, at the moment he must be baffled why he is not finding it easy to get into games, unlike the way he did in the second half of last season. He was one of the driving players of the team, forcing mistakes and running after loose balls and turning them into opportunities to score.

If Josh is slightly off the pace though, then so are most of his team-mates. But Eddie Howe has been consistent in playing King and will be hoping that Josh is one of the players that can turn his form around quickly. King has partnered Benik Afobe in both Premier League starts and come Saturday that could change.

But if Defoe comes in, it may not necessarily help King that much. He has been most effective when he plays as the standalone striker, rather than as a number 10, and yet with both Defoe and Afobe seemingly preferred in the number nine role, Josh may not  be finding it as easy to switch back into being the support striker.

It is perhaps best for King when Junior Stanislas or Ryan Fraser play behind him, but it is unlikely we will see that formation while Defoe and Afobe are available. Getting the best out of Josh King is one of the keys that Howe must get right though to help get AFCB out of their current slump. I don't think the transfer talk has had a big influence on King's game, but he needs to get back to being an influence in games.

We may find that he needs time to get an understanding with Defoe and if that pairing is to be Howe's preferred striker choice, the earlier King can get a goal and get firing the easier it may be for Defoe to settle. Defoe doesn't need to be carrying the full weight of AFCB's goal scoring hopes. However, King needs to give himself the belief that he can do as well this season, as he did in 2016-17. A goal for King may well more important for AFCB in the long run than it would be for Defoe to get off the mark first.

Can Eddie find the right set up to take on Man City?

Manchester City aim to make more of a title challenge this season by my reckoning. Having spent more than £220m already on new signings. Guardiola was not so impressed by the team's opening win against Brighton claiming that "we are going to improve the way we attack." For most a 0-2 away win would be a satisfactory result, but Man City have targeted perfection. So what can AFCB do to derail this goliath?

Man City have not taken full points from their opening two games.
The first object has to be defiance in doing everything they can not to concede. But Howe will not want to try and defend for 90 minutes in a bore draw. If Bournemouth can hold out past 60 minutes, it is probable that City would push everything forward in an attempt to get a win, which would be ideal for an AFCB side looking for an opportunity on the break. But I don't think Howe can send his team out to play in this way.

Most attempts by AFCB on the top four sides to try and out possess them has ended in a thorough beating, but when they played in that fashion against Arsenal at home last season they did get 3-0 up by half time. The Cherries are simply not great at defending, so this attacking style has to be the way Howe will try and get something from the game. It will be heroic and may seem foolhardy, but the Cherries have to attack and take City on.

Guardiola knows the Cherries strengths and will try not to allow them build up their early momentum. Bournemouth have to prevent being out numbered in midfield and I wouldn't mind if we see five across the middle. 

Tyrone Mings also played so well against Birmingham that it could give Howe time to consider whether AFCB could go three at the back with Aké and Steve Cook. The trouble is there probably hasn't been much training for such a system and you don't want to test it against one of the best unless your team is confident of doing it well. The other view though is to see it as a positive change that might surprise the opposition. Whatever gives the team confidence is the system that Howe should pick.

Possible AFCB Team
Begovic (GK), A Smith (RD), S Cook (CD), Aké (CD), Daniels (LD), Ibe (RM), Arter (CM), Gosling (CM), Surman (CM), Fraser (LM), King (FW)


Boruc (GK), Mings (CD), B Smith (LD), L Cook (CM), Pugh (LM), Afobe (FW), Defoe (FW) Carabao Cup Third Round Tie AFCB v Brighton
AFCB U21s beat Exeter City 4-1

You can also read my AFCB v Man City preview on ASKFans

Thursday, 24 August 2017

How does Eddie get AFCB functioning?

The knives are already out and we have only played two league games. The players know they have not been operating at their true level, and its more disturbing that Eddie Howe points towards a lack of pride and fight in the Watford match, when AFCB could not muster any comeback when they went a goal down.
Eddie needs to get to the bottom of why the team is not functioning well.
To me, the games against Man City and Arsenal are just what the Cherries probably need. These are big games where the team knows it has to collectively fight for everything just to keep in contact with the quality that their opponents will have. 

Against WBA and Watford it was Bournemouth trying to make the play and expecting the opposition to use the counter-attack. While Eddie Howe wants Bournemouth to be a possession side, they have not been doing it effectively and have probably been handed possession too easily with the sides they have already played and have simply been lured into their trap.

Playing better teams will have the worry of conceding more goals, but it will encourage more fight and a team spirit, which is required now as the players are no doubt angry with each other after what has happened so far. AFCB have not become a terrible team with most of the same players of last season still on the pitch. They have it within them to turn this around. It will happen, but what it is going to take to make that spark happen? 

The early kick off against Man City at home puts the spotlight well on the Cherries. It's a different build up for a game and may just raise the fight levels in the team. Getting the team functioning is crucial for the well-being of not just the players but the supporters too.

We know there is dissatisfaction with some of the midfield payers in particular. Fans want them out, but knee-jerk reaction is not what Eddie Howe is known for. He will make some changes, but will have belief that the players themselves can turn things around as they have done in the past. 

What's going on with AFCB defending corners?

It doesn't seem to matter who is in the back four and who is in goal, defending corners for the Cherries is a team matter and it's still not very good. Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall have to look more closely at what is going on at these corners because if zonal marking, as suspected, is being used it isn't working at all.
Asmir Begovic has not found it easy to keep any clean sheets.
Birmingham City must have been amazed at how easily they were gifted their goal to go 1-0 up in the league cup tie. You could say that WBA didn't have to work much harder for their lead a few weeks ago as well. Bournemouth could do with a corner expert drilling the side on a regular basis if the players can't grasp what  their job is when players start moving around and opposing players are allowed to run free.

The Cherries are not a tall team and have always been suspect when a good delivery is made in their box, but they have been totally unorganised and not just for the corners when goals have resulted, but just about on every corner that they have had to defend. It suggests that there is something very wrong with the way the team is trying to defend the corners and free kicks that are angled into the box. I still wonder why teams move away from the idea that everyone has his man and those that don't are the two on the posts. Sometimes the old ways were done for a reason, and at least it is less confusing for the players.
Obviously, it is easier for your Afobes and Cooks to win headers that it is for Ryan Fraser or Jermain Defoe, but a well timed jump can still put attackers off from getting a good clean contact, and at times AFCB don't have anyone anywhere near challenging for the ball in areas where they should.

Having a confident goalkeeper will also help, but it would be wrong to load all of the poor defending at corners down to just the keepers. AFCB really need to do some work on this as it is happening every week now.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Tyrone Mings puts in a brave and heroic performance at Birmingham

Tyrone Mings has hopefully started the turnaround in AFCB's season that they so needed. He might not be the man that is always going to pop up and score the goals, but he put his body on the line to keep Birmingham from increasing their lead at St Andrew's in the first half.
Tyrone Mings chose to go in the right direction to
 keep Birmingham from extending their lead.
Bournemouth had fallen behind to another soft goal that was largely of their own making. A corner that was poorly defended cost AFCB an easier game and when Birmingham's Vassel showed he had the  strength to get away from Steve Cook. While he had the where with all to round Artur Boruc and get his shot away on target, it looked a hopeless cause to AFCB fans looking on. But Tyrone Mings doesn't give up easily, and he timed his run to perfection to meet the ball as it was about to cross the line. Having the quickness of thought to back heel the ball certainly saved the Cherries from going 2-0 down, and the cost to himself was fairly major as he smashed into the supporting post holding up the netting at the back of the goal.

It took quite a few minutes for Mings to recover with some treatment, but that is what centre-halves do. So often its the strikers that get the plaudits but Eddie Howe was certain that Mings' commitment to the team at that moment was a pivotal moment for the Cherries. It changed the likely outcome of the game as Bournemouth rarely had to defend their box as much in the latter parts of the game. It gave the players a moment to see how Tyrone so much wanted not to lose the game and it generated positivity in the team.

While it was great to see Ryan Fraser and Marc Pugh get the goals that would carry AFCB through to the third round of the League Cup, it is Tyrone Mings who should be getting many of the pats on the back for helping AFCB through this time. It gives Eddie Howe something to think about as well. Tyrone is a player that does well in big games and it's something that we are all becoming more aware of.

The Cherries fight back to win at Birmingham 1-2

Match Description
Birmingham City 1 v 2 AFCB
22 August 2017
Carabao English League Cup
Second Round
Attendance: 8245 (with 526 AFCB fans)

Ryan Fraser gets AFCB off and running in goals as Bournemouth
comeback against Birmingham in the Carabao Cup.
AFCB got the boost they so needed on the night having been close to disaster after being 1-0 down from Maikel Kieftenbeld's opener, and Tyrone Mings salvaging an almost certain second Birmingham goal. The Cherries found some momentum and Ryan Fraser got the Cherries' first goal of the season just a few moments into the second half. AFCB kept their possession high and found a winner when Marc Pugh met a cross from Lys Mousset. A few close shaves had to be survived before the end but the Cherries held firm and now have something positive to take into their weekend game.

AFCB picked a team with a sprinkling of first team regulars such as Steve Cook, Adam Smith, Ryan Fraser and Marc Pugh, but also opened the door to players that fans want to see challenge for the first team places like Lewis Cook, Dan Gosling and Tyrone Mings. Defoe was given his first start as promise by Howe and it was good to see Lys Mousset also given a chance to impress from the start. It was eight changes in all from the team that began against Watford.

John Williams on Radio Solent was pleased to see AFCB started the match playing quicker than they have in the two league matches with several runs up the left side as Brad Smith and Marc Pugh got on the ball. Lewis Cook and Lys Musset's first thinking seemed to be to look for Defoe, but they were not finding the ball sticking

Birmingham began slowly but Tyrone Mings had to intervene quickly to stop Vassel and conceded a corner. But from the corner Bournemouth did not mark up well, a header is knocked back from the far post and Maikel Kieftenbeld has a simple right foot shot to put the home team 1-0 up after 11 minutes.

If AFCB didn't think they were under pressure they certainly felt it after that.

Defoe made a quick turn in the box but his shot is saved by Kuszczak. Defoe again wins the ball back and shoots just wide of the right post.

Maghoma also shows his pace and Boruc has to guard his post as the ball flashes wide.

Pugh threads Defoe through but Kuszczak saves. Pugh takes a shot but the keeper is there again. Kris Temple is already mentioning that the Cherries have already had more shots than they have had in their first two Premier League games.

Birmingham take off Nsue at right back and Wes Harding is on. Bramell is out acing Fraser and Adam Smith.

Gosling is struggling a bit with a knock. Lewis Cook adds another shot on target to the stats but t was straight at Kuszczak.

Steve Cook is caught out and Vassel is through, around Boruc, but Mings gets back to back heel the ball away. Mings has injured himself in the process. He has hit his head on the metal bar that runs behind the goal. Mings is back up and he no doubt has a headache.

Bournemouth win a couple of corners and start to build some pressure before Gosling has the last touch and loses possession.

Mousset turns well but then gives the ball away and gets a yellow card. Free kick to Birmingham. Brad Smith is putting some good crosses in. Ryan Fraser over runs a ball that Steve Cook put through for him.

Mousset has a drive from inside the box, well hit but saved by the keeper. This is better from the Cherries. Lewis Cook then shoots well over.

Brad Smith finds Mings who gets a shot at the near post, but it's at the keeper. Kuszczak has been the busier keeper but all the saves have been comfortable for him and Birmingham lead 1-0 at half time.

Second Half
Birmingham make a sub with Vassel replaced by Jutkiewicz. Adam Smith plays it into the near post and Fraser is on the end to make it 1-1.

The Subsitute Jutkiewicz now makes Boruc fully stretch to keep his attempt out at the other end. Mousett low shot and Kuszczak is down to save at his near post.

Fraser puts Defoe in who finished, but he is offside. Shotton gives away a free kick as Defoe tries to go past. A yard outside the penalty area, Fraser gets ready to take the free kick.

Zack Maghoma gets a yellow card for not retreating. Fraser hits it over the bar.

Bournemouth are enjoying good possession now. Birmingham are trying to make a fight of it. Shotton picks up a yellow card for stopping Mousset. The keeper gets the free kick having gone to ground.

Break on with Harding and he wins a free kick. Gleeson takes the kick and Steve Cook clears to Fraser who is chopped down.

Mousset, shot from Pugh sliding in - "trademark finish," says Kris Temple. It's a strange feeling to be in front in a game. Birmingham trail 1-2 on 68 minutes.

Defoe has a deflected shot that goes out for a corner. Brad Smith shoots and it just goes over the bar - "a real fizzer," says Temple.

Mousset great effort, flicked up and volleyed but Kuszczak saves. Mousset has worked hard and has cramp. Afobe is replacing him.

Kris Temple's assessment is that Lewis Cook and Gosling have been steady. Brad Smith has played well and Defoe looks very sharp. In fact, Kris says he'll be astounded if Defoe does not start on Saturday.

Bramall is subbed by Robinson. Corner to AFCB, last 10 minutes. "It's been a collective performance tonight," says John Williams.

Fraser is replaced by Jordan Ibe. Jutkiewicz is fouled by Brad Smith. Corner now to Birmingham. Defoe finally clears up to half way. Jutkiewicz has a shot but its wide.

Lewis Cook fouls Davis. Brave header from Adam Smith at the back post. Maghoma gets the ball across to Jutkiewicz but he's got his angles all wrong when he had a great chance to equalise from the six yard box.

Afobe on the run sees his shot turned behind by Kuszczak. Mahoney is getting ready to come on.

Ibe sees his shot deflected into Kuszczak's arms. Adam Smith picks up a booking for a foul on David Davis. There is four in the AFCB wall. Mahoney is putting his tracksuit top back on. Afobe heads away.

It's a bit of a relief to know that the Cherries have upped their game from what we have seen so far this season. Birmingham City are not Man City, but a win was vital for confidence. It also allows Bournemouth to progress in the cup which is great for the development of players. Eddie Howe will have learnt more from this match than he has from the league games and he'll be pleased there was some spirit shown and some defiance after being a goal down. So now we'll see if Bournemouth can build on this positivity.

Boruc, A Smith, S Cook, Mings, B Smith, Fraser (Ibe 82), L Cook, Gosling, Pugh, Mousset (Afobe 77), Defoe

Ramsdale, Aké, Simpson, Hyndman, Mahoney, Ibe, Afobe

Kuszczak, Nsue (Harding 23), Shotton, Roberts, Grounds, Bramall (Robinson 78), Davis, Kieftenbeld, Gleeson, Maghoma, Vassel (Jutkiewicz 45)

Stockdale, Tesche, Gardner, Jutkiewicz, Cotterill, Robinson, Harding