Sunday, 1 April 2018

Defoe snatches late point from Watford 2-2

Match Report
Watford 2 v 2 AFCB
31 March 2018
Attendance: 20,393
Watford welcome Bournemouth at Vicarage Road.
I think many fans felt that this game would be a draw and while Bournemouth made hard work of it, there was a huge relief in the end when the ball fell to Jermain Defoe in the box in added time. But Defoe only needs one chance to do what he does well in beating the keeper. It was tough on Watford who had gone ahead in the first half with a deflected goal by Femenía and again, in the second half, when Pereya thought he had the winner, but Josh King's penalty and Defoe's last gasp equaliser earned Bournemouth a valuable point to keep them in 10th spot.
The two teams moments before kick off.
Ryan Fraser was brought into the team at right back with Adam Smith and Simon Francis absent from the squad. It was also good to see Harry Arter back on the bench for this game, but there was no Lys Mousset.
Steve Cook is captain in Simon Francis' absence.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.

The Cherries won an early free kick for a foul on Ryan Fraser and shortly after picked up another free kick for a foul on Callum Wilson in a closer position around the box. Nathan Aké got on the end of the ball in, but the header came off the bar.

Ibe and Daniels got things wrong between them on the left and gave possession away. But the Cherries soon had control again when Stanislas had a shot saved on seven minutes.

Will Hughes was influential in the middle and had a shot blocked and Begovic had to take a cross from Prödl. Gosling was having to defend and Aké made a good block on Troy Deeney when he took aim on nine minutes.

Watford's first corner was cleared by Steve Cook, but after a second Watford corner the ball cam out to Femenía who lashed his shot off the back of Josh King, and it flew past Begovic for the first goal to Watford on 13 minutes. The marking had been poor and Watford made Bournemouth pay for it.

Deeney was flagged offside in the next Watford attack, but Bournemouth were finding things difficult. Ibe won a free kick and then Aké headed well over from the delivery.

A Bournemouth corner came after Josh King was caught on the break. But Watford soon had the ball back and Steve Cook was putting in the blocks. Femína was still getting too much space and he passed to Will Hughes who saw his shot dribble just wide.

Up the other end, Ibe put in a cross that was too strong for everyone. Lewis Cook then took aim but blasted high over the bar.

Stanislas then tried a back heel in his own half and lost the ball. This saw him chase after Hughes and take him down just outside the D. Luckily Holebas could only belt his free kick into the wall and his second attempt was well taken by Begovic.

The game was scrappy and it suited Watford more than Bournemouth. Even when Bournemouth won a corner in the 38 minutes, Steve Cook couldn't direct his header on target. Bournemouth kept winning free kicks, but were not getting any shots off. Then Stanislas had a shot from the left wing, which had Karnezis in trouble. He seemed to have saved it, but Holebas had handled the ball before Ibe got to it and the referee awarded AFCB a penalty and a yellow card to Holebas.

Josh King made no mistake, smashing the ball in the bottom left corner sending Karnezis the wrong way -1-1!  With two minutes of added time to play, Junior Stanislas went down and had to hobble off. Marc Pugh replaced him, while the score was 1-1 at half-time.
1-1 at half time.
Second Half
Watford went straight on the attack and quickly won a corner. Ibe headed away before Hughes had to be blocked. Deeney got past Fraser and Hughes kept possession in the box. Prereya then shot from the left side, and Begovic looked unsighted as the ball sped past him to make it 2-1 to the home side on 49 minutes.

Bournemouth had it all to do again. Gosling made a good interception but Wilson was soon caught offside. A few moments later and the flag went up against him again. Begovic took a good catch from a Janmaat cross and on the break Wilson was fouled by Prödl and the referee played the advantage before booking Prodl.

Holebas was then booked for fouling Lewis Cook. Wilson was flagged offside though again. King made a strong run and just had to pick out Ibe, but couldn't make the pass.

Watford subbed Prödlt to bring on Cathcart on 64 minutes. Begovic's kicking was far from impressive as he kicked the ball straight out. Bournemouth brought on Defoe for Ibe on 67 minutes.

A Bournemouth corner was hastily cleared. A Ryan Fraser cross then bounced off of Mariappa in front of goal before Defoe saw the ball just run away from him.

Hughes was subbed as Okaka came on for the last 15 minutes. King was taken down by Doucouré who was carded.

Watford then subbed Femenía with nine minutes left and Richarlison came on for him. Fraser was on the left now and Pugh on the right with Bournemouth playing three at the back. Surman replaced Callum Wilson as Bournemouth put Gosling further forward.

Free kicks were continuing to come but they were too far away from Watford's goal. Deeney had a snap shot that Begovic got down well to. With four minutes of added time things were looking bleak for the Cherries. But a foul by Okaka on Steve Cook around half way at least allowed Bournemouth to pump the ball forward. Okaka was carded but continued to argue.

The ball was played up and after an initial header by Aké meant that the ball fell right to Defoe in front of goal. The Bournemouth striker wasted no time in getting his boot up high and stabbing the ball home to make it 2-2. Bournemouth fans were loving the moment. Defoe could celebrate right on front of them. Watford had to ponder how they could have left the win escape them, while Bournemouth had come from behind yet again when everything had looked lost.
Jermain Defoe rescues a point.
I don't know what it is about the team at the moment. They should be beaten in these kind of games but they refuse to give up. It wasn't a great performance, but it was a brave comeback and a gritty determination not to give in. Luckily they found away to get the ball to a striker in the right area and when the team really needs a goal it seems that it just goes in at the moment. It's a simple game, but for 90 minutes it was far from simple for Bournemouth. A draw was a great result for the Cherries and it was a dramatic way to end the game with such a late equaliser.
Bournemouth collect another point on the road.
AFCB Ratings
Begovic 6, Fraser 8, S Cook 7, Aké 7, Daniels 6, Stanislas 5, Gosling 6, L Cook 7, Ibe 6 (Defoe 9), King 6, Wilson 6

AFCB Subs: Boruc, B Smith, Pugh, Simpson, Arter, Surman, Defoe
MoM: Defoe had one job to do and he did it just in time


Karnezis, Janmaat, Prödl (Cathcart 64), Mariappa, Holebas, Doucouré, Capoue,
Femenía (Richarlison 81), Hughes (Okaka 75), Pereyra, Deeney

Watford Subs
Gomes, Richarlison, Ndong, Cathcart, Gray, Lukebakio, Okaka

Referee watch - Andy Madley: 4/10 Madley might have pulled up a few more fouls and he didn't evade the calls of you don't know what you're doing. Fraser was clearly elbowed in the ribs and there were a couple of other elbow first challenges.

Cherry Chimes T-Shirt

We had four correct predictions for the Cherry Chimes T-shirt for a 2-2 result. Well done to those who got it right, but Lyn Whytehead @fitzpottle came out of the hat first from the correct predictions and is the latest winner of a Cherry Chimes T-shirt.

Happy Easter! 
Cherry Chimes' March Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. It's out today with special story - Can Bournemouth resist any bid for Lewis Cook?

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