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- 15 January 2013
- Att: Moss
- Ref: 8890
THE STARTING 11
FRANCIS | ELPHICK | COOK | DANIELS
ARTER | O’KANE | HUGHES | MCQUOID
GRABBAN | THOMAS
ON THE BENCH:
JAMES, PARTINGTON, PUGH, FOGDEN, McDERMOTT, TUBBS, PITMAN
34 PUGH>GRABBAN, 66 FOGDEN>McQUOID, 80 TUBBS>HUGHES
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A FANS VIEW
GROCKLEFREE’S VIEW ON THE LATEST GAME
That’s what I think the difference was – 5% of quality. Both sides were guilty of losing the ball in the middle, but when our midfielder (not naming and shaming) blind passed the ball to the opposition on 17 minutes, it was that extra 5% that allowed him to run on and smash the ball past Jalal for the only goal of the game. When we pounced on mistakes, we just couldn’t make the same impact.
I’ve been on Jalal’s back in the past and if I was in a similar mood now, I could point to the ball not going anywhere near the corner, but today, proud as I am of the team, I shall just say that it was the raw power of the shot that left him helpless.
Proud I say, because Bournemouth really took the game to Wigan and had long periods of the game camped in the opposition half but just unable to break through.
If I was playing devil’s advocate, I would say that what we need to do more is improve movement up front when we bring the ball up from the back. I lost count of the times someone from the back/midfield would beat his man and rampage forward. As he ran, he would start to look for someone to offload the ball to, but no-one moved. So on he would run, and run and run, until he eventually lost the ball – so frustrating.
If only we could learn to make the same runs as we do down both left and right flanks (McQuiod apart) – we seem at ease there to know to run into space after giving the ball so that we can put a cross in.
In the past (again) I have slated the quality of cross, which seems to not match the level of play that got to the place from which the ball was crossed. Today, though, I think I’ve been looking at it the wrong way. Such was our dominance going forward down both left and right wings – I was forced to consider again why these crosses don’t result in more goals.
Simple, there’s either no-one in the middle to put the ball away, or there’s one person that doesn’t make a run to meet the ball. When you look at our goals tally, they are nearly all shots. Not since Charlie D banged in a header many games ago can I remember a cross being met with such success – I think this perhaps is what is holding us back from being great, instead of just good. Tonight, however, we were as close to great as we could be. With Hughes running the show in the middle we attacked down the wings again and again and our harrying was first class.
Just such harrying from Thomas and O’Kane had Thomas strip the ball off their defender and run forward. He slipped the ball to O’Kane who hit it just outside the box with the outstep of his foot and sent it swinging to crash against the corner of bar and post with the keeper stranded. It would have been a deserved equaliser for the home team, who didn’t let their heads drop despite being one down.
The second half just felt wrong shooting the other way, but the crowd tried its best to lift the players. It was to be another half of Bournemouth attack and Wigan counter but Martinez had a stroke of luck. An injury to their keeper meant a second half for the first teamer, without which Bournemouth would surely have scored. A bombardment of crosses and shots rained into the Wigan penalty area but each time the ball seemed to fall to a Wigan player – is it their ability to read the game, or just that they were getting the run of the ball – I’d prefer it to be the former – the latter just sounds bitter
Arter was the first to really rue the keeper change as his shot was heading into the top right corner before the keeper skilfully tipped the ball round the corner. On 85 minutes Pugh’s left foot volley was tipped onto the bar but the icing on the cake was the 93rd minute save from Tubbs’ free-kick that he curled over the wall. No way was the first keeper saving that.
Sure, in the 88th minute ,Dicko lived up to his name and missed a sitter from a counter attack from the left, but this would have flattered the visitors even more that it already did.
Summary – I thought a draw in Wigan was a deserved result but today I thought we deserved to win. In some ways I’m glad the unbeaten run is over (a pressure just not needed) and that it hasn’t affected out main aim – getting promotion. Let’s please not do a Huddersfield and start inventing ways in which we are still unbeatenon