MAN OF THE MATCH
MATCH REPORT: STRONG IN THE ARM, THICK IN THE HEAD
The last game of 2013 ends on a sigh, when it should have been a high with all three points. Lets welcome 2014 with hopes of the play-offs. It could happen.
Ipswich were a team in form, unbeaten in the last six and occupying a play-off place. A tough game was expected and a tough game the Cherries got. The opening ten minutes saw the home side pinned in their own half as the Tractor Boys piled on the pressure, but Bournemouth stood firm and made sure that that old unhappy habit of conceding in the first few minutes was avoided.
The Cherries grew into the game and as the last remaining remnants of turkey and sprouts finally disappeared Bournemouth got a hold of the ball and started to pass like we know they can. It didn’t take long for the chances to come and it was that familiar tale once again as the visiting keeper kept his team in the game. A beautifully flighted ball from O’Kane was gracefully gliding into the top corner until Gerken got his fingertips on it. Grabban had a great chance but shot straight at the keeper, but it was Fraser who got everyone out of their seats in anticipation. A poor ball from the Ipswich defence saw the ball land at Fraser’s feet. Would the wee man shoot? Would he take a touch? Would he slide the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner? We reckon he had all this questions in his head and simply couldn’t make his mind up and skewed the ball wide.
ANOTHER DISALLOWED GOAL
If Elphick hadn’t of been there would we have scored? Yes. The keeper was already missing it
So, no goals again at the South end of the ground, well at least not for the home side. A suspiciously dodgy knock down by McGoldrick (he used his arm, but the ref couldn’t see it), saw a swift cross into the box past a couple of defenders arriving at the back post for a tap in. Francis’s face said it all, he knew he had been caught out and could have done better. But, any type of touch from Francis could have see the ball in the net anyway. Lets just say it was a good ball in.
Following in time-honoured tradition it was time for the Cherries to step up a gear and go for goal. The first casualty was Josh McQuoid, remember him? Not after today’s performance. He was replaced by the far more effective Brett Pitman, another player who needs a kick up the arse occasionally. But, the decisive change came as Fraser, who was fading out of the game, was replaced by Marc Pugh. He immediately started giving the Ipswich defenders a torrid time, fooling them with his drag back and getting in a succession of balls into the danger area.
When would the equaliser come? Four minutes after Pugh came on and it was his ball into the box that Pitman mishit, fortuitously landing at Surman’s feet. His shot was on its way into the bottom corner, but that pickled cucumber Gerken was there again to save. Don’t think we have see Pitman move so fast since he was on his way to Bristol City. He sprung to his feet and smashed the loose ball into the roof of the net. Game on.
With 15 minutes left it was a Cherries onslaught on the Ipswich goal. How did we go about our mission for three points? The same way we always do. It gets tiresome saying, but it was a succession of sideway passes and crosses int the box. At least we had a tall bloke in Elliott Ward to batter a few defenders and take advantage. But, he’s not a stiker, he’s a defender. Bring back Supa Fletch, the way we are playing he would be scoring every week. He must sit and watch and dream of crosses that we provide, just wishing he could have had those in his career.
It’s boring critising, but again, we still look like we only have one plan of attack. When we have two we will be happy, for a while. But, once again we were truly entertained and we would much rather be watching this than some of the dross served up by some of the teams we have seen this season. Happy New Year everyone.