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  • Football League One
  • 29 December 2012
  • Att: Probert
  • Ref: 7855
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GARY ALEXANDER | Bournemouth 1-0
Steve Cook got down the left and whipped in a cross to the middle of the box. Crawley skipper Alexander got his head to the ball but only directed past his own keeper.

BRETT PITMAN | Bournemouth 2-0
A foul on the edge of the box saw Pitman line up a free-kick that he took quickly. The ball never left the ground and curled into the bottom corner

EUNAN O’KANE | Bournemouth 3-0
Grabban got down the right and delivered a pin-point cross from the halfway line as O’Kane got between two defenders. He took one touch to control and poked the ball under the advancing keeper


“I don’t think we were under any great deal of pressure. I thought the guys at the back defended extremely well and it’s another clean sheet for us as well.” JASON TINDALL – Assistant to Eddie Howe










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Christmas has come and gone and the Cherries had a very merry one gaining another three points to make them realistic play-off contenders, hopeful promotion candidates and, dare we say it, champions. The last time the home side encountered Crawley, Paul Groves was in charge and he lead us to a 3-1 defeat saying, ‘One corner, one wide free-kick, two goals, after that we gave the ball away and lost belief’. No such problem this time, as the Cherries put the opposition to the sword and struck three with no reply.

“A Cook cross glanced off the slippery and shiny head of the Crawley captain to nestle in the back of the net”

No Addison again meant that Elphick and Cook got the opportunity to prove they are the central partnership to take the Cherries to the Championship. Surely, Howe cannot drop Cook when Addison is fit again. The rain set in nicely for the first half, at one point reaching back to where we were sat in row G. The weather had a part to play in the style of the game and the first goal. A Cook cross glanced off the slippery, shiny and wet head of the Crawley captain to nestle in the back of the net.
I would give a detailed and precise description of the second, and slightly controversial, goal, but I was enjoying the delights of the East Stand toilets. Almost inevitably a big cheer went up the same time as my zip. Bollocks, I had managed to miss yet another goal, shouldn’t drink so much. The problem is, if I didn’t, we wouldn’t score as many goals.

The second half saw the rain disappear along with the dark clouds. The Cherries were two up, the sun was shining and try as Crawley might to spoil the occasion, they couldn’t. the Cherries dug deep and once again played some expansive attacking football. The opposition were in the game much more than the first half but rarely threatened the Cherries goal.

The introduction of Tubbs, good to see him on the pitch for more than two minutes, saw an even more attacking formation for the last ten minutes of the game. How many chances did he have, not many, but almost scored as he always seems to when he gets on the pitch.
Grabban was going wide to pick up the ball and played a perfect 40 yard pass to the feet of our MOTM O’Kane. He took two touches to control the ball and slip it under the keeper. The man has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of months. No longer can the opposition simply wave in his direction to get him off the ball. He retains the ball well and with unerring accuracy manages to place the ball where he wants. Arter had better watch out. O’Kane picks a better pass, has a better delivery rate and can keep his mouth closed which means he doesn’t get booked.
The Cherries are now 15 unbeaten, 13 in the league, 12 under Howe with 9 wins and 3 draws, a possible 30 out of 36 points, and only 4 places and 6 points off top spot with a game in hand. Now we can start to believe as the reality of the Championship looks ever more real.



Oh Eddie Howe, Eddie Eddie Howe, Eddie Eddie Howe!!! Eddie Howes barmy army #afcb still buzzin from all this winning!!!! Xx
When we played Bournemouth away pre season i said that they would be up there this season.. actually a decent team! #AFCB
Genuinely, Im not sure if I’ve seen a better #AFCB team than this. Not even playing brilliantly and we walked over Crawley 3-0.
Our best overall performance 2day I thought. Boys showed their class. @eunan10 was outstanding as were @SteveCook28 & @TommyElph4 #afcb
Brilliant game today , promotion here we come , can’t wait for brentford #bringiton #afcb
What does it feel like to lose a game? Sorry, I’m a Bournemouth fan, I’m so used to winning. #afcb #WEAREGOINGUP
Some idiot behind me having a go at Brett Pitman today….some people are never happy unless they’re moaning about something #afcb



A lot of people billed this match as the foil against the battering ram. The neat, crisp, clever passing of Bournemouth against the hoofball of Crawley. Indeed I was one of the many pundits calling the game like this but we were all proved to be wrong.
Yes, we did have our moments of sublime interplay, especially on the left but we weren’t above launching the long ball – because we finally have a viable outlet in Grabban. Another excellent display of running from him and I am starting to believe in his partnership with Pitman. They say opposites attract and I think that is proving to be the case.
Just to balance this off though, as well as the long ball, Crawley were more than able to pass it around and caused some real problems, especially in the second half.
The first half was bossed by Bournemouth – not an easy achievement because Crawley were clearly well drilled and packed full of talent. O’Kane was running the midfield. Not only was his passing and movement sublime but he more than adequately mopped up the series of missed passes Arter sent to all corners of the pitch. I honestly thought maybe he’d been brought back too early from his injury.
Luckily for us, Howe had shaved Addison’s head and loaned him to Crawley to regain match fitness, with the strict instructions that he MUST play against us – clever, very clever.
After a series of attacks Bournemouth’s first came on 14 minutes. Cook fired in a wicked cross which clearly bamboozled the defence as it was headed in as an own goal
I hear Cook is claiming it as his own – he’s more chance of Fletch taking up ballet or Pitman out-sprinting me than that happening.
Success was now coming down both flanks and Grabban was the main recipient of this good work, going close on several occasions.
Then, on 40 minutes, the ever-tricky Pugh was fouled just outside the box on the left. As we discussed whether Cook might have another go or what pecking order there was between Pugh, Pitman and Francis, Pitman coolly stepped up while the wall was still being formed and swept the ball into the far right of the goal, off the post.
The defence were furious and I must admit that I wouldn’t like to concede like that – but I guess he must have ok’d it with the ref – so tough!! Come on, I went to loads of Groves’ away games – I deserve this!!
There was still time in the half for a famed step over corner and a fierce Grabban drive to be well saved but the half finished 2-0

The second half was a different story. The Crawley manager clearly noticed the lack of muscle in the middle and gave orders to “get into them”.
The first 15 minutes saw a series of “robust” challenges which really put Crawley on top and swept against us again and again. A series of corners was sandwiched in this period that really did show what a fine defensive pairing Cook and Elphick are. They were monumental – not only winning everything in the air but mopping up on the ground too. Crawley are not a one dimensional team by any means and really put us under pressure.
Bournemouth were limited to hitting on the break but always looked dangerous in doing so – we just seemed unable to put the finishing touches to moves, which included an incredible miss from Cook where his header, if aimed anywhere except for the goalie would have resulted in a goal.
Then for me, the turning point, on 77 minutes. Crawley finally managed to breach the defences and their attack bore down on James. Out he came and spread himself magnificently to block the goal bound strike. Going to 2-1 at that point would have made the last part of the game unbearable – but luckily that wasn’t to be
Instead, 7 minutes later, yet another counter attack found the ball at Grabban’s feet on half way. He looked up and launched a pin-point 50 yard pass into the run of O’Kane who controlled it beautifully before slotting the ball under the on rushing goalie’s body : 3-0

Summary – As always we looked good going forward but today of all days we finally look like a team who can soak it up too. No team can control the game for 90 minutes and now we are able to ride the times that we are on the back foot. We are still too weak in midfield, which may be more obvious away from home, but today was the best the “team” has played this season

STAR PLAYER:COOK & ELPHICK – the bedrock onto which the team should be built


Tales From The South End
Tales From The South End

An Unofficial AFC Bournemouth website with news, video archive, match reports, form guide, football league news, fixtures and results, blog and Cherries shrine

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