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CHAMPIONSHIP | 03.05.2014 | ATT: 15779 | REF: NAYLOR
WHERE ARE WE IN THE LEAGUE: 10th
EDDIE HOWE MATCH REACTION
MATCH REPORT: GREAT SEASON, POOR GAME
The final game of the season with nothing riding on it, a luxury to enjoy, maybe. Would AFC Bournemouth give the 1300 away fans a day to remember?
The answer, unfortunately, was a big fat no. The early kick-off meant an early start, under bright blue skies, perhaps this was an omen of what lay ahead. Both teams had their destiny in their hands , Bournemouth looking for a highest ever finish while Millwall had much more at stake. A win and their Championship safety was guaranteed for another season. The sun was shining, the skies were blue and the atomsphere was slowly building to a crescendo as kick-off approached.
A quick look at the team sheet and it already looked like an end of season kickabout for the Cherries. Was Eddie thinking ‘Let’s give a few of the faithful bench warmers a game to keep them happy’. Was he thinking there is nothing riding on the game so lets give our top scorer, and ex-Lion, Lewis Grabban a rest, or was it a case of lets not add fuel to the fire. Let’s hope not, and to be frank, we wouldn’t believe it of Mr Howe.
So it was, ‘Please be good’, Tokelo Rantie up front along with Kermorgant and Adam Smith in defence. No Francis, Arter, Grabban or Pugh. From the kick-off it was obvious who had the most to play for and being the class act Millwall are they got stuck in straight away. Some legally and some not so legally. Fraser was sent to the floor on a few occasions, but then he seems to quite adept at getting a close up of the grass.
The Cherries were disjointed, and looked a little confused, as they tried to string together passes, with far too many going astray. There only looked like one team in the first half who were going to score and its wasn’t us. Rantie was trying his 15 drag backs to make space but failing miserably and Kermorgant was being duly manhandled every time he went for the ball in the air. The Millwall fans were chanting ‘We always get shit refs’, but they had very little to complain about. He was weak and easily influenced, it could be that he was a little scared. He gave more to Millwall than Bournemouth, so shut up f**cking complaining and brush that chip off your shoulder.
The goal came on the half hour mark and a great cross, that was poorly defended, was deftly headed past the outstretched hand of Lee Camp. While on the pitch wasn’t getting any juices flowing, off the pitch was much more exciting, if only briefly. We were happily watching Jason Tindall and Ian Holloway having a bit of a shouting match, even Eddie Howe got involved. Holloway may be a bit mad, but Tindall would beat him in a fight.
The second half was a much improved performance, Simon Francis and Shaun MacDonald replacing Adam Smith and Eunan O’Kane. The arrival of Francis was a welcome return and showed that Smith still has a lot to learn. His booking in the first half was stupid. We could see what was coming and so could the ref. You wouldn’t have found Ian Harte, making such a mistake. He would have bided his time, stuck him on his ass and not got booked, experience counts. O’Kane’s removal was for an injury. We saw him later with his right arm in a sling, as he drove home. Hope he got home safely.
It was McDonald that had the best chances in the game but ex-Cherry David Forde was on hand both times to tip his header and shot around the post. We cant forget Rantie had a good chance, the only one he had. There was never enough riding on the match for the Cherries and Millwall needed the points and when they scored they were happy to defend. However, they produced the best chances of the game and should have been more than one goal to the good. TBH if they had won 3-0 it woudn’t have been a flattering scoreline. But, they are where they are because they cant score goals. A bit like AFCB earlier in the season.
Next season looks to be a another tough season with the likes of Wolves, Fulham and Cardiff joining the party, but we will be ready and I look forward to it.
TFTSE MAN OF THE MATCH
THE AWAY FANS
Not the greatest performance by the Cherries and no one standout candidate for us. So, we give a big thumbs up to the 1300 odd fans who made the effort to cheer on the team. Well done all for making the journey and lets look forward to next season. COYR