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- THE ALBERT EINSTEIN AWARDS: Is the next world cup in Qatar?
- AFC BOURNEMOUTH: How they made it into FIFA16
- Football League One
- 15 December 2012
- Att: Malone
- Ref: 6145
THE STARTING 11
FRANCIS | ELPHICK | COOK | DANIELS
PUGH | MacDONALD | O’KANE | FOGDEN
GRABBAN | PITMAN
ON THE BENCH:
BUCHEL, PARTINGTON, ARTER, MCQUOID, McDERMOTT, O’KANE, THOMAS, TUBBS, FLETCHER
45 ARTER>McDONALD, 85 McQUOID>PITMAN, 90 PARTINGTON>FOGDEN
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THE SOUTH END SAYS
OUR VIEW ON THE LATEST GAME
The last time Eddie Howe played Colchester in the league he was on TV orchestrating a 2-1 loss before waving farewell to the travelling Cherries fans as he headed for the northern delights of Burnley. This time he was overseeing the opportunity to extend a 12-match unbeaten run and dispel the myth that winning manager of the month was a guaranteed reversal of fortunes. The big reversal was on the pitch as the Cherries kicked-off and got straight into the game with a typical second half performance in the first 45 minutes. Colchester were playing with one up front and he rarely got a sniff of the ball.
“In patches the Cherries played some of the best first-half football seen at Dean Court since Eddie’s return”
An injury to Addison meant that most of the fans got the centre-back pairing that we had been calling for. Cook lined up alongside Elphick and both stood firm against a typical League One striker. With one up front the U’s were looking to contain the Cherries, but the home side were not taking any prisoners. In patches the Cherries played some of the best first-half football seen at Dean Court since Eddie’s return. The passing was crisp, the closing down quick and the decision-making pretty much spot on.
This was perfectly demonstrated by Lewis Grabban’s goal. He was strong on the ball, backing into defenders and bringing O’Kane into play. Our man of the match played a perfectly weighted ball into the path of Grabban who struck the ball low and hard into the corner. The U’s had four minutes to hold out to half time, but an injury to MacDonald, who will be out for 2 months, meant an extra five were played. Time for the early leavers to get in an extra pint of Kanagroo’s piss.
Heading back to our seat, we were looking forward to at least another two or three goals. Colchester had other ideas and decided that they needed to try and score and looked far more threatening in the second half.
The dulcet tones of our friendly Dave Merrington sound-a-like was in attendance again, but he seems to have done a bit of swotting up on the team known as AFC Bournemouth. Nowhere near as many pointless, inane, be my mate comments.
The second 45 minutes was a much more even affair, and both teams were creating chances. The visitors were looking dangerous from set pieces and only thanks to some last ditch defending and goalkeeping were the Cherries still in front. A subdued Pitman created one glorious chance when he cleverly beat his marker, but its was Wes Fogden (i think) that should have put the game beyond the visitors. He ran on to the ball and set himself perfectly to side foot home from the edge of the box. Everyone rose in expectation, but the ball went narrowly wide. Four minutes of injury time, gave the visitors renewed hope, but the Cherries stood strong to see out a thoroughly professional performance. Three points added to the season’s tally saw the Cherries close within 2 points of the play-offs and six of table-toppers Tranmere. We can dream…
Observations today,performance was the sort of games good teams win, not at their best #afcb stood upto #CUFC physical presence and were
Only downside today was when the North Stand started singing “David, David Jaaames” Jesus wept get some inventiveness. I almost jumped #afcb
After the start we had this season it’s hard to believe we r only 6 points off the top #afcb #EddieHowesBarmyArmy
I though Colchester were quite good, stopped us playing, just a bit lacking up front. #Afcb #ColU
Great win today! Another result dug out! The run goes on! No nicer feeling than winning football games! #afcb
Beat our bogey team 2day & the lads showed great character & will to win. @eunan10 was my MOM but all the lads were different gravy #afcb
13 unbeaten #afcb
A FANS VIEW
GROCKLEFREE’S VIEW ON THE LATEST GAME
GOOD TO BE BACK
Dean Court – where is that again? It’s been so long since I’ve been there I had to use Sat Nav to find the place. As supporters arrived they greeted each other with hugs as do long lost relatives. We’d waited weeks for Bournemouth’s return and for Pitman’s home debut, we were all praying that the curse of the Manager of the month winner wasn’t going to strike – especially as Colchester are something of a bogey side. Howe kept with O’Kane in the middle and Fogden on the right, with McQuoid and Arter on the bench – just rewards for previous endeavours.
The first half was dominated by Bournemouth with lots of crisp passing and huge efforts to regain any lost ball. Crisp but if I’m honest, not cutting. Way too often the final ball was poor which let down each passage of play.
Confidence is now at full throttle and I lost count of the times that players, especially O’Kane and Grabban would pick up the ball and really drive at Colchester. It attracted players to them leaving space for others to proffer. Shame then that the killer pass was under / over hit so often. It’s not often I can have said this but Pugh was the winner of the “D’oh!!” award with a series of crosses more suited for the main stand or the car park.
Clearly the fitness coach has been doing something right as the team (Pitman aside) are starting to all resemble Fogden – at this rate we won’t know which energiser bunny is to get the cymbals at the Xmas party. The harrying that the team (Pitman aside) do is a joy to watch.
Half chances were still created, despite Colchester parking the proverbial bus, with the best falling to Pitman on 14 minutes as his one on one shot was saved well for a corner. That was until the 41st minute when an unexpectedly good slide rule pass split the defence for Grabban to run through and coolly slot home. What a player he is looking like now. Strength, pace and intelligent decision making. I’m not sure what Howe has done to him – but long may it continue. Just before half time MacDonald was stretchered off – I didn’t see what the cause was – but I hope it’s nothing serious, especially after what happened in the second half….
Half Time 1-0
The second half was a different match. Colchester put 2 men up front (instead of 1) and the game became much more open. Our midfield of Fogden, Arter, O’Kane and Pugh, whilst looking dangerous going forward looked like an England Rugby team’s night out at the dwarf throwing night-club when defending. We couldn’t win a ball in the air, nor could we knock them off the ball. We are just not big or strong enough.
The way they compensated, however, was in work rate. I’d love them all to be wearing pedometers because the ground they covered was extraordinary. This though, can’t be kept up throughout and it was of no little irony that when Pugh started to weave his magic down the left and cross after cross actually hit the mark, no-one was able to get into the box to convert these chances.
Colchester’s front men were excellent and holding the ball and bringing the midfield into the game and Bournemouth were really put under the cosh, relying on hitting on the break. That said, the pairing of Elphick and Cook were absolutely superb – surely Howe must realise this is the combination we must try to stick with. James too had 2-3 long range shots and headers to save and he NEVER looked in doubt. He is I calming influence on both the defence – and the crowd.
Again half chances were created by Bournemouth, again notably for Pitman, who had one deflected shot spectacularly saved by the keeper’s foot. Maybe he doesn’t need to run – he just appears at the right place at the right time. In fairness Bournemouth probably had more chances than Colchester but Untied still had too much of the ball as an away side that are not on form. We have to be more ruthless as better sides will not be as accommodating.
Summary – I think we still lack strength in the middle but feel that we now have a “team” with a winning mentality. This wasn’t a premium performance by any means but they did what they needed to do – get the 3 points. They remind me now of Southampton 2 seasons ago when they just didn’t look like losing – let’s hope that we can emulate that kind of run