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CHAMPIONSHIP | 14th February 2015 | ATT: 10007 | REF: Gavin Ward (6/10)
CHERRIES FAN CAM
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Where are we in the league?
POINTS COUNTDOWN | PLAYED: 31 | WON: 17 | DRAWN: 8 | LOST: 6 | Points: 59
EDDIE HOWE MATCH REACTION
MATCH REPORT: Destruct and defend
Some teams come to win, some come not to lose, the joy of being AFC Bournemouth
Match stats can be great when your team don’t win and when you do win, who cares? So were sticking with the stats (they tell the facts don’t they?) to help shape the game. 68% possession, 20 shots with 7 on target compared with 8 shots and 3 on target for the visitors. We will forget the one overriding stat, you know the one that actually counts and determines how many points you get.
From the kick-off it was obvious that Huddersfield had a gameplan, described by Eddie Howe as ‘destruct and defend’. What do you expect the opposition to do when they are closer to the relegation zone than the play-offs. We need the points for promotion they need the points to cement their place in the Championship.
After the excitement of the 2-2 draw with Derby, this game was something of an anti-climax. It would have been hard to live up to a top of the table clash, the away support was tepid and so were the home crowd. The vistors were containing the Cherries pretty well and the home side were struggling to make any inroads. Left, right, left right, left right, there were a lots of sideways balls as both teams were looking for a way through each other’s defence.
“The lack of Simon Francis overlapping on the right meant that the telepathic connection he has with Ritchie simply wasn’t happening.”
The lack of Simon Francis overlapping on the right meant that the telepathic connection he has with Ritchie simply wasn’t happening. Adam Smith was a more than adequate replacement, he played well but has yet to get that connection that only games played together can bring. It took a well-worked corner routine to get the Cherries in front just past the quarter of an hour mark. As the ball made its way across the box Harry Arter stepped over the ball and Kermogant emphatically placed the ball in the back of the net.
Surely at one-nil, there were more goals to come and three points to gain. In truth the Cherries were struggling to break down a resolute, and packed, Huddersfield defence. But, surely it was a matter of time before number two hit the back of the net. After a late night Friday I was struggling to raise any type of enthusiasm for the remainder of the first half. If I had had a warmer coat on I reckon I could have rested my eyes for 15 minutes and missed nothing. To add some interest I decided to go to the toilet. The Cherries seem to score almost every time I go, but not this time.
As the teams came out for the second half surely Eddie Howe’s inspirational team talk would send us to victory. After every half-time we ponder the same question, I wonder what Eddie Howe says at half-time. Does he swear a lot? Does he tell everyone what to do? Or does he say very little and leave it to Jason Tindall to do it? One day the Cherries PR man Max Fitzgerald is going to let me in at half-time to find exactly what goes on.
“The more success we have the bigger the expectations, the bigger the disappointment when we ‘only’ manage to get a point at home to a mid-table team.”
The Cherries were in total control from the outset but it was more of the same. They dominated possession but couldn’t find a way through to goal and when they did Smithies was on hand to punch away. He didn’t seem to like the idea of catching the ball. Against the run of play Huddersfield notched an equaliser. Steve Cook pushed a ball out of defence and a hopeful shot was guided into the net. There was little Boruc could do, without sounding bitter it was a lucky goal.
This spurred the home side into life, Matt Ritchie set up Charlie Daniels (i think) and we were out of our seats, no Smithies was there again (didn’t catch it). A succession of headers went close but a header back across from Cook looked destined to cross the line until it was somehow hooked away. It was going to be one of those days.
The beauty of being successful is that you get to see your team play great football and score plenty of goals. The Huddersfield game didn’t hit the heady heights but the true fans, the rest know who you are, will know how far we have come and also know we won’t win every game. The more success we have the bigger the expectations, the bigger the disappointment when we ‘only’ manage to get a point at home to a mid-table team.
Get a f**king grip, remember this is one game out of 46 and more importantly we did get something from the game. Do you really think that Derby, Middlesbrough and co are not going to have an off day between now and the end of the season. Of course they are and when they do we need to make sure that we take advantage.