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  • Football League One
  • 06 November 2012
  • Att: 5022
  • Ref: Kettle
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“On another night we could have comfortably have won by five or six goals” EDDIE HOWE’S Assistant Jason Tindall



It was a cold night – but I had overdone it. 17 layers, hat, gloves and scarf. So much so that I couldn’t get my hands close enough together to applaud as Charlie Daniel’s 2nd minute free-kick strike flew through the paper thin Shrewsbury wall and into the unguarded half of the goal

I’d only managed to disrobe 4 layers as Pugh crossed from the left to a waiting Barnard, who seemed to scoop the ball away from the goal instead of just putting it in. At least I didn’t miss that one, I thought , as Barnard crossed the ball and Mcquoid nodded home . BU$$ER – I mean hoorraayy – we’d scored again, even if I still couldn’t celebrate properly.

We then seemed to sit back and let Shrewsbury back in the game. A very un-Howe approach to the game as tempo dropped and complacency crept in

On 13 minutes a long, an aimless ball was banged forward by the Shrews big centre back. Surely no danger there. The ball was collected by their attacker but couldn’t control the ball to do anything but run away from the goal. That was before the good ship Addison sailed in. Thankfully sparing us all from the expected fog-horn as the tanker arrives, he inexplicably barged their attacker to the ground – penalty.

I agree with those that say that this kind of challenge happens all the time and is unpunished – including later on in the game, but he gave the ref a decision to make, a chance to get it wrong, and so he did.

Up stepped their number 8 , who had previously been seen polishing his head in the players tunnel, and with a swift sideways glance, diverted the floodlights’ rays into James’ eyes and it was 2-1. How on earth did that happen? Would it have happened if Cook was on the pitch – I think not

I think he did realise the gaff he had made. Why else would he have not given another penalty when Elphick launched himself at the ball and quite clearly stopped the ball with his out-stretched arms. Maybe 2 wrongs do make a right.

The rest of the half it was the Arter versus Shiny bald man show – and Arter was winning. Tackling, passing, harrying, shooting. He was everywhere and with the exception of the disciplinary yellow – he was doing it right

At half time Howe had asked that the number 8 should chalk his head to give everyone a chance but this was refused and he went back to work. Arter apart, our midfield wilted under the glare with MacDonald and Grabban suffered more than most.

Grabban perhaps was tired from a rare full performance on Saturday and was as surprised as the rest of us as Barnard’s number came up instead of his own.

This left us a little lacking in the box when the frankly superb displays of Pugh, Daniels and Francis could not be capped off by having their crosses turned in as everyone seemed to either be sucked into the near post or just never made it at all

The chances were still there to increase the lead with the keeper saving well from shots and headers alike (from set pieces) but once Barnard went off you never really thought we would score.

What did happen, however, was the energiser bunny that is Fogden came on and gave us that much needed urgency in the middle. Too often we had let them have too much time on the ball and Fogden turned this around.

Don’t get me wrong, we still did nearly manage to turn a comfortable game into a nerve wrecking experience, but while he was on the pitch I never thought they’d have enough to draw level – although I’m not prepared to show my fingernails as evidence. A cause not helped by a woefully under-hit Addison back-pass that James cleared against the on-running striker and the ball flew agonisingly wide. We in the NS thought it had gone in – what was Addison thinking

Summary –A bit too much Groves and not enough Howe. A game that showed that confidence in the team has improved but it doesn’t take much to shake it. I’m hoping that it will bring the crowd down to earth with a dose of reality to go along with optimism and that Howe is now closing in on his perfect 11

STAR PLAYER: HARRY ARTER – Ran the game but needs to zip it if he wants to be the player that takes the team from being good to being great
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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