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CHAMPIONSHIP | 22.02.2014 | ATT: 27306 | REF: HEYWOOD



Derby 0-1





A single goal, missed chances, substitutions and poor decisions combined to confine the Cherries to their second defeat in February

We like to bang on about the AFC Bournemouth alarm clock going off late, but it obviously went off in plenty of time against the Rams. The visitors were raring to go and were the team most likely to put the ball in the net. The bright start brought with it a host of chances with Derby County struggling to deal with the pace of Rantie. Has Eddie Howe finally worked out how to play the speedy South African?It would seem Derby County Twitterer Nick Birch thought so. He wrote “That Rantie was unplayable in 1st half. Why did Howe take him off? That just allowed us to attack with ease.”

It was Rantie’s pace that were keeping the home side on the back foot but it was Grabban who should have put the Cherries in front. As space opened up in front of him he shot from outside the box and looked to put the Cherries one up. Close but not close enough. A long ball over the top sent the Derby defence into panic, well the ones who could keep up with Rantie. As TK looked to beat the Derby defender he stuck out a foot that sent the ball away from Rantie and the keeper. Would the ball creep into the net? Obviously not from the scoreline, but again it was close but not close enough. Was Rantie fouled as he tried to chase the ball down? On a day when decisions go for you it could have been a yes.

The two should have combined for what would have surely been the opener. Grabban left a couple of Derby players for dead and drove into the box and hit a weak shot straight at the keeper. Rantie was in space and was crying out for a square ball that never came. If Grabban had delivered the right ball, it would have provided a golden opportunity for TK.

The Derby manager Steve McClaren had seen enough and made two changes for the second half, which were to prove decisive in how the game changed. He said, “They had kind of missed their chance and we knew that and knew we would have ours. We were waiting for that one moment of quality and in the end we got it.”

Eddie Howe decided that Rantie who was running the Derby defence ragged wasn’t doing enough, he wasn’t receiving the right type of ball again was he? He decided to bring on Kermorgant to add some height? He certainly wasn’t adding any pace. Derby knew their first half performance wasn’t good enough and started creating chances. But, a solid rearguard action from the Cherries meant that there was no way through until the the referee intervened.

A perfectly-timed tackle saw Tommy Elphock win the ball fair and square. The referee decided differently. However, the more we look at the tackle the more and more it becomes less of a foul. The ref was perfectly placed to view the tackle, but his short-sightedness must have clouded his vision. Free-kick given, ball perfectly placed, 1-0 to the home side.

We all know games are not about chances they are about goals and Derby got the only one of the game with 5 minutes to go. The finish for the goal was unquestionably good, but it was only one goal and when games are decided by a single goal, you want it to be a fair one. Its hard to win away without decisions going against you, even harder when they do.




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