Date:Sunday April 22 2012
21st April 2012, 3pm
AFC Bournemouth began their pre-season campaign for the 2012/13 season with a home fixture against fellow League One side Colchester United.
There did happen to be three points at stake for both sides in this game, not that you could tell by the atmosphere inside Dean Court or the tempo of the game on the pitch.
AFC Bournemouth caretaker manager Paul Groves who is still rehearsing for the role on a permanent basis, made a few changes to the team that lost at Bury last Saturday.
Charlie Daniels came back into the side after recovering from an injury, he replaced Scott Malone at left back, with Malone moving to a left sided midfield role. That meant Marc Pugh switching to the right flank, while Wes Fogden dropped out of the squad. Joe Partington, who like Fogden started at Bury, also dropped out of the match day 16 in favour of Shaun MacDonald.
Donal McDermott, who had missed the team coach to Bury last week, made it to Dean Court in time this week to take a place on the bench.
With both teams having nothing to play for during the final few games of the season, the game lacked any real intensity. The Cherries attempting to play slow and patiently, keeping the ball and passing it around nicely, but with Colchester lacking any real commitment, AFC Bournemouth were allowed to keep possession until the away side pushed far enough forward to force the defence to play it back to Darryl Flahavan, who a lot of the time would then lose us possession as he was forced to clear under pressure from an attacker and sometimes on his wrong foot.
During the opening period of play there appeared to be very few tackles being made from either side, again adding to the illusion that this was in fact a pre season friendly.
The first real passage of play of note came from the away side, when a dangerous ball was played across goal in front of the North Stand and Steve Cook was forced to stick out a leg to prevent the ball going into the danger area, the former Brighton defender laughed as his effort went just wide of Flahavan's post.
The resulting corner caught the Cherries out, as the defence were slow to react to the option of playing it short and then Andy Bond wasn't picked up at the back post and his strike hit the post, hitting Charlie Daniels in the face, which worked well as an unorthodox way of clearing the danger.
After just ten minutes the Cherries took the lead through clever thinking from Shaun MacDonald.
Scott Malone who was playing in a narrow left side midfield position played the ball over the top of the Colchester defence towards Wesley Thomas who was clearly stood in an offside position, but with Thomas not interfering with play, the flag didn't go up and MacDonald stormed through the defence, rounding Mark Cousins before slotting the ball into an empty net.
The goal annoyed the away side who complained about the off side that never was, but the linesman got the decision spot on, the argument over the modern day offside rule can be left for a day when the Cherries are on the receiving end of a similar decision...
Despite there being another half an hour of the first half there was little goal mouth action of note, the Cherries continued to try and play short patient passing, but the narrow midfield didn't help the Cherries cause as there was no real outlet on the wing. With Marc Pugh on the right flank cutting inside and Malone doing the same on the left, a lot of the time the Cherries would try to play it through a crowded midfield.
When Malone and Daniels would link up down the left flank, the Cherries looked a much better attacking threat, but the Dean Court faithful were not treated to many examples of this as the first half came to a drab end.
HT - AFCB 1 v 0 Colchester
The second half kicked off with the Cherries shooting towards the North Stand, Wesley Thomas, who was having a bit of an off day had his best chance of the game during the early period of the game with his quick turn and shot forcing a good save from the Colchester 'keeper.
Showing the potential of the left sided partnership, the Cherries best move of the second half was manufactured between Scott Malone and Charlie Daniels, with Malone playing Daniels in, but the former Leyton Orient left backs strike flashed across goal and a quick thinking Wesley Thomas couldn't quite reach the ball at the back post.
Paul Groves gave a 25 minute run out to Steven Gregory who replaced Shaun Cooper, while Zavon Hines made way for Donal McDermott for the last 15 minutes. But it was the third substitution that raised a few eyebrows. While the introduction of Stephane Zubar was one of the few things to excite the Dean Court crowd, the defensive reshuffle appeared to unsettle the otherwise solid back four.
Zubar replaced Charlie Daniels, and the Guadeloupe born former Plymouth defender slotted in at right back and rather than Scott Malone dropping into his more natural position of left back, Simon Francis moved flanks to the unusual position of left back.
Within three minutes Colchester were level, the away side worked a short corner routine and the resulting cross came in low at the near post and Tom Eastman pounced to beat Flahavan.
Just another example of the Cherries conceding late and failing to defend a set piece.
With just five minutes remaining Stephane Zubar had two attempts at cementing his position as a North Stand cult hero, the first followed a run down the right flank but his effort failed to hit the target.
His second attempt did trickle across the line, but Stuart Attwell's whistle had already blown and the goal didn't stand.
Moments later Attwell's whistle indicated the end of the game with the points shared.
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Date:Sunday April 22 2012
Cherries linked with Ward-Prowse signing (Wednesday June 19 2013)
Championship Cherries Fixtures (Wednesday June 19 2013)
Ward: It's going to be a big test (Wednesday June 19 2013)
Cherries sign Ward (Wednesday June 19 2013)
Arter: 'Every game will be a big one' (Tuesday June 18 2013)
Ritchie: Looking forward to Portsmouth (Tuesday June 18 2013)
Cherries to host Pompey in the Capital One Cup (Monday June 17 2013)
Fraser: I'm ready to deliver (Monday June 17 2013)
AFCB Sign Holmes (Monday June 17 2013)
Howe: We will continue to pass (Monday June 17 2013)
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