Date:Wednesday September 5 2012
4th September 2012 7:45pm
So, my first game of the season. Sat in exactly the same spot where I watched a devastating defeat to Huddersfield, also on penalties. Yes, I was in a public house in the East End of London, which may explain why this report gets slightly more vague towards the endů
Bournemouth lined up against a Portsmouth side who before the game had stated their intention to concentrate on their league fixture at the weekend. In contrast, Paul Groves put out a strong side who would no doubt have been looking for a win, though Matt Tubbs, who was surely a contender for at the very least a place on the bench was tellingly missing. Jalal was also preferred to Flahavan who would no doubt have liked to play against his former club.
The Cherries started brightly, playing the ball around quickly and letting Portsmouth chase the ball. Not even 5 minutes in and Simon Francis made a strong run down the right touchline with the ball, outmuscling the Portsmouth left-back and getting to the line to deliver a peach of a cross. Waiting in the middle was MACDONALD who rose well above a static Portsmouth defence to head at goal. Andersen got a hand to it but helped the ball into the top corner for 1-0.
Bournemouth continued to play with purpose and for the next few minutes looked as if they controlled the game. MacDonald continued to threaten and the excellent Francis was getting forward and putting in some decent crosses, though we lacked a regular presence in the box.
Grabban was having his moments on both wings creating good width but the "hole" made famous by Wayne Rooney was anything but, filled with McQuoid playing too deep, Grabban frequently coming narrow, Arter nipping in now and again, and MacDonald and Fogden to be fair getting forward as they probably were expected to. Fogden in particular was creating space, carrying the ball forward and generally playing positively which will be encouraging for many after the reports from previous games of negative sideways passing.
In spite of this, we chased down, worked well, misplaced a few passes but were overall in charge of the game. The defence, however, looked a little hit and miss with Addison repeatedly giving away simple passes and even turning a pass back to Jalal into a corner thanks to a bit of pressure from the Portsmouth forwards.
As the half drew on it was clear that we would need another goal to kill off any blue resurgence and unfortunately after a 5 or 10 minute spell of pressure before half time, the Portsmouth winger whipped in a low cross and the oncoming RODGERS was allowed to get the wrong side of Elphick and steer the ball past Jalal, which more or less signalled the end of the half.
After the break, the Cherries looked the more dangerous and deservedly went ahead from a 25 yard belter from MACDONALD following a corner. Bournemouth couldn`t hold onto the lead, though, and an optimistic long-range effort from HOWARD flew into Jalal`s top corner less than 10 minutes later to bring it back to 2-2.
The team rallied around and created a number of chances, a weak effort from Fogden, a raft of uncharacteristic left-footed efforts from Arter (including a free-kick?!), Barnard coming on for McQuoid and having an effort cleared off the line, Fogden making a run and sidefooting cutely only to find the post, and perhaps the best of the bunch, MacDonald taking a cross down with a great first touch ahead of the last defender only to blast his shot disappointingly over from less than 10 yards. The look on his face on the replay showed he really should have sealed his first red and black hat-trick.
And then it was penalties. As I mentioned before, I was sat in exactly the same spot when I saw Anton Robinson hit the bar against Huddersfield. I`ll sit somewhere else next time. Barnard stepped up first and hit a penalty just like Gareth Southgate in Euro 96: low, slow and just to the left of Andersen who saved easily.
Jalal got nowhere near any of Portsmouth`s efforts and it came down to Pugh to keep us in the game. Pugh has seemingly been having penalty coaching from Jonny Wilkinson of late and he sent the ball flying into the stands and Bournemouth out of the Piss-pot trophy for another year.
JALAL 4 - Missed crosses, was nowhere near either of goals and none of the penalties, kept coming out of the 6 yard box for balls the defenders had under control, poor.
FRANCIS 8 - Got up and down well. Some great crosses and an excellent assist for first goal.
ELPHICK 6 - Unspectacular and poor marking for first goal.
ADDISON 6 - Terrible passer of the ball.
COOK 6 - Played out of position at LB but was beaten too easily on too many occasions.
ARTER 8 - Tackled well, got forward well and caused a nuisance. Impressive.
HUGHES 7 - Solid, good passing. A little slow in the tackle these days but could be useful for the season ahead.
MACDONALD 9 - Played some neat passes, worked hard for first goal and finished spectacularly for second. Should have had 3, though.
GRABBAN 7 - Made some good runs and put in some good crosses but faded in and out of the game at times.
FOGDEN 8 - Seems to be carrying on from where he left off. Energetic, positive play both on and off the ball, unlucky not to score.
MCQUOID 6.5 - Spent a lot of time on the ground. Played too deep. May work better with a more out and out striker.
BARNARD - Put himself about well and had an effort cleared off the line. Poor penalty.
PUGH - Did little in the game coming on so late but was pivotal in missing his penalty when most would expect him to score.
PARTINGTON - As Pugh but no penalty howler.
Date:Wednesday September 5 2012
Howe: We are going to need an edge (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Tubbs: Howe & Tindall turned the club on its head (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Arter linked with Premier League move (Monday May 20 2013)
Meades departs Dean Court (Monday May 20 2013)
Howe: We delivered when the pressure was on (Friday May 17 2013)
Ritchie: It`s my best achievement (Friday May 17 2013)
Addison: Biggest challenge of my career (Friday May 17 2013)
Cherries to erect temporary stand (Friday May 17 2013)
Elphick: Howe loves Bournemouth (Thursday May 16 2013)
Francis: Howe chart was eye opener (Thursday May 16 2013)
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