Writer: Neil Dawson
Date:Saturday September 29 2012
29th September 2012, 3pm
The debacle that is AFCBournemouth on and off the pitch continued today with another abject performance and defeat at Dean Court. It looked like another late equaliser would paper over the cracks just as Tubbs did versus Hartlepool but Bowerman pounced to seal the win in the 89th minute. Ironically, as he was doing so, Wes Thomas - freed from the shackles of incompetent tactics - was banging in the winner that sent Portsmouth above us. If ever you wanted more evidence of the cancer that is eating our beloved football team - here you have it on a plate.....
Groves rang the changes today - six in total - from the shambles that was Swindon away. In came the Dutch duo of Demouge and Davids along with Barnard, Zubar and Mcquoid with James also in for a debut in place of Jalal.
It was a clear sign of intent - and also a desperate attempt to get his signings on to the pitch before it was too late. As a last throw of the dice it back-fired spectacularly as Bournemouth were played off the park by a resurgent Walsall throughout the first 45 minutes. We had one shot on target - a Mcquoid volley that took a deflection and flew straight at Darlow.
The same errors were there for all to see. No width and no energy in the centre of midfield, where Partington passed to the opposition continually and Davids - despite the odd decent touch - was palpably unfit. Up front Demouge showed that he could win headers but Barnard is a player reliant on crosses (as I suspect is Demouge) and we rarely came close to being able to cross - let alone actually do it. The first half hour was dire - nothing to really write about but 22 players unable to play the ball where they wanted.......
Walsall had started slowly but they soon saw the game was there for the taking and started creating chances at will using the flanks to their full advantage. Bowerman headed over Greggs cross and Paterson curled just over as they totally dominated the last fifteen minutes. The goal was inevitable and came when a corner was half cleared and Gregg swang the ball back in for Butler to arrive unopposed and head home. An honest footballer cashing in on rich footballers who can't be bothered to throw themselves at anything other than the next pay cheque.
HT Bournemouth 0 Walsall 1
The second half started with a decent chance for us to get back in the game but Darlow saved smartly when O'Kane fired in a low drive. And that was it for the next half hour as the game settled into the tedium of the first half. An imobile and idea void home team lumping the ball at Demouge and an away team happy to play on the break. No urgency...... no wing play......... and this was brought home to us with a 30 pass Walsall move that had Bournemouth fans joining in with the cries of Olay and booing when Zubar won it back. Does it get any more embarrassing than that?
Groves then withdrew Mcquoid and put on Carmichael. A bizarre substitution. I wonder what Max Denim made of it..... you spend £millions and get a half fit Dutch man and a youth team player in centre midfield. To be fair to Josh he looked the brightest thing we had with a couple of barnstorming runs. Let's enjoy it before it's coached out of him. Further energy was added with the arrival of Fogden for O'Kane.
With this added impetus Bournemouth started to fight their way back into the game but the amount of chances were few and far between and more by luck than judgement. This mini purple patch brought the equaliser. Walsall couldn't clear a long throw, DANIELS latched onto it, chested it down, and smacked a drive across Darlow into the bottom corner.
You would have thought this would have inspired a grandstand finish but it didn't... instead it was Walsall who went for the win - annoyed that they threw away the lead against a side so insipid. Cook cleared Brandy's snap shot off the line and from the resultant corner Butler headed down for BOWERMAN to swivel and volley home a totally deserved winner.
Bournemouth went hell for bust in the added 4 minutes and Fogden was unlucky with two drives - one which flicked the post and the other which brought a smart save from Darlow. It was too little too late and the final whistle brought only louder Groves out chants. Will the chairman listen though.
James 6 - Little to do - looked fairly solid one bad dribble aside
Cook 6 - Solid defensively - no ability to attack with quality.
Zubar 6 - More fight than the rest but two set piece headers lost.
Addison 5 - Captain and centre half can't keep out set pieces?
Daniels 6 - Took goal well........ sloppy in possession otherwise
Mcquoid 5 - Lost on the left...shadow of self - a Groves victim.
Davids 5 - Unfit. Odd nice touch. No energy.
Partington 5 - Did he pass to a Bournemouth player?
O'Kane 5 - Needs to play with good tactics - Neat but lost.
Demouge 5 - Won headers, makes Supa look mobile, needs crosses
Barnard 5 - He is a poacher in a team that doesnt cross or create.
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Date:Saturday September 29 2012
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