Grabban's Lactics Hatrick
17th November 2012, 3pm
Lewis Grabban smashed a hatrick as the Cherries juggernaut continued to roll up the table. This was the Cherries seventh win out of eight since the return of the mercurial Eddie Howe and it has left fans wondering what might happen come May.
Eddie sprang one surprise pre kick off with Francis being passed fit to play instead of Cook. This restored the natural attacking balance Howe favours and the rest of the team stayed the same.
That said the first half was arguably the only time the team has looked flat since the prodigal son walked back in. A string of misplaced passes and a slight lack of tempo allowed a quick passing hard working Oldham team to set the agenda. Oldham have only scored 18 goals this season and it showed as despite long periods of possession the final ball was often poor and James was rarely threatened.
Bournemouth were playing in fits and starts and mostly through Pugh and Daniels left-side combination. Grabban and Barnard were way too far apart and struggling to hold the ball when it was played forward so the flanks were the most productive option.
The two best chances came courtesy of Pugh who first released Daniels one on one out wide but the cross was cleared and then fired narrowly over himself.
Grabban also curled wide before Barnard brilliantly thumped a 25 yard volley onto the roof of the net having spotted Bouzanis off his line.
It was a short burst though amid 45 minutes of mediocrity but it gave a real indication of what was to come after the break.
HT Bournemouth 0 Oldham 0
The much anticipated second half blitz attacking the Steve Fletcher stand once again didn't disappoint. In an orgy of all out attack Bournemouth went for the jugular. First Pugh was brought down for what looked a good penalty shout waved away by the dreadfully inconsistent ref Pottage. Mcquoid then turned brilliantly and forced Bouzanis into a smart stop low down.
The door had been well and truly knocked and it was soon blown wide open with two goals in two minutes. The first came when Harry Arter burst through from midfield and thumped a 30 yard drive which was heading for the corner flag before GRABBAN stuck his foot out to send it flying into the top corner
No sooner had Oldham lost the ball from the kick off then it was flashing past Bouzanis again. Francis firing in a low cross that GRABBAN deftly turned in to send the home fans wild.
The bombardment continued with some brilliant flowing football that switched effortlessly from wing to wing with the fussy ref doing far more than Oldham to ruin it! He did get one decision right however when Arter burst into the box and was absolutely poleaxed. The midfield schemer stepped up to the spot but Bouzanis palmed his kick out straight to GRABBAN who gleefully gobbled up his hattrick.
Grabban and Arter then went off to deserved standing ovations to be replaced by Fogden and O'Kane respectively. The final home goal came when Mcquoid was tripped and Pugh curled a delightful free-kick that DANIELS met at the far post with a spectacular diving header.
A second half display of total perfection was prevented by Smith's late consolation header but it was still another afternoon to remember on the fantastic run we are loving every minute of.
FT Bournemouth 4 Oldham 1
James 7 - Good handling and distribution.
Francis 8- Fantastic characteristic bombing comeback.
Addison 7 - Some wayward passing but strong defending.
Elphick 8 - Masterclass in classy defending.
Daniels 8 - Supreme attacking and defensive display.
Mcquoid 7 - Clever running with the ball and link play.
Arter 8 - Schemed superbly well and came into own second half.
Macdonald 9 - Outstanding holding role and skill
Pugh 7 - End product not as great as normal but still classy.
Grabban 8 - Three poacher's finishes and lively running.
Barnard 6 - Seemed a yard off the pace and not much threat.
Report by Neil Dawson