Cherries Cook Up Dramatic Finale
St James' Park
4th November 2017, 3pm
We travelled to the north east on the back of a narrow 0-1 defeat to Chelsea full of optimism of getting a similar result to our last visit to these parts.
Eddie made changes to both personnel and formation, switching back to a familiar system. Injuries to Afobe and Stanislas meant they missed out, Smith and L.Cook dropped to the bench with S.Cook retaining his place and Franno switching to RB. Arter and King came in with Wilson getting his first PL start of the season.
An uncharacteristic start from the Cherries with us starting cautiously and Newcastle dominating the early stages. Begovic was called into action in the 5th minute to tip away a familiar Ritchie effort, soon after that, with Ritchie still tormenting down the right he whipped in a cross for Gayle, with Cook doing well to block his close range header. On 13 mins Atsu had long range shot with Begovic again making the save, as the Newcastle onslaught continued it felt like it was just a matter of time before we conceded. With Shelvey being afforded far to much space in midfield he was orchestrating most of their attacks. We continued to ride our luck when Ritchie rifled a shot against the post, with Gayle tapping in the rebound, home fans celebrations being muted by a dubious offside flag. The theme continued with Cook blocking another goalbound effort from Atsu. As the half drew towards a close we had a few opportunities on the counter attack with King dragging a shot wide from the edge of the box. Following this Wilson had a header tipped over by Elliot in the Newcastle goal with Francis doing well down the right to produce the cross. Elliot was then required to produce another good save at the near post from King.
The second half began with an opportunity for Newcastle, Begovic tipping over a header from a corner. Bournemouth's first clear cut chance came in the 51st min when Wilson was put through by King, faced one on one with Elliot he managed to drag his shot wide when he seemed certain to score. This proved to be the catalyst for our much improved performance. On the hour mark King chipped the ball to the back post where Pugh couldn't guide his header to an unmarked Wilson in the centre of the box. Meaningless efforts were traded by both sides, with the game drifting towards a stalemate, Eddie introduced Smith for Ibe & Defoe for Wilson as a double substitution (75). On 88mins Pugh produced one of his trademark chops and his goalbound effort was denied by a combination of Elliot, Clark and the inside of the post. With hopes of victory seemingly gone Defoe had an effort turned round the post for a corner. From the resulting inswinging corner from Surman, Cook rose above two defenders to power home the winner in the 92nd min. Que delirium amongst the travelling faithful.
FT Newcastle 0-1 Afcb
Report by Steady Eddie 1