Some teams you just know you are going to look forward to playing more than others. While I have no real gripe against Forest or their fans, the arrogance of the Nottingham Post last week meant that most AFCB supporters and the team wanted to do well at the City Ground. The way Marc Pugh celebrated his extra time equaliser with a get in there, clenched fist, upper cut to the Bournemouth fans summed up what it felt like to all of us that had travelled up - pay back!
More photographs are now up on Match Day Gallery.
Eddie Howe made a change to the line up with Fraser's absence meaning Andrew Surman came into the team and Henderson kept his place in goal. AFCB put Grabban on the right wing and played Rantie up front, while Forest played a diamond formation with Henri Lansbury playing the anchor midfield role, Reid and Abdoun on the wings and Henderson and Cox as the strikers.
Bournemouth started brightly with a few moves first up the right and then the left wing with just about everyone getting an early touch. AFCB's first meaningful effort saw Arter get the ball to Grabban whose shot came off a defender and was gathered by Darlow, the Forest keeper. Cook was immediately winning the early headers and setting up play from the back.
On 7 minutes Forest won a corner off of Surman, but Pugh headed the ball out before Majewski had a lose shot that went wide. Henderson was releasing the ball quickly, but Forest were picking up any short passes in midfield and soon won another corner off of Collison. Bournemouth defended well and Rantie was given a gift of a chance when Forest made a mistake at the back, but Darlow came out to save with his legs, when Rantie had been favourite to score. Tokelo just dallied a little too long rather than hitting the shot early and that indecision robbed him the chance of opening the scoring.
Just as we were lamenting Rantie's missed opportunity, Forest came straight back and Abdoun broke through and shot only for Henderson to save the shot but spill it out to his left, and as he looked to smother the ball, Cox came racing in following up. Henderson already had two hands on the ball in my opinion but the challenge came in and Henderson was in agony as his shoulder looked like it had been put out. The medics came on and he was given oxygen as play was stopped for a good 6 or 7 minutes.
Allsop had to come on as Stephen Henderson was stretchered off. I just hoped that the incident would not affect the team and thankfully it didn't. Abdoun was becoming a pest and won another corner off Harte this time, but Francis headed clear. While Rantie was doing his best to hold up the ball giving away a free kick was the best he could do. Arter was next to get clipped though by Majewski and the Cherries then had a free kick on half way which Harte came across to take on 15 minutes. Cook got his head to Harte's free kick, but the ball went behind for a goal kick.
It was up one and and back down the other in the first half hour. Both teams were really going for it but Surman and Collison were more like passengers. AFCB's midfield was not really holding on to the ball for more than one or two passes and it would breakdown far too quickly. Cook and Arter were busy making plenty of saving tackles as Reid, Cox and Abdoun looked for a weak link.
Allsop still looked uncertain when starting moves from the back but he seemed to get away with it on most occasions. Lansbury was next to have a shot on 20 minutes, but it was wide of the right hand post. Cook and Francis than started a move which ended with Rantie forcing Darlow to make a full stretch save. It was a well struck shot.
Ian Harte then played a great ball from the back out to Grabban wide on the right, which surprised just about everyone for its accuracy, even if Grabban didn't get anywhere. Pugh was having to help out Harte with Abdoun being so lively, but it was Cox who suddenly found himself clean through with the goal in front of him in the middle of the box, but he shot wide of the left post.
Pugh lifted our spirits on 25 minutes when he ran right at Forest's defence on the left and won a corner. It seems that the assistant referee was replaced at this stage and there was another stoppage as a new assistant ref appeared and warmed up.
Back to the game and while AFCB won a long throw after the corner the ball was soon back with Allsop and he rushed his kick when Harte was pointing for him to kick it to Pugh. The ball skewed out to Harte and he couldn't move his feet fast enough to get anywhere near it and just seemed to jump over the ball - it was quite comical.
Forest were starting to look more threatening now and Majewski's shot was deflected for a corner on the half hour. Ward headed clear, but Reid, Abdoun and Cox were still pressing before the offside flag came to the rescue. By this time Rantie had started to even chase back trying to get involved and all the decisions seemed to go Forest's way with a corner being given for nothing. Forest tried to make the pressure count when Cohen blasted the ball across the six yard box and yet amazingly know one got a touch on it.
Abdoun was switching to the left wing now, but Surman managed to tackle him. Rantie and Grabban were fast on the break but the ball just came back all the quicker. The Forest goal came after a period of passing between Lansbury, Majewski and Cohen on the left and it was switched back to the centre some 30 yards out when Lansbury sweetly struck his shot high and wide of Allsop, right into the top left corner on 38 minutes.
A fan next to me said Allsop should have got it, but he was lead footed and it was an excellent strike with some swerve and totally out of the blue. I felt the midfield dropped off and gave Lansbury too much space and had invited the shot. Still, it was a great shot and 1:0. The Forest crowd had finally woken up.
While Rantie had a shot that was easily taken by the Forest keeper, Bournemouth were not doing enough to win the midfield battle. Surman kind of underlined that with a poor back pass to Allsop that ended up being a corner, as Allsop juggled unsuccessfully to keep it in. While Ward made another towering headed clearance. In the seven added minutes for the stoppages, Forest took Collins off and Kelvin Wilson came on. Bournemouth then had a scramble in the Forest box when Ward got a back header and the ball ran to Grabban who hit the post, before Francis smashed the ball over - so close!
Eddie Howe made a sub with Ian Harte being replaced by Charlie Daniels for the second half, although Daniels early forays up the left resulted in him losing possession more often than not. Rantie continued to work hard pressing high up the pitch along with Grabban.
The sun was dipping nicely right into our eye line and I admit I struggled to see some player's numbers with the floodlights also on at full belt! Forest fans might have thought we were saluting them all for their past glories, but no they too were struggling to see with their hands up shielding the sunlight.
Back to the action, Arter was a busy bee in midfield and giving AFCB fans hope while Forest fans were getting dismayed at how Henderson could keep getting himself offside. The Cherries won a corner off of Wilson tracking one of Rantie's runs. While Cook tried to keep the pressure on Collison made a poor challenge on Reid and was booked.
Forest kept pressing with some good passing between Gonzalo Jara Reyes, Majewski and Reid before Cohen fed Abdoun and his shot was deflected for a corner on 59 minutes. Pugh and Daniels were getting forward but Lansbury was blocking their efforts well. Meanwhile, Forest's attacks were being scuppered by Henderson who kept getting flagged offside.
Forest's Simon Cox caused Allsop to make a good save on the hour and then Henderson was again caught offside. A second or two later though Henderson virtually had an open goal staring him in the face after Abdoun's through ball cut out Surman, Ward and Cook. Henderson missed his big moment though and struck the ball past the left post, when he had beaten Allsop. Luckily Henderson did not bring his scoring boots for this game. It was a bad miss.
Forest made a sub on 63 minutes with Majewski being replaced by Jamie Mackie. Shortly after it appeared that Henderson had scored a header from a corner but it was disallowed, presumably for pushing in the box on Cook. I was more concerned that Allsop did not come for teh cross which was on his six yard line. Rantie went on a solo run on the break but ran into trouble in the end.
Cox picked up a card on 69 minutes as the Cherries started to up their game. Bournemouth started to get on top for the last 20 minutes as they pushed Forest back. From a Cook long throw Pugh got on the end of it but the keeper made the save.
Forest then took off Cox and brought on Derbyshire for the last 18 minutes and Pitman came on for Surman on 73 minutes.
Pitman's appearance seemed to lift AFCB again and they won a corner on 75 minutes. There was a great move with Rantie playing in Pugh who finished with great style on 77 minutes only to be flagged offside. Allsop then had to make a save from Henderson although Henderson, of course, was offside.
Lansbury picked up a yellow card for his challenge on Pitman with 10 minutes to go. The free kick was in a good position just outside the box on the left side. Sadly the ref did not have a long stride and the wall was more like five yards away than 10 and Brett chipped his kick well over the bar. Still, it was all Bournemouth now as the home team came under more pressure.
Forest were playing on the break but the best they could do was a header from Henderson which Allsop held well. Pugh managed to get himself right in the Forest box on the byline but over hit his cross with just a few minutes of the 90 to go. Rantie was next to run across the 18 yard box from right to left with great skill and while he found Arter, Harry lifted his shot just over.
Just as Hobbs was made Forest's man of the match, for his numerous blocks at the back, he was given a yellow card for pulling back Arter. Darlow also picked up a card for time wasting.
Five minutes of extra time went up! Come on Bournemouth we cried! We felt that we deserved something from the game and when Rantie received the ball on the edge of the box and turned sweetly to see Pugh in space on the left he made the pass and Pugh scuffed the ball home! Mass celebrations broke out among the AFCB ranks as Pugh ran to the corner to the fans with absolute delight on his face. It was time to jump up and down like never before. The whole Bridgford end was rocking.
I don't remember too much of the rest of extra time as we were still enjoying ourselves but harry Arter even had another shot that could have made the day even better, but I'll settle for 1:1.
A great away performance. When you consider Fraser was not playing and Henderson had to go off very early on in the game and AFCB were away to one of the best teams in the Championship it was a terrific result. The defensive performances of Cook, Ward and Francis should not be underestimated, they were giants. Rantie kept running all day and his skill is very evident in and around the box - the goals will come for him. Again many positives and another point adds to the total. For Forest fans it felt like a defeat, but after hearing all week how the Cherries had no chance against Forest, 1:1 felt like a big victory to me. I felt we did deserve the draw because Forest's attackers had missed their opportunities and AFCB had defended gallantly, while making plenty of chances up the other end as well.
Can I also say, it was a cracking atmosphere at the City ground and I enjoyed talking with the Forest fans and they were great company and we had some good banter. You have a good team and will do well this season. I am not sure about the Mull of Kintyre music, but you all seemed to enjoy it.
|What a great effort. We enjoyed that.|
Henderson (Allsop 13), Francis, Ward, Cook, Harte (Daniels 45), Grabban, Collison, Arter, Surman (Pitman 73), Pugh, Rantie
Allsop, Elphick, Daniels, O'Kane, Pitman, Thomas, MacDonald
AFCB Player ratings:
Henderson N/A (Allsop 6), Francis 7, Ward 8, Cook 9, Harte 6, Grabban 6, Arter 7, Surman 5, Collison 5, Pugh 7, Rantie 8.
Darlow, Jara, Cohen, Reid, Hobbs, Collsion, Cox, Lansbury, Henderson, Majewski, Abdoun.
Harding, Mackie, Halford, Paterson, Wislon, Derbyshire, de Vries.