Saturday, 31 August 2013

AFCB win on the road as Donny are outclassed

Doncaster Rovers 0 v 1 AFCB
31 August 2013
Attendance: 6769 (290 AFCB fans)

The Cherries made four changes for the Doncaster Rovers game. Eddie chose the 4-4-2 formation which has served the team so well at home. In came Charlie Daniels as expected to replace Ian Harte on his 36th birthday (sorry Ian), and Ward was joined by Cook with Elphick and Surman dropping to the bench. Arter also came back into the team along with Lewis Grabban. Hughes did not make the squad having started the previous game. While I felt that Eddie Howe may go more defensive for this game considering he has not yet picked up any points on the road it appeared that he was out to go and take the game to Doncaster by playing two strikers from the start. Francis took back the captaincy.

Before the game Eddie Howe described Doncaster as a hard working, strong physical and resolute side with some quality added over the summer. He was pleased with where AFCB are before this game with the team having had a number of injuries that are now clearing up.

Match description
Listening to BBC Radio Solent
First half
AFCB came out wearing a mix of their away kit and third kit with black shirts and white socks and shorts. Bournemouth started attacking early from the left with Coterill clearing a Daniels cross. Pugh and Daniels were getting some nice early touches. From a Daniels free kick the ball landed for Cook and then Ward, but he had his shot deflected for a corner. A second corner followed after 3 minutes - a left footed in swinger. Arter had a shot but it was cleared. Doncaster made a sweeping counter attack. Coppinger and Brown made the breakaway, but Daniels headed away and Francis blocked out further Doncaster passes.

Arter was getting stuck in on Wabara, but the referee did not give a free kick. Macca was more lucky, picking up an unfair challenge and a free kick. Turnbull lost the ball from the kick in to the box with Pitman lurking, but AFCB did not get a shot in. It had been a bright start by AFCB.

Arter came marauding forward and hit a shot wide left of Doncaster's goal. This was looking good for AFCB. The battle that was already showing as a major one was Fraser against Husband with both players being quick across the ground. Pugh crossed to Grabban, Fraser in support who drove the ball across, but the keeper grabbed the ball in front of Pitman.

Fraser then gave away a free kick on Husband to ironic cheers from Doncaster fans who had not had many decisions go there way so far. With 12 minutes gone Doncaster were in possession with Brown and he managed to win a corner. The ball was taken short but Arter broke with Fraser and Grabban had a shot that Turnbull saved.

Ward was doing some busy defending, winning lots of headers. Cook also was putting his body on the line with strong challenges from Brown and play stopped for Cook after his head injury. Grabban forced a corner on the right hand side on 18 minutes, which Daniels than took but it was headed away.

Daniels crossed to Pitman from the left who hits the bar with his header and Turnbull know where near it. A free kick followed with Pitman standing over the ball with Daniels in the wall. A deflection from the wall gave AFCB another corner which Keegan cleared.

Brown's break away is quickly smothered by Cook. Almost half way through the first half and its all AFCB. Doncaster do get a chance though with Coterill passing to Coppinger who does not get his shot on target.

Husband was doing very well keeping out Fraser as he sent another ball out for a corner after 25 minutes. Grabban thinks about an overhead, but Doncaster comes away with it. Allsop has been a bit of a spectator so far - I'm so glad to hear that.

Steve Cook is pulled up for a handball and Donny are awarded a free kick, but Pitman clears to half way. Coterill had a shot on the turn, which Allsop gathered in easily. Pitman is coming deep when he has to. Husband fouled Fraser again and picks up a yellow as AFCB look to profit. Daniels takes the kick and Pitman claims a touch on his chest and it's 0:1 to the Cherries! 31 minutes gone. There was some dispute as to whether it should be Daniels' goal, Ward's goal or even an own goal, but Pitman wanted to claim it. After feedback, it turns out to be a Husband own goal.

Doncaster came back with Keegan having an attack but his shot went over. Pugh was out muscled by Coppinger and Doncaster are away. Daniels had to clip the ball out. Pugh put in a ball for Fraser, Pitman has a miscue. Coterill was next to foul Fraser by running across his path. Paul Dickov was very animated  about the decision. The kick went to the back post but the keeper was given a free kick as AFCB players came in.

Coterill then has a late challenge on Arter and is booked. Dickov is held back by his coaching staff! It's all kicking off. The home crowd very upset at how things are going - simmer down, simmer down!

Pitman doing his chasing back as always. Husband's cross is headed out by MacDonald, but Wellens is tripped and Donny have a free kick 30 yards out. The kick taken by Keegan hits the wall. Allsop is doing his time wasting tactic. The crowd get noisy and he is given a yellow.

Arter with options, shadowed by Coterill and Khumalo gets the block in. Pitman was next to go in the book a yellow for a challenge on Husband. That is Pitman's third yellow - one more than Arter! Allsop has to come out in front of Coterill, brave but he gets a knee injury and Cook puts it out  for a corner to Doncaster. Two minutes of extra time.

The corner comes from the right from Coterill, Pugh gets it away. The ball is soon back though for another corner. Coterill from the left and Pitman clears to Wabara, who crossed to Brown but MacDonald clears. Allsop then makes a save and another corner, which is put over the bar, by AFCB and another corner. Half time! Donaster feeling very hard done by - I think AFCB know the feeling when we were pipped to the title last season.

Second half
There were no changes at half time. Fraser ran in the box but went down easy, nothing given. Doncaster come forward with Wabara and Coterill but the ball goes well over the bar. Fraser and Husband continued to go at each other. Pugh then gives away a free kick.

Keegan and Wellens have the ball, down the left. Ward gets the ball and sets AFCB away. Daniels and Pugh work their magic on the left, but Robinson and Coterill win the ball back. Keegan is then tackled by Arter, before Cook goes down after Brown gives him a non too friendly hand in his face!

Coterill plays it to Keegan and Coppinger, who find Wellens but he can't keep the ball down and the chance is gone. Francis has had a quiet game mainly because of the influence of Husband. Cook comes across with Robinson threatening. "Fraser and Husband are cancelling each other out," says Willo. Allsop goes to ground after Brown's challenge and the crowd hoot with their disapproval - 12 minutes gone in the second half.

Fraser crosses and Elliott Ward does a great drag back, but his shot is blocked for a corner. Every one is marvelling at the centre backs turn which was as good as any forward could do - look out for that on the Football League Show tonight. Jones scoops the ball away in front of Grabban and its another corner and Grabban gets up with a good header, but Turnbull saves.

Sub for Doncaster, Paynter comes on for Coterill on 63 minutes. Pugh goes down but no foul is given. Allsop clears in front or Paynter. Robinson's shot goes into a crowd of payers and Allsop collects. Robinson hauls down Pitman and gets a yellow card. the free kick to AFCB is taken by Pitman on the edge of the box 25 yards out, but Turnball saves. Fraser is on the deck but Husband wins the free kick? AFCB thought it was Fraser that was tripped. Oh well.

Mark Duffy is Doncaster's second sub. He comes on for Robinson after 66 minutes. Rovers win a corner off Cook. Coppinger was next to shoot but he hits Brown. AFCB then make a sub with Coulibaly coming on for Fraser after 71 minutes.

Grabban has the ball near the corner flag until Duffy brings it away. The Cherries are defending well now with eight players behind the ball. Coppinger has a shot across the goal but no one gets a touch - Doncaster's best chance. Doncaster come again with Wabara, Coulibaly brings down Husband, but it's just a free kick. The pressure mounting on AFCB with 16 minutes left.

Coppinger takes the kick 30 yards out, but Jones is off side. Just 15 minutes to go and Grabban has a low shot gathered by the keeper. It's a right battle now with players going down all the time. MacDonald is said to be doing loads of defensive work. Coulibaly was starting to get involved now.

Doncaster make their last sub with Wabara coming off for Forrester after 77 minutes. Duffy fills in at right back. Just 11 minutes to go.

Allsop aims for Pitman with his goal kick and Pugh wins a throw. Pugh crosses but Doncaster clear. Coulibaly attacks husband and Grabban heads over, stretching too much. A costly miss! Keegan makes a good clearance as AFCB look to make it two-nil.

Doncaster are playing more directly now, but AFCB had missed some chances to kill the game off. Doncaster have gone three at the back. Pugh is the regular outlet in the second half for the Cherries. Five minutes left now.

Doncaster are throwing everything at AFCB's goal. Arter getting hold of the ball though. Pugh hurdles Duffy, Coulibaly and Grabban lining up for the chance it falls to Pitman, but Khumalo takes it off him. Thomas comes on for Grabban on 89 minutes. Francis and Coulibaly are defending on the right wing well.

Keegan and Husband now send the ball over to Brown, but it's volleyed clear. Three minutes of added time are announced. Jones is pushed forward to Doncaster. Coulibaly pulls the ball back but finds Duffy. MacDonald and Francis clear. Shouts of "We're on our way!" as Elphick comes on for Pugh.

Forrester bombs forward but Coulibaly clears. Every one is waiting for the whistle. Come on Ref!! Yes, three points for the Cherries - whoopie!! That was a battle.

BBC announced after the game that none of the 7000 or so at the game could deny that Doncaster were outclassed today. It was a bruising affair with Ryan Fraser taking much of the punishment, but he like the team stood up to a strong physical team. AFCB should have scored more goals and that is something they will have to look at, but three points on the road is fabulous ahead of the international break. The clear sheet at the other end though will please Eddie Howe even more. It has been a great start to the season for the Cherries with performances improving as the team gets used to the Championship. Nine points from five games is an excellent return. The goals against column is the next thing that needs to be addressed. Sixth in the table - you've got to be happy with that. Willo said "I feel like knocking down the stand." A happy lad.

Allsop, Francis (C), Ward, Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Coulibaly 71), Arter, MacDonald, Pugh (Elphick 90), Grabban (Thomas 89), Pitman.

Flahavan, Harte, Elphick, Coulibaly, Surman, McDermott, Thomas

Doncaster Rovers
Turnbull, Husband, Jones, Coterill (Paynter 64), Khumalo, Keegan, Robinson (Duffy 68), Coppinger, Wellens, Wabara (Forrester 78), Brown

Doncaster Rovers Subs
Maxter,Quinn, Furman, Duffy, Paynter, McCullough, Forrester.

No one said it would be easy

By the look of the poll results Cherry Chimes received last week, for who you thought would give AFCB the most difficult game out of six matches, we only had one vote for Huddersfield and yet second in the poll was Doncaster. So you may want to look away now if you are really frightened that Donny will turn AFCB over by a bigger margin that Watford or Huddersfield.

Can the defence hold firm this time?
In some ways I do think that the Doncaster game is as difficult a game as the Huddersfield one, but I would have put the Huddersfield one ahead of it, as the Trotters have more Championship experience. The marksmen for Doncaster, while good are not as prolific as Deeney or Vaughan and AFCB should be able to get into this game without conceding as much possession. If the Cherries can keep things tight for the first half an hour, the crowd could start to get on the backs of their players.

At least our players are no strangers to the Keepmoat and it should hold strong in their memory that they won last time out to a Harry Arter goal when visiting. Any psychological edge must be used to get our players in the right frame of mind for this one. While AFCB have won points at home, and you can't be expected to win all your away games, it is the number of goals that the team has let in that has made AFCB the second worse defence at present in this league.

While Eddie is keen not to deviate from his principles, to be honest I don't think we have the players to play route one for 90 minutes anyway. If we play to frustrate and defend with everybody behind the ball I am all for it if it gets us something from the game. Once AFCB are more established in the league, that is when they can play more expansively. Keep it tight is my message to AFCB today. I'm going for a 1:1 draw.

Of the players coming back it will be great to see Charlie Daniels, while I expect Howe will have to choose between Ward, Cook and Elphick with only two of them starting if he plays 4-5-1. Surman is likely to join Arter and MacDonald in midfield and we could find that Grabban is the lone striker with Pitman on the bench. 

Thanks for all those who sent in their predictions for today's game. 

Doncaster - we've got your number

There is a bit of me that sees this game against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday as a grudge match. As if trophy gate wasn't bad enough, with Tranmere Rovers not allowing AFCB to celebrate last season if the cherries had won the title, Doncaster meanwhile had the audacity to go and snatch that piece of silver away from AFCB, when it seemed we had at least one hand on the prize.

That was then though. The current form of Doncaster has me more worried than anything that might have happened in the past. They are a hard and gritty team that has added some quality without breaking the bank. Their leading goal scorer Robinson looks a tricky winger and their number 9, Chris Brown, would have added a few more to his tally had the game against Charlton not been abandoned. Billy Paynter is another thorn in AFCB's past  along with James Coppinger, while midfielder Paul Keegan looks a handful. What I do like about their team is that they fight for everything and Rob Jones will lead while the others will follow and give their all.

Paul Dickov has perhaps not done so well when lined up against Eddie Howe with his previous Oldham team. Now though it is Eddie that comes into this match under some pressure for AFCB's away form. AFCb will be doing everything they can to keep a clean sheet. I would take a 0:0 right now and motor back down to Dean Court. Sadly that opportunity is not there so AFCB has to plug the holes that have led to so many goals going in away from home. Allsop is going to need serious rehabilitation if he comes away from this one having let in another five or six goals.

I'm hoping that Ryan Allsop has a very quiet game today.
Four our supporters this trip is a brave one to take on. The distance is enormous and there will be no where to hide if AFCB have to take another lesson. If last week at Huddersfield told us anything is that AFCB can not look lightly on any team in this division. Doncaster are in form and at home. Damage limitation should be the first priority and let's see if the team can build from there.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Is Eddie Howe about to over achieve?

If you had asked me before the start of the season how AFCB would be doing by the end of August I would probably say that we could have about five points. While we still have the Doncaster game to go on Saturday, Eddie, Jason and the team have already managed six points. If they go on to get a draw or a win against Doncaster, I would find it hard to disagree that AFCB had over achieved in their first month in the Championship.

Considering that AFCB has had two very heavy defeats, it is easy to look upon those games and think that the Cherries are up against it at this level. That is not how Eddie Howe seems to see it. The performances have been good in the main and the team is getting stronger. In a way it will be a shame that the international break is coming up, as I think AFCB has begun to adjust to where it now is.

In our snap poll on the fixtures around this time and into next month, Doncaster was seen as the second hardest after Middlesbrough. They may not have played attractive football last season but they get the job done. Under Dickov they will play more football on the floor and our defence will be tested.

It is all about getting points on the board. Another win would propel AFCB into a solid top 10 position and even a draw would keep them in a good mid-table position. With a new striker and other players coming back AFCB should be in a much better position to keep up the momentum with three home games in September. With nine games then gone, the hard lessons of Watford and Huddersfield may seem a distant memory if the points keep mounting for AFCB.

Striker options are growing

Has Eddie got the man he needs to lift the Cherries' goal count?  Flashing the cash is all very well as long as the Cherries can pick up the man who will deliver the goals. Mr Rantie I am sure will be aware of the task ahead of him. 

Our strikers are not the biggest physically, but Eddie Howe prefers to rely on speed and technique. Aerial ability is something that may now be added with Rantie in the team if AFCB need another way to play. I also believe that Fraser, Coulibaly, Pugh and Ritchie should be encouraged to drive directly at goal on occasion as their dribbling and fast footed runs could see them get into the box and win the team penalties, if they can mix this up with the one touch passing around the box. 

The cutting-edge has not been quite right yet. While Grabban has been doing well individually the team needs more penetration and goal threats. Fraser has been doing his best to supply this from both wings, but finishing has not been as high as it could be. 

It has not gone unnoticed that McQuoid has completed 45 minutes of his come back albeit for the Development squad in the week. Eddie has made no secret of the fact that he wants Josh to play a forward role this season rather than operating on the wing and it would be of interest to see who he would most want to pair Josh with when he does get his go.

We need a full squad to take on the big boys

AFCB's first encounter with a promotion favourite did not come off too well, although we did stun Wigan. Still I kind of like the fact that other teams might think they can just turn up and beat AFCB. If any one takes the Cherries lightly it is likely they will come a cropper. It is important as usual for the Cherries to beat any clubs that are of a similar quality and size in the Championship, but we have to be brave enough to take on the big teams.

At home I am sure we will be okay. It is the away matches where we are going to really tested and we have to try and get points on the road. We do have quick attackers and it should help our play on the break, but we have to keep possession better so that teams can't hurt us easily.

I am looking forward to us stepping into those big stadiums and punching above our weight. Usually the team does well when it is up against top quality sides so let's see what AFCB can do.

The league is already starting to sort itself out and the positions of the teams may have a few surprises at the moment, but there is plenty of time for things to change around. For AFCB my main concern is the injury problems the club has had and getting players back to fitness so that they can compete for places. 

Once we are down to only two fit players in each position it does become a worry when you see players having to come off in the first few minutes of matches. I am sure our medics are among the best, but they have really had their work cut out in the early part of the season. We have much more chance of doing well with everyone being fit, but this is a really hard man's league from what I have seen so far.

Eddie Howe again hinted after the Watford Carling Cup game that Matt Ritchie was not far off coming back but he seems to have needed a much longer recovery period than was thought at first. Charlie Daniels looks like he is ready to come back which is always good news. I was pleased to see that Harry Arter was rested in the week as he has been not quite as dynamic as his normal self and I'd like to see him taking the game to the opposition more. Perhaps he can do that now after a rest. Pugh does look like he is back on form and having Coulibaly back will bolster Eddie's choices. 

Midfield role for Pitman

A few astute fans will have noted that Pitman fell back into midfield for the Watford Capital One tie in the second half. The need to combat the opposition forced Howe to ensure we have five in midfield to match up with them, but AFCB only had one up front for the  entire whole match. So when Thomas came on after 63 minutes, Pitman was pulled back. 

Brett's work rate is seen even more clearly when he was helping out in midfield. He does like a good tackle and while his talent is for scoring goals, he certainly knows how to defend well. Perhaps if Brett had been playing a lot of games he would heave been taken off, but he was kept on for the entire 90 minutes. It may have been a bit risky, with the Doncaster game coming up so soon. Getting that time though into his legs will help him in the long term, and he did not pick up an injury, so all worked out well.

Pitman plays his part for the team by dropping back in the Watford game,
but I hope we don't see him there in too many league games. 
Eddie could have put on Donal earlier if he had felt that Pitman needed a break. I imagine that the decision was pre-planned though and that Thomas was always going to play up front on his own in the last third of the game. Thomas did not really get as involved as he might and did not have much of an impact. Coulibaly and McDermott were more productive.

As AFCB bring in Tokelo Rantie it may be that Pitman could drop back into midfield for future games when required, but I don't think it is a position that he will be aiming to fill that often. Giving Brett time on the pitch I was probably the main reason behind the decision to put Pitman in midfield. However, it does demonstrate that the players do have to be versatile. Playing out of position is something they may have to embrace at certain times.      

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Tokelo Rantie - AFCB's new cutting-edge?

It was clear that Jason Tindall wanted to send a message out that Tokelo Rantie had been the club's number one striker target all along. Perhaps the Danny Ings bid was a token gesture then? Whatever the case, AFCB were pleased to bring a top international striker, subject to international clearance, to the South coast and Rantie will really boost Eddie's striker options. The 22-year old is said to be a powerful front man and has a good background having been signed from Malmo in Sweden and having been a full international player for South Africa.

It is now a case of how will he fit in with the players we have and what will Howe's main partnership be now? Grabban and Pitman may still remain his top pairing but at least he has a different kind of player now. Once Rantie is settled though I think he may start most games. He is certainly a signing that other teams will take note of. I remember when we had Northern Ireland's Colin Clarke at the club many years ago and the lift that having an international player up front can give the team. Rantie has only just begun his international career and I expect some fans will start looking out for South African matches now. 

I do like the way that Tindall points towards Dave Webb as being a key part of the decision to bring him in and I hope Tokelo does well to show that Dave is a great judge of players. The English players that were available did not attract AFCB either for their abilities or more likely their price and wages. I feel it is exciting to see so many different nationalities at the club although I would be especially pleased if we found amazing English talent. 

The big question that every one will want to know but can only guess at is how much did he cost? Good luck with that one at the next Fans' Forum. All we have been told is that it is a record club fee being paid out, although it will remain undisclosed. Still we know the four year contract will see Rantie an AFCB player through to 2017. The fact that Tokelo wanted to come proves that he must be one of the high earners and will be seen as a main spearhead for the Cherries assault on the top half of the Championship. We wish you all the best Tokelo and look forward to seeing you play.

Good signs despite Capital One Cup defeat

Capital One Cup second round
Watford 2 v 0 AFCB
Attendance: 9824

The players are led out.
Eddie Howe made a few changes to the last game with Ward now available and Hughes coming in for Arter and Pugh back in the starting 11, while Grabban was kept on the bench. By the end of the night we would also see Couliably, Thomas and McDermott. 

AFCB before the game.
While an a way defeat was perhaps half expected for AFCB last night against Watford, the game was far from another hammering and was more evident for the flowing style of football that Eddie Howe is trying to get his team to play. Admittedly, it was not like that in the first 15 minutes. Tentative passing and lots of sideways balls among the back four characterised the early passages of play with Hughes sitting in front of the two centre backs. It was a very nervy start from AFCB perhaps after what had happened at Vicarage Road before.

Watford had lined up with three at the back and five in midfield and, while they did not have Troy Deeney on the pitch or among the subs, they still put out a strong side with Forestieri particularly playing well. The early warnings for the Cherries playing their tippy-tappy football around their own box were examined in the first three minutes with Ward and Hughes almost getting caught out. Surman gave a couple of poor passes straight to the opposition early on as well, as Bournemouth were slow to settle. MacDonald was next to sloppily give the ball away in front of his own box and after a quick cross from Forestieri on the right, Ward tried to cut the cross out, but only succeeded in shouldering the ball into his own net as Allsop on two Watford players were beaten to the ball. It was a very strange own goal and only Ward can know what he was doing, but communication was clearly lacking between him and the keeper. Head in hands, Elliott Ward looked totally deflated by his error, but Macca had also played a part in what was a self-inflicted goal. One-nil to Watford!

Hughes was tackling best in the first 20 minutes and Bournemouth started to have a bit more movement as Fraser started some runs up the right wing, winning a free kick that Harte took but did not even beat the first man. Watford broke quickly with Faraoni crossing for Acuna whose despairing dive for the ball in the box, coming from right to left, was too late to make contact. AFCB continued to be guilty of playing around their own box too much with Hughes turning into Forestieri, who was caught trying to turn quickly. A free kick was the result and despite the slow marshalling of AFCB's wall, Watford put the ball well over the bar.

AFCB were not really putting enough pressure on Watford when they had the ball, while Pudil and Acuna were closing down fast on Bournemouth players when we had the ball. Faraoni was next to play a dangerous cross across AFCB's six yard area after 28 minutes. 

Bournemouth had some chances though. The first came after Pugh was given a free kick on the left. Pitman stepped up and bent his kick right towards goal only for Bond to get a hand to it and touch it onto the left hand post. A couple of corners for the Cherries followed with Shaun MacDonald taking aim, but Bond saved again. Pitman also shortly after blasted a shot well over.

Watford's next chance fell to Murray who, falling back, lofted an easy shot for Allsop to save. There was a better chance that fell to Acuna on 40 minutes, but his shot was deflected for a corner.

Pitman had been left on his own up front and rather isolated, but Surman and MacDonald got up to support along with Pugh. Marc Pugh's cross was met by Surman who headed just wide on 42 minutes - another great chance. Fraser won a subsequent free kick which Harte got deeper but the keeper caught it unchallenged. While a few more attacks at both ends came to nothing it was 1:0 at half time.

Harry was there again, enjoying himself before kick off in front of AFCB fans.
Second half

Watford were on the front foot after the break. AFCB were finding that Faraoni was just as fast as any winger we might have as he outpaced Harte but Allsop managed to cover. Meanwhile, Pugh and Fraser swapped wings. The next AFCB player to give the ball away in the wrong place was Hughes who inadvertently fashioned a chance for Pudil, but he shot wide.

Elphick and Acuna had a clash of heads on 57 minutes but Elphick rose okay and Acuna was slower to get up, needing some attention. What followed was probably AFCB's best chance of scoring with MacDonald coming straight through the middle as Pitman came back from an offside position and with just Ekstrand in close attendance, Shaun hit his shot against the keeper and then put the follow up wide of the post from close range - incredible! The goal was looming but the ball just wasn't going in. Bournemouth kept pressing though with Pugh and Pitman working a one-two that Pugh finished with a shot that Bond saved.

While the referee was not giving us any decisions and missed a clear handball in the Watford half, Bournemouth were attacking in waves. Two AFCB subs came on after 63 minutes with Coulibaly replacing Fraser and Thomas coming on for MacDonald. Wes went up front while Coulibaly started on the right wing, and Pitman dropped back into a five man midfield. Watford also made a change with Angella coming on for Brown.

The game then took a final slide towards Watford when AFCB could well have been given a handball at the Watford end, but instead the referee waved the complaints away. Both Francis and Harte had been left stranded up the pitch. Watford broke down the left with Alcuna before he crossed to Battocchio, as Ward tried to cover, but Battocchio scored off the bar with an exquisite lob to make it 2:0 to Watford after 66 minutes.

Bournemouth had a good chance to reduced the deficit from a corner but Pugh shot over. Pitman was putting a great shift in chasing back and taking the ball off of Murray. Zola then brought on the pacey Anya for Faraoni on 72 minutes and shortly after Allsop was made to tip a shot over.

The game was slipping away but Bournemouth had shown their class and with a bit of luck could have been on the score sheet. Coulibaly and Pugh swapped wings, with Pugh now on the right. Francis almost provided a good opening when he zipped a ball across the six yard area on 78 minutes, but nobody managed to get close to it. AFCB just could not find any gaps in the Hornets' defence.

For the closing seven minutes McDermott came on for Pugh and he showed some intelligent passing and decision making, working well with Francis. There was a great reverse ball he did to put Francis away on the right wing. Coulibaly was also putting himself about but was not getting the bounce of the ball. At one point he was completely flattened by two Watford players but nothing was given and despite four minutes of extra time you kind of knew when it wasn't going to be our night.

All over. AFCB put in a good performance. The goals just didn't come.
While Bournemouth could put their past big defeats behind them, they will know that a lack of sharpness in front of goal was part of the reason why the team did not score. It would be nice to think that Tokelo Rantie could have had a field day. Let's hope he is that good. 

Individual mistakes do happen and Elliott Ward will not score too many like the own goal he scored. What was more a factor was the dallying when we had the ball around our own box. It's okay to play from the back as long as you are quick and there is plenty of movement in front. Heaping pressure on your self though with sloppy passes in front of your area is not a great tactic. 

I was enthused though by Bournemouth's general play. Francis had a much more enjoyable game than a few weeks ago in the league match and MacDonald would have pipped him for my man of the match if he had not have contributed to the first Watford goal by giving the ball away. It was much brighter and more confident for AFCB once the tempo got going. If we have Grabban and Pitman with their shooting boots on, the Doncaster match could finally bring some away points. Final thought, getting better!

Allsop, Francis, Elphick, Ward, Harte, Fraser (63 Coulibaly), Surnam, Hughes, MacDonald (63 Thomas), Pugh (83 McDermott), Pitman. 

AFCB Subs bot used
Flahavan, Cook, Grabban, Addisson

Allsop 7, Francis 8, Elphick 6, Ward 5, Harte 5, Fraser 7, Surman 6, Hughes 7,  MacDonald 7, Pugh 7, Pitman 7.

Bond, Brown (63 Angella), Belkalem, Ekstrand, Battocchio, Murray, Pudil, Faraoni (Anya 72), Smith, Foriesteri, Acuna (McGugan84).

Watford subs not used
Almunia, O'Neil, Fabbrini, Ikpeazu.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Can AFCB topple Watford?

Watford are unbeaten this season and while they have drawn a couple of games they are still looking very impressive, especially at home. Importantly Zola pointed towards the fact that he was not happy with his team's defensive performance in their last game against Nottingham Forest. Most commentators have been focusing on the attacking qualities on their team as they have scored in every game so far, but there is a feeling that they do have defensive weaknesses. One player Zola is expected to bring in is Joel Ekstrand who is a 24-year old defender, while Belkalem may also get a starting role, according to local press reports.

Almunia in goal already showed against AFCB that he does not always do so well against the high ball when he comes to punch and several of Steve Cook's long throws unsettled the Hornet's defence when AFCB played them in the league. Zola also felt that Lewis McGougan or Pudil were not doing as much as needed on the right hand side in the last game.

We know that AFCB's midfield can take the game to the Hornets and if the team can defend set-pieces with more precision than they have done in away games, AFCB might have a chance. Angella must be closely watched when he has heading opportunities. AFCB must look to frustrate and break on Watford with speed. 

Zola also mentioned that Watford are suddenly not creating as much up front as they had been. It is a very fine line between success and failure and if things do not go Watford's way early on the home crowd noise will fall for them in a game they expect to win. AFCB might not have to face Troy Deeney this time as Fabrinni may get his chance, and I wouldn't mind if Ikechi Anya feels like he needs a rest as well. 

The Forest and Reading games will have been a bit of a dent in Watford's proud record and I expect them to come out all guns blazing against AFCB in the Capital One Cup. AFCB need to box clever, keep things tight and look for the gaps when Watford over extend themselves. There will be key moments when chances fall for either team. Our record in front of goal has not been strong enough this season and we need a bit of luck to see things click. But a good away victory would once again show fans that you just don't know what is going to happen in these matches.


Coulibaly and McQuoid can up our strike rate

I have my fingers crossed that we see Mohamed Coulibaly and Josh McQuoid involved games very soon. Eddie Howe kind of let slip that Mohamed could be involved at Watford, having been brought back into the squad along with Elliott Ward. I was pleased to see that Marc Pugh got on the score sheet the other day but, apart from Lewis Grabban, AFCB are looking a little goal shy so far in the Championship. A boost could come from McQuoid and Coulibaly. McQuoid played 45 minutes against Bristol Rovers in a Development Squad yesterday in a 2:0 win, so he is less likely to be involved tonight, but it is good to see him come through a half with no problems.

Both of these players have exciting styles and can produce individual moments of magic that can turn games. We need to see some of that. While heavy away defeats have soured the air a little the re-introduction of players that are eager to get their seasons going has to be the right move now. AFCB has to be more than a one trick pony and some variety is worth trying, although Howe seems to want a response from the players who played at the John Smith's stadium.

It would be great if Coulibaly can get back out on
the pitch at Watford or Doncaster.

While McQuoid has not quite lived up to his billing since his return to Bournemouth I would be very pleased to see how he does playing as an out and out striker. He does have a very good calm head when it comes to finishing and if he can just get a bit of a run going he could yet be a surprise package for AFCB this season, which would be a shock to many of AFCB fans.

Meanwhile, Coulibaly has hardly had much chance to get familiar with his surroundings. I hope he also gets a few games under his belt so that he can feel part of the team. He is such an exciting talent that Eddie rightly wants to look after him, but I can see him causing all kinds of trouble for our opponents in the Championship.

Those waiting in the wings

The Capital One Cup tie against Watford will give a few of those waiting in the wings a chance to press their claim for a place in the first team. Eddie Howe has said that rotation will play an important part during the season and he does not feel that some of the players outside the first 11 would weaken the team if they come in. The test will come today, when it is likely that Howe will rest some players ahead of the Doncaster match at the weekend.

Some players still need to get some match fitness soTommy Elphick and Elliott Ward mat form teh centre back pairing. Eunan O'Kane was probably pencilled in for the Watford game but he came off with a twisted ankle injury during the Huddersfield match. Wes Thomas is likely to get a run out and perhaps Richard Hughes, while Donal McDermott, and Miles Addisson could even see some action. It was not mentioned whether Pugh was on the bench for tactical reasons last game or if he would have struggled to play 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Surman only played a half before being taken off.

The slowness of some of AFCB's players to come back after injury is now starting to show. Eddie Howe has said that players will be returning this week and that could mean that Wes Fogden, Mohamed Coulibaly and Charlie Daniels get some opportunity to play. There is also Stephen Purches and Shwan Jalal and Darryl Flahavan who have not played many games.   

It is questionable just how much of the team Eddie will rotate. He could field an entirely different 11 from the Huddersfield game or he could pick a few combinations to keep some consistency. While Eddie has said that he wants to do well in all competitions, the real test will come on Saturday and how the team performs against Doncaster. Still, no one wants another drubbing against Watford so it looks like he will not make too many changes.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Hughes can be a great shield for AFCB

Richard Hughes is the player that several AFCB fans are asking to be played in the next few away games. As a solid player with a steady nature and calm distribution it has to be said that he should be in Eddie Howe's thoughts. He was on the pitch when the fifth goal went in against Bournemouth against Huddersfield, but as a whole we have seen that the second half was a more solid performance, even if the game was well and truly lost by then. If Richard is on from the start then it may well help the team to stay in the game and establish a pattern that gives players some confidence. 

Having seen more of the Huddersfield game now it does look like the players had a dominant section of the game after the Terriers went 1:0 up. For the next quarter of an hour it was pretty much all AFCB. When the second goal came it was as if the players simply switched off and that is something that can be improved - concentration levels. Hughes is one that will talk to others and keep their mind on the job.

Setting the tempo and keeping possession is also something that I hope the team work on. While cutting out individual errors are difficult the team can always look to play to its strengths and for AFCB that is getting the ball wide and first touch passing. While the team has been doing it for small periods of games, it has to be carried on for longer periods. We must get out best passers on the ball to stop other teams hurting us. Eddie will not doubt press upon the team how important it also is to get the first goal. When AFCB has done so it has won both its home games.

It may be that some of the defeats we have had away from home are more to do with the impetuousness of youth than anything else. The young players have been used to winning and perhaps feel they can just do as they did last season and the pints will come. I expect now that some of them know different if that was the case. The experienced players will be needing to help explain why we are getting so out of position and why doing the simple things like closing down are so important in the Championship. We can stand off players with the talent of Adam Clayton who simply took aim and fired in from over 30 yards last match for that fifth goal.

While Hughes is not the quickest, he has quickness of thought and he can see danger better than most. I'd like to see him more involved but if Eddie Howe has some other ideas I am sure he will look to bring them in for the Doncaster game. 

O'Kane must feel luck is against him

Just a couple of weeks ago everything was looking better for Eunan O'Kane. He score a great goal in his come back against Portsmouth in the Capital One Cup. His general play was impressive and he was sure to be pushing Harry Arter and Shaun MacDonald for a place in the starting line up for the next match. As it turned out he was a sub for the Huddersfield game and his introduction lasted only a few short minutes before he had to come off again.

Such is the life of a top class football player. Last season Eunan also had to watch much of the early part of the season but I believe that with a bit of luck he could even play more games than he did then. Far from being a simply squad player he is developing into a real talent that will perhaps see him dominating our midfield in future years.

Can Eunan recover quickly to get in
Eddie's selection thoughts again?
Getting a run in this team though is no easy task. While Eddie may look for a new way of playing away that could see the introduction of some players that have not played a major part so far it is not clear if Eunan would be the one to bring in. The second half of the Huddersfield game was not such a bad performance for the Cherries, but Eunan was on the pitch for just 16 minutes before Richard Hughes came on to replace him. 

A lot of the time I think fans look at the 11 players that were on the pitch when things don't go so well and forget that poor results also effect those on the bench or those just outside the squad. While they want their opportunity they need the team to do well. When you get injured and the team gets beat it must be like being hit twice. But set-backs are what football players get used to. It is rare when everything goes well all the time and the goal is to get back fit as soon as you can to be available for the manager. Eunan is one of our players that can still make a big impact this season.

Just how important is Charlie Daniels to this team?

The loss of a regular player for any team is always a problem. Still you kind of see Charlie Daniels as one of the lead figures for the Cherries. When he is out of the team some of the heart beat simply isn't there. He is a player that likes to get on the front foot and his explosive forays down the left wing give other teams much to think about and relieves the pressure on our team.

Charlie does his job so well that it is instinctive how he plays with Marc Pugh and that kind of play gives the team some of the consistency in its performances that we all so love to see. Marc Pugh himself only played about half the game against Huddersfield and I don't know if that was tactical or if he is carrying a niggle. Yet, Pugh looks twice the player when he has Daniels in behind him. 

It is quite possible that Eddie Howe hasn't got enough strength in depth yet for this team. The Championship is difficult and with star players like Daniels, Ritchie and Ward not being available it weakens the team as it would any team in the division. I don't think Eddie Howe has yet had all the players he would like to be fit to be able to pick a team that he really can say is his best 11 so far this season. As we all know, playing the same 11 in games where you can usually helps to bring results. So far AFCB has not been a settled team and getting players like Daniels to play as many games as he can this season is just one of the many challenges that the club faces.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Putting your money where your mouth is

I had a quick look at the odds for teams looking set for a possible promotion from the Championship to the Premiership after we have seen the results from the first thee games. Most of the bookies seem agreed that the front runners for promotion should be QPR, Watford and Nottingham Forest. With Watford and Nottingham Forest already occupying the top two places on Saturday, I suppose they have a slight advantage but Reading, Wigan and Leicester are ranked only just behind them in the odds to go up.

The best odds I could see for AFCB were about 11/1 with most predictions putting us to finish just outside the top 10 clubs. The good thing after this weekend was that AFCB's odds for promotion had eased out to 14/1 on Bet365, so if you feel that Eddie can repeat last year's feat in a harder division you are going to be quids in. 

I am open-minded as to where many teams will finish as it is early days. I do expect some surprises along the way and it would be good to see an unfancied team suddenly turn up in the top six at the end of the season. If we did not have an element of surprise it would be a pretty dull affair with those with the biggest pockets most likely to buy their way to the Premiership every season.

There are many variables that can make or break a season even if you do have the best team in the league. I don't always believe in things even themselves out over the course of a season and some times decisions do against your team, while injuries, managerial sackings and financial problems can seriously impact the end position or your team in the league.

I guess it is because I know that there is no such thing as a cert, nailed on winner that I shy away from parting with my cash on such things. Many fans will back their team even if the odds are heavily against them achieving anything other than staving off relegation, and I guess that is the true fanatic or optimist. At least we all know in any given match one team can beat another whether your club is at the bottom or the top of the league.

The day I bet on winning a free pizza though you can guarantee AFCB will come away with no points! That's really putting your money where your mouth is.

There's nothing better than having a heart to Harte

The interview with Steve Cook on AFCB's Cherry Player website before the Huddersfield home was quite revealing with Cookie talking about Elliott Ward and Ian Harte. I especially liked the way he mused about Ian Harte and his passion to talk to other players. I get the feeling that Ian might be a bit of a joker and keeps himself in high spirits which is great for the camp. I could say that we have another Steve Fletcher on our hands, but there's nothing wrong if you like the sound of your own voice and you have lots to say that can help your fellow professionals. 

The youthful glances that Steve Cook gave were terrific when he thought about the two experience defenders that have joined up with the Cherries this summer. The tales that Ian Harte must be able to tell may well open the eyes of our less experienced team members, but it must be a big bonus to have Ward and Harte showing you what has worked for them and what they try never to do in certain situations. 

You could see that Steve Cook regards such players with great respect and wants to learn from what they can teach him. I always feel that listening some times is a bit of a forgotten art. You need to know when to keep quiet and let others speak and for a footballer, who is like a sponge soaking up such information from some of the players that have played at the top level, their game can only get better if they listen well.

I do like the way that AFCB takes on the challenge with every one being in the challenge together and even as a fan I feel part of that. My love in particular is to hang on every word of Eddie Howe. You can' help but want to listen to everything he says in those post match interviews. Everyone likes a winner and it seems that we have a club that feeds off each other in this respect - long may it continue.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

It hurts and that should give AFCB fans hope

Listening to Tommy Elphick's honest comments after the Huddersfield game were good medicine in my view. He did not mix his message. He knew the team had not performed well and did not hide his disappointment. That gives me hope. Yes, it is hard to take it when the team not only lose but get a good beating away from home, but AFCB are against much better players and they are still adapting to their new surroundings.

That the players want to get better is a very good sign. Eddie Howe is not disillusioned with AFCB's performances because he could see how difficult it was going to be. Luckily the Championship is not a sprint and there is time to try and sort out some of the things that individuals and the team as a whole can do better. AFCB fans, including myself, have to give Eddie and Jason time to put things right in a league when the games just keep on coming. I suspect that the period that sees a two week break at the start of September is when the squad can really look in some depth at how to come up with ways to be harder to break down, when playing away.

Elphick hopes to turn away for around on Wednesday. and Saturday.
The good thing is that at the moment AFCB have played as well as they did last season when at home. They are not used to playing teams that can really hurt them with quality and we have had it our own way for a long time. This season will be different. Every point is going to be hard earned, but it is important that fans of the Cherries do not get too despondent when we do suffer a heavy defeat. It might be different if we knew players were not trying and were not happy to wear the shirt or didn't want to play for the manager, but this is not the case. What the team needs is our support and acknowledgement that they have a very difficult challenge, but are not trying to hide from the fact that they still have things to learn. They are a young team Eddie Howe tells us.

It is probably not good to magnify the problems the team has had on the road too much as it will get into their heads that they can't do it away from Dean Court. It is interesting that Tommy Elphick said that he was pleased we have two more away games coming up this week. It is not about fearing such games it is more about these players wanting to put things right that gives me encouragement. They are not miles away from doing well in away games. It will come and perhaps sooner than we all think.

Does it have to be all or nothing?

No one likes losing football games and even fewer of us don't mind losing heavily. Still AFCB is in a very strong league where teams will pick on your weaknesses and exploit every minor error to the maximum. The fact that this has happened in AFCB's first two away games might not have sent the alarm bells going if the big defeats had both been to teams that had either both come down from the Premiership or were both likely to win promotion this season. Huddersfield simply have not been put in that bracket by the pundits and yet they tore the Cherries apart at home in front of what was a fairly quiet home crowd.

So how much of the problems were to do with AFCB's own making? I am suggesting that quite a few of the errors were brought on by AFCB and the need for players to adapt to situations on the pitch and think for themselves, when danger is staring them in the face, is something that they will either react to or won't. I don't think things were quite right before the Huddersfield match with the players. A sudden change in personnel and perhaps a change of system to what had been worked on all week simply unsettled things. Excuses you may say, but match preparation is an art and if not all bases are covered we have seen that things can go badly wrong.

What I can't quite understand is why it should be all or nothing for AFCB at the moment? Grinding out a draw away from home is not a bad way to approach some games, but then perhaps Eddie Howe was trying to keep things tight and the players were unable to carry out his instructions. We know that it is great to be in this league after the barren seasons we have had in the lower leagues, but I can understand that fans do not want to see our club and players being battered every other week. There are problems for Eddie and Jason to sort out but if they can find the answers and be competitive in the Championship we will be even more proud of our club than we already are.

From what I have seen, none of the players or the management team want to let any one down. We have to keep working and look to improve. Everyone talks about consistency and at the moment AFCB is either Dr Jeckyll or Mr Hyde. If we can find some thing in between, AFCB supporters may be able to look at away fixtures without being quite so worried.    

AFCB must sort out their away days

"No need to panic," says Eddie Howe. "We know where we are." Sadly it is not a rosy picture when it comes to playing away for AFCB. Two games away and 11 goals conceded is not what a successful season can be based on. While there are mitigating factors in the preferred team not being able to play, others have to be able to step in or the squad simply isn't strong enough.

Eddie now knows the away form really is a problem
 that he must solve quickly. 

For Huddersfield's first goal Surman and MacDonald failed to close down Hogg who slipped in his pass to Hammill with Fraser getting on the wrong side of him. Harte was left flatfooted and neither he, MacDonald or Fraser got a tackle in, while Allsop left a pleasing gap at his near post post for Hammill to find. 

The second goal was also a shocker in that there was no left back when the ball first crossed the area and while Fraser tried to cover the second cross, it was met easily by Vaughan with Harte looking on bemused with his feet hardly getting off the ground. 

Arter completely backed off for the third, with MacDonald and Surman out of position and Patterson given loads of time to thread a pass through to Vaughan. We also saw why Tommy Elphick had possibly not started a game before the Huddersfield match and why he probably would not have started this game, unless Elliott Ward was called away for family reasons. If you are not match fit at this level and you are playing against a top striker you will be found wanting. 

The fourth goal was just a clumsy challenge by Francis on Jake Carroll in the box but it follows the silly free kick he gave away against Watford for their second goal the other week. By the time Adam Clayton got the fifth, Huddersfield probably thought they could try their luck from anywhere and having left MacDonald far behind Clayton swung his left foot to devastating effect.

As Eddie Howe said: "We conceded some poor goals." While it might have been better if AFCB had scored first, three nil down at half time, away from home is a dire situation to be in. AFCB simply did not cope with the attacking threat which was more clinical than they faced last season.

Howe's response was that it was "frustrating." I suspect that a number of the things that the team did wrong were discussed and perhaps even worked on after the Watford game but they have reoccurred. Eddie pointed out that the club is "on a learning curve to improve in all areas". While he may not be surprised by the type of opposition they faced they did fail to combat it for the second away game.  Brian Flynn was looking on for Doncaster Rovers and will have seen plenty to encourage his thoughts ahead of next Saturday's game.

On a happier note Eddie was very pleased with Ryan Fraser who continues to be a highlight with his positive and direct running. It is worth also noting that the second half had a scoreline of 2:1 and was not such a capitulation, the main problems happened in the first half. AFCB were left to play catch up again.

As many have suggested, I do wonder why AFCB is not set up with the back four protected by Richard Hughes sitting in front of it and why there is not five in midfield from the start and just the one up front when playing away. If the team can get to half time with a scoreline of 0:0 in their next game I don't see that as a bad thing. Keeping the opposition out is surely where we have to start off and if it means playing with a slightly less attacking line up then perhaps that is how AFCB should go for a while when playing away. At least it would give us 45 minutes to see what the oppositions strengths are while still remaining in the game. 

More importantly, AFCB can't give good players lots of space and time on the ball and they have to defend more stoutly with players not being so far out of position. From what I could see on the highlights, Howe could have take off any number of the players at half time, as AFCB just were not defending well enough together as a team.

The reassuring words from Eddie Howe were that the team will stick together. "We'll respond as we always do," he said. The aim is to react well on Wednesday and then on Saturday at Doncaster. "We'll put it to bed and learn from it, there's no need to panic," Howe insisted.   

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Huddersfield give Cherries another horrible away day

Match Description
Huddersfield Town 5 V 1 AFCB
24 August 2013
Attendance 12,025 (including 335 away fans)

AFCB made two changes to last game with Tommy Elphick and Andrew Surman coming back into the side, while Pugh dropped to the bench and Elliott Ward was not even named in the 18-man squad, as he rushed back to be at his wife's side as she went into labour. The change in the back line looks like it made a mess of Howe's pre-match game tactics, because the Cherries were to be 3 down by half time, despite having some good early spells of possession. At the moment it is not happening on the road and that is a big problem if it starts to affect home form as well. 

There was some discussion BBC Radio Solent as to whether Bournemouth would start 3-5-2 to match up to Huddersfield expected line up, but 4-4-2 looked most likely with Surman playing on the right wing. I wondered if Pugh was feeling an injury or if Surman was preferred for some reason for this game with Fraser starting on the left. 

Match description of BBC radio Solent commentary

The John Smith's stadium as it is now called welcomed some 300 AFCB fans according to the official clubs Live blog. Huddersfield won an early corner with Harte conceding the corner and Hammill had the first shot on goal that Allsop did well to hang on to.  

Huddersfield kept the ball well at the start, but Cook and MacDonald started to get involved and before long Pitman and Fraser got involved. Arter then tried to get on the end of a Fraser move but headed over. Patterson and Hammill set up a chance which Surman broke up tracking back.

Clayton was caught by Pitman who received a yellow card. On nine minutes Fraser, Surman and Pitman almost made an opening but it was deflected for a corner. The AFCB trademark step over move came to Francis but it was blocked.

The atmosphere was said to be very quiet, a strange atmosphere but the Cherries seemed to be thriving on the support they had. AFCB had seen most of the ball in the first 12 minutes. While Huddersfield asked for a penalty against Surman that was not given, Adam Hammill managed to do some fast step overs running into the right side of the penalty area and dazzled three AFCB players, before scoring for Huddersfield in the bottom corner. 1:0 to the Terriers on 14 minutes.

Carroll and Patterson linked up and Francis was next to give away a corner as the Cherries came under more pressure on 17 minutes. The Cherries got the ball away and Surman countered. Grabban looked for Pitman, but his shot was blocked. Fraser's low cross was also cleared.

Paterson then clattered in Fraser and picked up a yellow card. Fraser's cross was met by Grabban, but he headed right at the keeper when a powerful header could have brought the scores level.

Clayton tried to pass Vaughan through but Elphick cut it out. Harte was having one of those games where he put the ball straight out for a throw! Arter was not seeing that much of the ball and his influence would be needed if AFCB were going to get something from this game. Norwood was playing well for Huddersfield and the right side of the pitch was where Huddersfield were doing well.

Francis gave the ball away, but Surman got hold of it again looking for Harte and then Fraser who crossed. Bournemouth retained possession with Francis and Surman but it was sideways play. Arter now swung the ball in but it was too strong for Francis and was over hit.

Arter tried to beat a few players but lost the ball and Huddersfield were on the attack. Elphick gave away a free kick on half way. Hammill left Harte behind and had a shot but Allsop coped with it well. Allsop next gave a corner away when he came out then stopped for a long ball from Vaughan and got away with perhaps a poor decision. Allsop then saved another shot from Hogg that was a great save. Huddersfield were well on top now after 31 minutes with the crowd getting behind them.

Grabban had a shot deflected with the keeper scrambling. Another corner left footed from Surman, aimed towards the near post. Arter picked up the pieces and won another corner with Pitman. Norwood stopped Arter's effort. Cook stayed forward, Grabban mis-kicked when he had a good chance dribbling through, Arter then failed to weave a way through. 

Hammill floated a ball in and it was defended by AFCB for a corner. Hammill then crossed for Vaughan who headed in nine minutes before half time to make it 2:0. AFCB were left flat footed with Allsop having no chance.

AFCB have been looking like they have been struggling to find their shape and not really getting into the game, according to BBC Solent. AFCB now had to be resilient, 2:0 down and half time would be bad enough.

But Patterson played through Vaughan on 41 minutes, straight between the centre halves and Vaughan put it past Allsop for 3:0! This was now really worrying considering what had happened at Watford.

So at half time it was 3:0. Eddie Howe really needed a big half time talk and perhaps there would be a change in personnel.

The Second half
AFCB made a change with Surman being replaced by O'Kane at half time. Grabban was put on the right with Pitman the lone striker. Vaughan got in early behind Elphick and almost made it four. 

O'Kane and Fraser took up the battle again. Vaughan's free kick was fed over to Hammill and then Hog and Hammill down the right into the penalty area where Paterson tried to get on the end of it. Fraser was now on the right hand side. Arter still was not playing well and put the ball straight out.

O'Kane was starting to get involved since coming on. Francis and Grabban were also working better. Arter picked up the ball in the D, but O'Kane makes a mistake and Hogg and Clayton clear. Harte crossed to Grabban and Pitman but again the ball did not fall for the Cherries.

Fraser passed to Pitman and Gerrard put it out for a corner. Harte's in swinger is powerfully headed away. BBC Solent's Willo said we had started "much brighter" in the second half, but with 10 minutes of the second half gone it was still 3:0.

Fraser was clipping in crosses but Smithie collected well. Marc Pugh was limbering up and about to come on. Hammill and Paterson interchange and crossed to the far post. Carroll was fouled by Francis and the referee gave a penalty to Huiddersfield. Vaughan was to take the kick and while Allsop got a hand to it the ball went in to make it 4:0 on 57 minutes. That was Vaughan's hat-trick!

Marc Pugh then came on after 58 minutes and Pitman was taken off. That is now 10 goals conceded for AFCB away from home this season. O'Kane was down injured and received attention, but Hughes had to come on for him.

Pugh's first touch wins a free kick. Ian Harte crossed to Cook but it went out for a throw. Cook crosses to Pugh but Smithies collected the ball. Elphick and Vauhan then tangled and the free kick went Huddersfield's way. Hammill delivered it but Hughes and Francis cleared.

MacDonald then got tripped by Hogg. Ian Harte fired in the ball with Elphick ending up in the net, bit not the ball. Grabban passed to Pugh who came in field. Francis crossed and Pugh got between two defenders to get Bournemouth on the score sheet 4:1. A nice little brave header after 68 minutes.

Hughes celebrates in the next minute by taking down Norwood who was given a yellow card. With 20 minutes left Lynch played a long back pass. It looks like Huddersfield were settling for the current score line.

Grabban caught Gerrard on the ball but Hughes gave the ball back. Hogg and Vaughan then started to play the ball around much to the home crowd's delight. With just 16 minutes to go MacDonald found Francis and Fraser crossed for Clarke to clear. Fraser tried again and won a corner, but Harte puts it straight out on the full.

Callum Woods came on for Gerrard on 76 minutes as Huddersfield go to a back four. Pugh nicks the ball for Grabban who shot but it was deflected and the keeper saved.

Arter gave the ball away and Hogg found Adam Clayton who smashed another shot in for 5:1 , from 35 yards out into the top corner. Another trouncing! The nature of the goals were not that bad though, says Willo.

Huddersfield then brought on Stead for Vaughan and Paterson came off for Scannell. The Huddersfield keeper heads it away after close attention from Ryan Fraser. Jonathan Stead then blasted his shot over the bar.

MacDonald intercepts and passes to Arter, but Pugh was out fought on the wing. Hughes played the ball behind Cook when he was not under pressure. That kind of sums up AFCB's afternoon. Half of the Cherries support has already left with five minutes of normal time to go.

Grabban was still running hard. James Vaughan picked up the man of the match as the hat-trick hero.  Huddersfield almost made it six when Norwood had a header that mercifully went wide. Allsop did not come for the ball when perhaps he could have done.

A tough weekend and bouncing back after these kind of away defeats every week. The Trotters scored in several different ways which is a worry and while they have a million pound striker they are not seen as a front runner for promotion. Eddie and Jason have lots of work to do again and the difficult of this league has been shown again. I am sure Eddie will have something to say about not being able to set up the team in quite the way he wanted to but it sounds like too many players are not doing their job away from home, closing down players and stopping dangerous balls before it is too late. 

AFCB starting XI
Allsop, Francis, Cook, Elphick (c), Harte, Fraser, Arter, MacDonald, Surman (45 O'Kane, 61 Hughes), Grabban, Pitman (58 Pugh).

Flahavan, Daniels, Hughes, Pugh, Thomas, Addisson, O'Kane.

Huddersfield Town starting XI
Smithies,  Lynch, Clarke (c), Hammill, Gerrard (76 Woods), Norwood, Carroll, Clayton, Hogg, Paterson (80 Scannell), Vaughan (80 Stead).

Huddersfield Subs
Bennett, Hunt, Woods, Gobern, Ward, Scannell, Stead.

Referee Darren Bond.