Date: 22nd December 2013 at 10:48am
Written by:

Since moving up north Hillsborough has been a very happy hunting ground for me. I remember well my first game, a 2-0 Tuesday night victory with the chants of ‘Same old Bournemouth taking the piss` ringing out from the AFCB faithful. This was followed by a similarly impressive 1-0 win and a travesty of a 1-1 draw after we had played Wednesday off the park in the first 45.

The last visit and the experience of going 3 down after 8 minutes was something of a shock to the system but today`s result, and performance, made it 3 wins and a draw out of 5. Is there any other ground where we have such a good recent record?

Bournemouth lined up with the same 4-5-1 formation as at Reading with Grabban up top on his own and Fraser and Ritchie in the wide positions meaning Pugh dropped to the bench. A slight concern was the omission of Cook due to injury but fortunately Ward was fit again to take his place.

Wednesday started the match reasonably well but despite having most of the play created little by way of clear chances and we seemed content to soak up the pressure and ease our way in to the game. In contrast the first chance Bournemouth created ended up with the ball in the net. Ritchie linked well with Surman drove goalwards and let fly his low shot fizzing past Martinez`s in the Wednesday goal and inside his near post.

Cherries really started to play after the goal pressing high up the pitch, passing and moving at pace and created several good chances, most notably a Surman shot that their keeper did well to save. Wednesday meantime were mainly restricted to potshots from distance all of which it is fair to say were pretty woeful.

On 27 minutes Arter played the pass of the game, an absolutely gorgeous ball with the outside of his foot that curved into the path of Grabban who had made yet another intelligent run between Wednesday defenders. Grabban did the pass the justice it deserved by finishing clinically with his right foot from an angle. The TV cameras probably won`t show just how good Arter`s pass was but from behind the play where the AFCB fans were you had a great view of it.

The Hillsborough crowd started to get restless once the second goal had gone in and what they saw for the rest of the half didn`t exactly improve their mood, Bournemouth largely controlling proceedings other than one Wednesday chance similar to Grabbans goal into the side netting and a header wide that really should have troubled Camp more. As an away fan is there anything more satisfying than the half time boos from the home crowd? Well ok yes, the boos at full-time were even more satisfying but you get my drift!

The second half was a more scrappy affair with Wednesday unable to really get up a head of steam and the Cherries happy to take the sting out of the game whenever possible. We continued to press and defend from the front with Grabban putting in an impressive shift and looking the real deal in the lone striker position. We still looked dangerous when attacking and should have sewn the game up mid way through the half. Firstly Grabban failed to find Arter with a square ball in the box who would surely have scored had the ball got to him. Then our pressing game forced the Wednesday defence to gift the ball to Ritchie who had a clear sight of goal but lifter his shot narrowly over the bar.

Wednesday were huffing and puffing but getting nowhere. An indicator of how bad they were was that there fans started to drift away as early as 20 minutes from the end. In typical Bournemouth fashion though we gifted them a goal to set up our customary nervy finish. Camp, stretching, went for a cross but only succeeded in punching it into Daniels the ball rebounding to Maghoma who had the simplest of chances to score. A shame for Camp who had looked solid all game and so from nothing Wednesday had a glimmer of hope. The anticipated onslaught never arrived though. Bournemouth carried on pretty much as before and it was the Cherries who had the best chance in the dying minutes, Grabban shooting tamely from a similar position from which he had scored in the first half. The final whistle brought forth a further chorus of boos from the home fans whilst the Cherries players and fans celebrated back to back away wins for the first time in the Championship.

All in all an excellent away performance. Yes Wednesday were very poor but that was as much down to how good we were as their own deficiencies. We seem to have found the system that works best for us away from home. The work rate throughout the team was impressive, in particular Grabban who stretched and harried them all game long. All we need to do now is find an equally effective set up for playing at home and we`ll fly up the table.

Best moments of the game was a sublime piece of Grabban skill on the touchline and of course THAT pass by Arter. Funniest moment of the match was the PA person deciding to rename the wee man Ryan Fisher; cue our fans singing ‘One Ryan Fisher there`s only one Ryan Fisher`

Man of the match for me has to go to Grabban closely followed by Ritchie who appears to have made a real difference to the team with his willingness to shoot. Arter. O`Kane and Surman were competitive and creative in central midfield and the defence looked solid with Elphick back to his best and Ward looking like he had never been away.

Report by alwaysacherry
bigfatolly wrote…
Good day out again I am not sure in all my years of supporting I have seen back to back away wins…..
Anyway we lined up 4-5-1 or 4-1-4-1 if you like,Ward replacing Cook at centre back who I presume was injured,and Ryan Fraser replacing Pugh on the left wing.
As with against Reading we started slowly but surely,Wednesday having a lot of play in our half without looking like scoring,shooting high and wide when they did get a chance.
It was obvious our tactic was to hit them on the break with cross field passes into the channels,with Fraser and Ritchie looking lively on the wings.
It was the latter who was to put us in front in similar fashion to the Reading game,picking the ball up just outside the box,their defence stood off,Matt made space and struck a fierce shot across the goalie who could only help it into the net.
This quietened their fans who along with their famous band tried to urge their team on,the 300 or so cherries went wild.
With us pressing Wednesday at every opportunity,and winning a lot of second balls it was us who was looking ever likely to bag a second,and duly did,a sublime pass with the outside of his foot by Arter released the hardworking Grabban through the channel who outpaced the defence and smashed the ball past Martinez in goal,again sending the Bournemouth fans into raptures
HT Sheffield Wednesday 0 AFCB 2
Second half was all about keeping the lead whilst trying to hit Wednesday on the break for a third to kill the game off.
We looked quite comfortable but unfortunately as legs tired we got deeper and deeper and conceded on 82 minutes,a high ball causing a bit of confusion,I think Camp punched the ball and it deflected off of someone ,the ball falling to Maghoma who slotted home.
This set up a tense final few minutes as Wednesday searched for an equaliser but in truth they never really looked like getting one,giving the ball away and wrong passes when in good positions.
After 4 minutes of injury time that was it,another well deserved 3 points on the road.

Camp 7 nothing to do really except pick the ball out the back of the net

Francis 7 Defended well and got forward,good partnership with Ritchie

Elphick 8 Great in the air winning many headers especially near the end

Ward 8 First time he has partnered Elphick you wouldn’t have known it.

Daniels 7 Defended well and decent distribution

Ritchie 8 Another good goal and plenty of good passes and link up play

O’Kane 8 Some well timed interceptions and tackles,worked hard.

Arter 8 Sublime pass for the second goal,kept us ticking.

Surman 6 Getting stronger every game,unlucky not to score .Subbed for Macca late on.

Fraser 7 Used his pace well to bring the ball out and put some good crosses in.Subbed for Pugh when he tired.

Grabban 10 Man of the Match played the lone striker role perfectly,ran the channels,held the ball up well,strong,full of tricks and a great finish for the second goal.Subbed for Pitman to run the clock down.

So that win puts us in a great position going into Christmas with Yeovil coming up on Boxing Day we now need to start winning at home.
Seeing us play like we have the last 2 away games,do we really need too many new players?
If so who do we drop?
Plenty of food for thought for Eddie and Jason.

Merry Christmas to all,roll on Boxing Day……