This was my first game since the Preston home match and I went with great hope and expectation. Unfortunately we didn`t turn up in the first half.
We started with just one change from the Stevenage starting line with Tubbs replacing Barnard. Bury although languishing in the bottom four have been on a run since Kevin Blackwell joined the Lancashire club as manager and it was quickly clear why. They more than matched the Cherries tempo in the first half. Indeed it was very interesting to see two clubs trying to close the game down in the other`s penalty area.
There was little goalmouth action in the first half for the Cherries, although we were a very long way away so it was quite difficult to tell how close we got.
Bury were very quick and it was from a very fast period of play, after 14 minutes, that the ball was whipped in from the right wing for HEWITT to score from close range giving James no chance.
Bury continued to work well on their right and although the defence held firm the ball just kept coming back. High balls to red`s the front men were easily won by the big Bury back men. There was just no way through.
James made one good save late in the first half at his near post from a bury free kick.
The Cherries were definitely second best during the half and the half time whistle came as somewhat of a relief. Indeed it could have been 2 – 0 at half time with Bournemouth only being saved by Soares who blocked a goal bound header from a Bury colleague.
HT – Bury 1 AFCB 0
The second half started with the same line ups but it became quickly apparent that the Bournemouth team had finally got off the bus.
The game erupted ten minutes into the second half when the referee completely embarrassed himself. The ball was swung over from the right and as a number of players went up for the ball one of the Bury clearly made a ball to hand movement and made contact with the ball. It was right I front of us. It WAS a penalty. The ref, after a couple of moments thought, gave it! The Bury players protested. As you know it`s waste of time arguing with the ref when he`s given a decision but the Bury players persisted. For some reason he then decided to go and talk to the linesman who was a good 30 yards away from the incident. They had a chat and then the ref gave a corner. It beggars belief that the linesman had even a good view let alone better that the ref who was a mere 10 yards away. HE BOTTLED IT!
The red players protested and as is the norm Arter obviously said too much and found himself in the book. That must be about 30 so far this season – only joking.
Less than five minutes later the reds got their deserved equaliser when GRABBAN slotted home a low cross from the left. The game then became frantic with the Cherries going for the winner. Time and time again the ball came into the Bury area only to be battered away.
The returning Pitman came on for Tubbs and everyone in the Bournemouth end welcomed him as the prodigal son. The only winner from here, surely, was AFCB. Then it all went wrong. Remember we were a long way away but it looked like James had an aberration as he charged out of his net only to be outwitted by Worrall who chipped it over the keeper into the net. Despair!!!!
But it ain`t over until the fat lady sings and she was just preparing to do so when the hero of the hour, only on the pitch for 17 minutes, Bert Pitman, collected the ball just outside the area and thrashed it past the ailing Bury keeper. Delirium!!
And it nearly got better. Pushing for a winner Pugh smashed a great shot against the bar just before the final whistle.
FT – Bury 2 AFCB 2
Verdict: A game of two halves. I definitely preferred the second half. Mark me Bury are a good, competitive side. They will NOT go down. You heard it here first! This was a good result for Bournemouth and it could have been even better if Pugh`s shot had been two inches lower.
James – 5 – Made a couple of good saves but his kicking was not always very good and it looked like he was at fault for the second Bury goal as he should have stayed on his line (I think)
Francis – 6 – Good going forward although his crosses were always on the button. High crosses to small forwards are not good.
Elphick – 6 – Solid performance.
Addison – 5 – I have to say he did not fill me with confidence. He missed a few easy balls and looked a bit shaky at the back.
Daniels – 6 – Again good going forward and linked up well with Pugh but his passing was not as crisp as I was expecting.
McQuoid – 5 – I can`t honestly say that he made an impression with me.
McDonald – 7 – Got through a lot of work and won the ball on many occasions.
Arter – 6 – some lovely cross field passes but gave the ball away quite a lot and got booked for arguing with the ref (although I can understand why)
Pugh – 7 – Work well down the flanks and was a threat all the time. Unlucky with his late shot against the bar
Tubbs – 5 – I really wanted to say something positive about him but it is hard. He did a lot of running but does not hold the ball and was probably given an impossible task against a very big Bury backline.
Grabban – 8 – Worked really hard throughout and took his goal really well.
Pitman – 40 – Came on far too late to make an impact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – not
McDermott – Looked lively when he came on.
O`Kane – He really did come on too late to make a comment
Agree with pretty much everything Audenshaw Cherry says. Bury looked a decent side especially after they had scored. We looked sluggish and played too many long balls in the first half. Ref was awful, got it wrong when he booked Addison for a very good challenge (from which James made a good save from the freekick) and god only knows how the linesman on the far side could see it better than the ref who must have believed it hit a hand otherwise he wouldn’t have given it!
I would probably have said McDonald for MOM – I thought he looked class today. If anyone was at fault for their first goal it was probably Daniels and Pugh as it was on their side we were undone for the cross.
Final thought – I was surprised EH went for Tubbs to start in a game like this – horrible cold conditions away from home. I’d have thought it was the sort of game made for Barnard – I think we missed his closing down in the first half.
Just got back. Pretty upset not to have won to be honest.
Again the first half wasn’t much to write home about, centre backs both poor for Bury’s goal. We really, really need to sort this area out, it’s holding us back. Bury got at us and made life hard, they looked better than their position suggested.
Second half we came out really well again. Bloody furious with the penalty incident. A pretty obvious regulation hand ball, spotted by the ref only a few yards away and only half heartily protested against. Ref goes over to linesman who was many times further away, and was behind play quite a bit throughout the match perhaps in part to his larger than recommended belly (which earnt him stick). Linesman says corner, so the ref rules himself out and cancels the penalty, much the bemusement of all concerned. Arter getting himself booked for decent…. as per usual.
McQuoid, Daniels and Grabban combining well for the first equaliser.
We’re then all over them and looking like ‘bury-ing’ them, only to get caught on the hop by some ridiculous decision making from James.
Arter was rightly hauled off after a very poor game, he ruined a gilt edged chance to score on the break when we had 3 on 2. He and Tubbs were taken out, Pitman goes on and instantly lights the game up. Lovely finish late on to get a point. And then he combines with Pugh who cuts inside and curls a beauty that looked in, only to hit the bar. We were celebrating, so unlucky.
FFS Eddie get that defence sorted, that’s all we can say. A defence worthy of the rest of our side would have given us a comfortable win. Addison well under par as usual, and Elphick also struggling today. As for James, well, he’ll cringe at that goal. And Arter needs a talking to… again… but thankfully we have a Chicken!!