Date: 20th September 2017 at 6:40pm
Written by: West Moors Cherry

After the fun of seeing 3000 people queuing up behind the North Stand, we eventually made our way to our normal seats and thats about as exciting as it got all night!

Just my general thoughts and not a first half/second half report as the evening melted into one forgettable night, apart from those queues, the best I’ve ever seen.

The returning Stanislas grew into the game and offered some good inventiveness and Lewis Cook showed a bit of vision if not the Beckham like performance that many are expecting from him. Fraser was strangely playing at right wing back but had a better game than his previous few.

It was like a training match with Brighton offering no intent whatsoever to win this game. If Hughton was trying to protect his star men from injury why did he bring March, Knockaert and Propper on in extra time. If they had come on earlier then I believe we may have seen a better spectacle and Brighton would have had a chance.

So it was 120 minutes of relentless Bournemouth possession with little end product. Ibe had another good showing and constantly tried to spark an attack. But the home side grew increasingly frustrated, along with the crowd at the sight of 11 Brighton men camped in their own half parking not just the bus but all their kit bags and backroom staff as well.

Stanislas amazingly hit the post when it looked easier to score after Afobe’s header was parried by the impressive Tim Krul after a good cross from the industrious Ibe in our best attempt of the night.

The groans were fairly loud as we were treated to another 30 minutes of a pretty turgid affair. It was lacklustre with too many passes going astray once again. But there was only one team trying to win the game and a moment of class won it for the home side to register their second victory over the same team in 5 days.

We did have plenty of chances and really could have been a couple up before Joshua King made his entrance and showed his quality when found by Pugh in the area to side step two players and slot past Krul.

Boruc 6 – was a pure spectator and intentionally got himself booked just to keep himself awake.

B. Smith 6 – Solid if unspectacular performance, a better than showing than last season.
Francis 5 – Slipped up and made errors. Could have been costly against a team that wanted to score a goal.
S. Cook 5 – Out of sorts at the moment, not great. Also made one bad error that should have been punished
Fraser 6 – Did well playing out of position.

L. Cook 6 – Worked hard, was always there for his team mates. A few wayward passes and shots.
Stanislas 6 – Decent return to the side.
Gosling 5 – Very average. Not his usual forward thinking play.
Ibe 7 – Always trying to find a way to break down the Brighton wall.

Afobe 6 – Worked hard but not many clear cut chances.
Mousset 6 – Also tireless with no real chances to net.

Pugh 6 – Some good runs and crosses that troubled the Brighton backline.
King 7 – Used his skill and nous to keep us away from dreaded penalties.
A. Smith 6 – Usual busy self
Hyndman n/a – 4 minute cameo at the end.
Not a lot! Difficult to tell against a team that did nothing all night in wanting to play football or win a game. I would be worried about their strength in depth if I cared whether Brighton stay up or not.
Our second string with a mix of the first team were certainly a cut above our opponents and you could see our 3 years experience at the top level made the difference.

Certainly a lot, lot better performance than Millwall and Preston last year.

Report by West Moors Cherry

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