Written by kirsikka
– Solanke’s progression continues apace. Earlier in the season we were talking about his hard work and help in the build-up play to bring other players into the game. Now he’s being ruthless in the danger zone and looks a real goalscorer. As someone that’s given him a hard time in the past, I’m as pleased as punch for him.
– I’m wary of the three in midfield being viewed as a universal panacea since this was a much-depleted opposition and so we’ll face stiffer challenges. However, it proved very effective, especially in the way Lerma and Billing closed down and intercepted through the whole match. Hat tip to AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall.
– The difference between 1-1 and 2-0 over 60 seconds is enormous so Begovic’s save continues his excellent form and was crucial in how the game developed.
– Top scorers in the league so far this season. It may not be the all-out attack of our last campaign in this division but it’s sure as heck proving effective now we’ve built up a head of steam.
– There’s something special and enjoyable seeing youth team players graduate to the first team. Let’s hope Zemura and Burchall go on to have excellent careers in our red and black. Congratulations to both.
Man of the match against Huddersfield
Begovic – 7
One crucial and outstanding save and a couple of other neat ones.
S Cook – 7
Clean sheet? Check. Striker in pocket? Check. Maradonna dribble the length of the pitch? Almost check.
Simpson – 6
Looked shaky at the start but solid the longer the game went on. Also had a dribble but panicked when he got near the opposition box!
Kelly – 8
Once he’d got over early jitters at the Huddersfield press he looked very good and made lots of incisive forward runs along with a couple of excellent defensive interventions.
L Cook – 7
Controlled the midfield from the back although this game was more about the players further forward and wide.
A Smith (off on 87) – 8
Best performance of the season from him. Energy and guts. If anyone else thought about easing off he wasn’t taking his boot from their neck. Great to have him back!
Lerma – 8
I’ve no idea how many interceptions he made but it was a lot. All over the park and even finished the match as our right back and managed to look dangerous there.
Billing (off on 64) – 7
Another very good showing from the big man. He could be very hard to displace from this midfield now although I’m not sure how we accommodate all of them.
Stanislas (off on 87) – 8
Part of an attack that caused chaos in the opposition ranks throughout and one solo goal that will make AFCB highlights reels for years to come.
Brooks (off on 64) – 8
Back to his quick touch best. They didn’t know how to stop him.
Solanke (off on 71) – 9 and Man of the Match
The Huddersfield defenders will have nightmares about him. Suddenly looks the complete striker. Bring on the rest of the season!
Surridge (on from 64) – 7
Well taken goal. He has some goals per minute ratio this season now!
Gosling (on from 64) – 7
An assist in short order of coming on and didn’t loosen our grip on the midfield despite the way the match broke down after all the subs.
Riquelme (on from 71) – 6
Desperate to impress but struggled a little during his time on the pitch.
Zemura (on from 87) and Burchall (on from 87)
Too little time for a mark. Disconcerting to see a player don our colours that’s younger than some of my pants.
Overall grade: A+
Five goals in front of the first home fans this season and a clean sheet, there’s really no other grade possible. I still want the caveat that they rested players and had a bad injury list but you can only beat what’s in front of you. In the Dean Court colosseum, we were lions tearing them to shreds.
Solanke was like some kind of Mad Max mercenary mercilessly massacring their meek resistance. Play like that on a regular basis and Dean Court will be his. The Thunder-Dom indeed.
I thought a different setup would have been better prematch but Tindall got it spot on. Well done that man and well done that team. I can’t wait for Tuesday and even more fans at the next match, let’s hope for more of the same!
I actually thought Stanislas had a poor and quiet game, hardly involved and pulling out of challenges left, right and centre. Was saying as much and wondering if he could be subbed, moments before he slalomed through half the Huddersfield side to score! What do I know?
Solanke has confidence and aggression dripping off him, a real turnaround. Clinical with his finishing today caps the improvement.
Brooks did what he does. Got kicked around all game, yet caused problems. Took his goal well.
That 3 man midfield all did their job. A few hairy moments but they were asked to do different jobs at different times by JT in terms of pressing high or sitting deep and they adapted well.
Kelly and Simpson both looked unsettled and error-prone at times. Cook really helps them, the leader. And those runs upfield! Kelly should have scored late in the first half, looked easier to score but he missed his connection. That was probably Smith’s best game this season.
Begovic pretty solid. Great save first half. One second-half shot he pushed out into a dangerous area but fortunately nobody there to turn it in.
Jimmy 306 wrote…
After seeing the game we where class, a real performance to be proud of. All the players need to be congratulated, well done. This is how we should approach games against the teams that are not doing so well in this division. Solanke was class loved the chip for his first goal. Another goal for Surridge, I like his positioning & his ability is improving every game. Looking forward to the next game, keep up the good work – Join the conversation, click here.