Date: 5th March 2017 at 6:59am
Written by: Uttoxeter cherry

That was a proper backs against the wall Bournemouth performance.
I couldn’t be prouder of the boys efforts today.

The only change today saw Wilshere drop to the bench as king was preferred in a wide role with Afobe in the middle. The formation seemed to be a 4411 or 442, to start off with anyway.

United flew out of the traps and could have blown us away in first 20 mins as poor finishing and brilliant keeping kept us in the game. Boruc was having one of his good days, making great saves as united got behind us on the wings and centrally. That’s not to say we were defending badly, Mings and cook again working hard in an improving partnership.
Unusually our best option was the long ball up to Afobe, who’s strength worried defenders most of the afternoon. On 1 occasion, Afobe out muscled the defender to run through on goal only to scuff a shot which De Gea saved easily.

We were working hard to close down, with Arter in particular harrying and hassling. The first goal arrived though when for once, cherries were slow to close down and a fierce low cross into the box was turned in by Rojo.

Despite the dominance of chances to united, we were playing well, working hard and pressing quickly. In 1 move, surman was booked for what looked a great tackle. The ref was giving the home side most of the decisions,prompting ironic cheers when we were eventually given a free kick.

The teams Confidence grew as the half went on after a good move down the left, Pugh twisted and turned in typical fashion, drawing a foul from Jones. Penalty. As last week, up stepped king to smash a great penalty in to the net past a despairing De Gea dive.
With 5 minutes before half time we looked good to go in level. There was a lot of action in this short period though. First Mings who was having a great battle with Ibrahimovic ran into the 6 yard box and with the united attacker on the ground, stood on him. This obviously angered the swede, who in the resulting corner elbowed Mings. With Mings on the ground, furious cherries players got involved, with the normally calm Surman pushing Zlatan to the ground. As soon as it happened I expected the yellow followed by the red card. In the ensuing melee, the ref lectured the united forward, who had already been booked for dissent, but chose not to give the deserved red. Then realising Surman had been booked already gave a very delayed red. So we played out the last few minutes of the 1st half with 10 men. A chorus of boos from the away fans met the whistle.

Gosling was brought on for Pugh at the interval as we looked to sure up the midfield. United attacked at will as the 2nd half began. Understandably, cherries sat back behind the ball and united poured on the pressure. Cherries were unusually resilient though, throwing themselves into tackles and blocking shots. It was a heroic effort. We did have the odd foray forward and even forced the odd corner. Gosling played well and king and Afobe still caused the odd problem up front.
From a united ball in to our box a ball was hooked back with smith in close attendance. Even if it hit his hand, smith was so close that he had no chance of getting out of the way. Cue a penalty to united. Very unfair. Ibrahimovic took it but Boruc guessed the correct way and saved low down brilliantly. Justice done.

United made a triple substitution but cherries held out superbly. Gradel was the replacement for a tiring king and an injured Mings was subbed by Cargil for a premiership debut(?).

We were magnificent in this last period and Arter could have won it for us late on as a drive forward with 1 remaining defender saw him tussle for the ball, which eventually got stuck under his foot.

The celebration on the final whistle was testament to the teams effort and worthy of a point that will hopefully change the course of our season. To a man, players and supporters, we should be so proud.

Boruc 9 magnificent today given recent form
Smith 6 solid but often beaten
Cook 8 did very little wrong
Mings 9 this was a tremendous performance against Ibrahimovic. I hope he is treated fairly
Daniels 6 kept quiet but some good runs with Pugh
Arter 7 great effort and application
Surman 5 unlucky with 1st booking? Silly with 2nd
Pugh 7 won penalty good partnership with Daniels
Fraser 6 quieter game. Not involved
King 7 great effort and running and penalty
Afobe 7 handful all afternoon

Gosling 7 pressed well. More attacking than Surs
Gradel 6 not involved enough in time

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