Date: 15th January 2017 at 9:39am
Written by: Uttoxeter cherry

Howe received a lot of criticism for changing the whole team last week for the cup match. If I had travelled to London, I would have been annoyed. Today the team was back to the normal line up, I travelled up full of hope and returned disappointed, frustrated and annoyed.

Mings made his first start in the league, partnered by Cook, Daniels and A Smith in defence. A midfield of Surman, Arter, Fraser and Stanislas looked well balanced with Wilshere behind Afobe. The bench looked strong too with Callum, King and Ibe potential game changers if needed.

The game started very brightly as we looked to take advantage of any tiredness in hull legs after their midweek cup tie.

We had already pressed well and had all the possession when a good ball found the wee man bursting into the box where he was tripped and a penalty awarded. With Callum on the bench, junior stepped up to smash it in the net.

What a start. And for the next 20 minutes we tore hull to shreds with intricate passing, great movement and pace. We outplayed the hosts all over the pitch, Afobe was at his bullying best, chasing lost causes and playing on the shoulder of the last defender. On one such occasion, he chased a long ball, beat the defender for strength and was 1 on 1 with the keeper. Unfortunately, the ball got stuck under his legs and the chance was gone.

Wilshere also had a shot easily saved and during this period, the wee man was unplayable with defenders scared to touch him.

One goal is rarely enough in a Bournemouth team who tend to concede 3 with great regularity, but hull showed very little to scare us and Mings and cook looked assured.

Hull gradually began to get a foothold in the match and I couldn’t really explain how this happened. We started to ease off and our passing became sloppy. Wilshere in particular was profligate in possession which was a feature throughout the game. Easily his poorest game for us.

Snodgrass was getting more of the ball and Huddlestone was becoming more influential. Boruc’s kicking was not always accurate, but in contrast, one beautifully weighted ball from hulls keeper arrived at the feet of their left winger who sped forward to cross to Huddlestone who swept a ball to the opposite wing from where it was crossed in for Hernandez to head home between our 2 defenders.

Surely we would respond? Well actually, we ended up hoping for the whistle to end the half as hull repeatedly beat the full backs on both sides to create dangerous openings.

HT 1-1

If we hoped for a response at the start of the 2nd half, it didn’t come and hull were soon in the lead. Mings stood off Hernandez allowing him to run across the box before beating an unsighted Boruc.

Immediately, Afobe and Fraser were replaced by King and Wilson. Neither had played badly but had been starved of the ball recently. To be honest these changes had very little effect. Our build up play was so slow and forward balls were delayed with Wilson pointing to where he wanted the ball sent, but to no avail.

And so it was that hull broke forward and after a speculative shot hit Mings, it was 3-1. Pugh was brought on and showed his usual trickery, beating his man to cross into the box but King and Wilson were well marshalled by the big hull defenders. To be fair to Pugh, these days he is more use when defending a lead by winning free kicks and keeping possession.

Where you might expect the losing team to throw everything they have at the opposition, The Cherries were content to play ticka tacka football passing it side to side, hoping to bore the opposition into a sleep induced coma. One hopeless attempt to chip the keeper by Wilshere aside, the game petered out. At least the fans were still making the effort to cheer the team on well into added time. Well done to the travelling support. At least I only had to travel from Stoke.

Boruc 6 could he have come for the ball for the first goal? Was he too easily beaten for the 2nd
Smith 6 good going forward early on but often allowed crosses to come in.
Cook 7 solid and dependable although beaten for 2nd goal
Mings7 some good interceptions and headers. Needs game time
Daniels 6 good going forward but again lots of crosses came in from his position
Arter 6 1 good shot. Occasionally Slow to close down
Surman 6 some good passing but too slow moving ball
Wilshere 5 world class? Not on today’s showing. Poor passing and attacking.
Fraser 7 unplayable for first 30 mins. Won penalty. Faded after.
Stanislas 6 good penalty and lots of effort
Afobe 7 great 1st 30 mins. Like Fraser, faded after.

Wilson 5 no chances. Lack of service or movement
Pugh 6 usual trickery and a few decent crosses with no end result
King 5 did very little.

MOM difficult one this. Ok… Fraser for the first half performance.

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