Date: 7th January 2017 at 7:06pm
Written by: Audenshaw Cherry

A much changed Cherries side started this 3rd Round FA Cup tie at Millwall. We left home, Manchester, this morning with high hopes only for them to be cruelly dashed by a side that had obviously met each other before, which is more than it appeared the Bournemouth team had.

From the start it was a disjointed effort from the Bournemouth reserves, with sometimes suicidal passing at the back and poor communication in midfield and up front.

To be fair Millwall played the game tight and with some aggression, which the Bournemouth players seemed to shrink from. Passes from all Cherries players, with the exception of the impressive Mings, failed to find their target. There was very little evidence of attack and the crab like approach never looked like it would penetrate the home defence.

Millwall used both their flanks and high balls to pin the visitors back. Having missed an early, easy chance to open the scoring MORISON headed the first in for the Lions from a corner having left his marker, Wilson, for dead.

The first half just carried on in the same vein with neither team actually looking likely to score before the break.

HT Millwall 1 AFCB 0

A change was made at half time with Callum Wilson taking the place of right back Jordan Lee, who had struggled to get into the game, and Mark Pugh moved to right back / wing back. (I say that because I’m not sure where he was meant to be playing.

It didn’t make any difference though as Millwall made it two very quickly with a long, was it offside?, ball through the brittle defence out to the right wing. In fact the final cross could have been put away by any one of the three Millwall attackers stood on their own in the Cherries box, but CUMMINGS got the final touch.

Gosling was then brought on for the very active but lightweight Hyndman. Whether this change made a difference I wouldn’t care to say but the game opened up and Bournemouth pressed for a goal. I say pressed but there was very little penetration and, not unlike the first team players, they were very reluctant to shoot. Having said that the few shots that were made were rash and very, very poor. It is not surprising that the ‘shots on target’ figure remained a very round number.

Cook came on, replacing the very poor Smith, and played all over the place (was there a plan?). He ended up at the back after Marc Wilson left the proceedings, leaving the team with 10 players. Soon after this Moussett cramped up as well so we were working nine players by the end of the match.

With time running out Wilson, and the away crowd, thought he had pulled one back, only for it to be ruled out for offside. Almost straightaway, at the other end, Millwall substitute Ferguson broke out and slotted away the home team’s third.

It was time to go home.

Player scores

Federici – 5 – Worries me any time he is near the ball. He clearly unsettles the defence in front of him because his distribution is erratic.

Lee – 5 – made one or two poor decisions which put the team on the rack. Withdrawn at half time
Wilson M – 3 – I’m not sure he won one header and was pulled all over the pitch.
Mings – 8 – In contrast to Wilson, he had the composure in and around the box to ease pressure and to make accurate passes out
Smith – 5 – tried hard but gave the ball away too often, when in attacking positions, and was overrun in defence.

Ibe – 5 – As usual his tricky moves failed to come off. Caught on the ball too often and often slowed the attack up.
Hyndman – 5 – Was the link man in the midfield but too often his final ball was poor and attack broke down or went side ways.
Surman – 4 – Now I like Surman but this was an unusually poor performance. One suicidal interplay between him and Federici almost resulted in an early goal.
Pugh – 5 – Not at his best. Rarely created the space to provide a telling cross or pass. Having said that he did play at right and left wing as well as right back.

Grabban – 4 – Played in the hole in the first half but was anonymous much of the time. Upset the away crowd by sitting in the home box whilst we were attacking.

Moussett – 5 – Led the line but rarely saw the ball because of the poor service he received. He did have one or two wild attempts at goal.

Wilson C – 6 – Chased well. Scored what I believe to be a perfectly good goal, which was ruled out for offside. (It was too late anyway)

Gosling – 5 – No real impact after coming on midway through the second half

Cook – no score – wasn’t on long enough (on the right wing?) to make a big difference.

There is an old expression; ‘You reap what you sow’, and so it was today. Eddie fielded a disjointed bunch of players that have had precious little game time and it showed.

Some worked really hard without a lot of success; I would put Hyndman, Moussett, Ibe and Callum Wilson in that category. Some didn’t show much appetite for game at all, including Marc Wilson and Grabban (certainly in the second half). Others, such as Lee and Smith just weren’t good enough (yet). One or two should done better, I include Surman and Pugh in that group.

Only one player did his reputation any good at all today. Stand up Tyrone Mings. If Ake does get a recall from Chelsea I think he is ready to stand up to the mark.

Overall this was an embarrassing display in the name of AFCB.

Report by Audenshaw Cherry

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