Date: 23rd February 2020 at 10:44am
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Written by Audenshaw Cherry

As with our last game at Sheffield was cool and windy but no sun this time and, thankfully, no rain. Yet again enforced changes due to injury threatened to unsettle the side as both Ake and Lerma were reported as having minor injuries. Also, Eddie chose to have Smith and Stacey as his full-backs, so Rico was on the bench as was Fraser who made way for the returning King.

The game started extremely brightly from a Cherries point of view. With the wind slightly in our favour chances for Callum Wilson, Billing and Harry Wilson were spurned, with Pope having to make a very good save from Callum.

Burnley also had some efforts and really Vydra could have had a first-half hat trick but for his poor finishing and some last-ditch defending.

The first big BAD decision came almost midway in the first half when, from a corner, the ball fell to King who poked it home past the home keeper. On the way through the ball brushed the shoulder of Billing. Goal given!!! Delirium. Oh, hang on a minute some bloke down in the Midlands says that it was handball. Goal disallowed!!!!! Despair. I could swear quite a bit here but the handball rule is totally ridiculous! Since when has the shoulder been handball? (Even Gary Linaker has said that the VAR decision was ‘ludicrous’).

But no mind, let’s get on with the game. Bournemouth were well on top at this time and further attempts from Stacey and Surman were blocked as we pressed for our second – sorry first.

Ramsdale was also having a busy time and was called on to make a number of saves from Vydra and the ever-dangerous McNeil. In between times, there was some heroic defending from all the back four and midfield.

Late in the half, there was some quick-fire attacking from the home team with Ramsdale again being called into action but the away defence held out.

Half Time Burnley 0 AFCB 0

The second half started with weak a Billing effort but it was already clear that it was going to harder for the away due to the windy conditions.

Eight minutes in a quick ball from McNeil put Vydra away and neatly slotted it in for the home team to take the lead. From our end, he looked offside but a slow turn by Francis may have played him on.

Not rattled at all the Cherries pressed for an equaliser but this only resulted in a weak effort from Gosling. The ball went up to the other end and after rattling around the penalty area a bouncing ball hit Smith high on the arm/shoulder blade. Referee Dean waved away claims from the crowd for a penalty and play continued.

The ball broke to advancing Callum Wilson who slotted a neat pass to his namesake Harry, who controlled and hit it home with his right foot. Goal!!!!!!!!!! 1-1. And here came the second BAD VAR decision of the day. I did not celebrate this time as I thought I’d wait for Mars (sorry Stockley Park) to check it. Disallowed and Penalty to Burnley. 2-0.

This is killing the game for me. Mike Dean was very close to Smith and waved it away but Stockley Park, which in another universe, gave a penalty. I have promised DJ that I won’t put expletives in this report but at this point, it is very difficult. There are sooooo many things wrong with this I could go on all night. I would have been less upset (but still upset) if Dean had pointed to the spot but to allow us to play on and score and THEN pull us back is bloody ridiculous.

I have read a couple of reports saying that ‘Bournemouth fell apart in the second half’. WELL I’M NOT BLOODY SURPRISED. They had been destroyed by VAR. As Eddie said, they have been psychologically taken apart.

It was no surprise to me that Burnley dominated the rest of the game and scored a third by I don’t really care This game had been dictated and ruined by VAR. Do I like VAR? Not really, no.

At the end of the game, I felt so sad for the boys, who had worked their socks, particularly in the first half. All their efforts had been brought down by Stockley Park. I am still, four hours later, still incandescent.

Full Time: VAR 3 AFCB 0

Ramsdale 8 Had another very game and made a couple of very important saves

Stacey 8 He definitely brings something to the team. His drives forward are the most attacking thing we’ve got at the moment.

Francis 6 No a great day for him. He looked slow and made a number of very poor passes but also a couple of great blocks. At fault for the Vydra goal? Probably.

Cook 6 Looked a bit lost at times and seems to panic more now than he used to. Probably better playing alongside Ake.

Smith 8 Another very hard-working game, Very, very, very unlucky with the penalty decision, which was crap by the way.

Gosling 7 At the back he was magnificent but going forward less so. Had a good goal scoring which he fluffed.

Surman 7 Keeps the midfield tight and again at the back very solid. Not much going forward.

Billing 6 He didn’t assert himself enough and his passing is poor and overcomplicated. Doesn’t like to tackle either. He often looks very awkward.

Harry Wilson 5 I will admit that I’m not a fan of his and yes I know he is our top scorer. He is lightweight, gives the ball away, defensively weak and goes hiding for periods of play. Having said that he took the second goal very well.

Callum Wilson 7 He had a bit more opportunity to run on to balls today but must get very frustrated by our overdone approach work. The number of time he took up a central position only for the ball not to leave the wing must have been in double figures. Set Harry up well for the second.

King 7 Good to have him back but it may take a while for him to get back to full speed. Took his goal well but along with Smith and the midfielders failed to get the ball into the box on too many occasions.

Verdict

I think I have said most of it. We lost to an average side due to at least two appalling decisions. The first half, we were the better side second half they had Stockley Park on their side.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUT BEAUTIFUL GAME?

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