Date: 14th May 2018 at 6:34am
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Written by Audenshaw Cherry

The last game of the season was played in sunny and warm conditions. As has been the norm recently the Cherries played with five at the back with Tyrone Mings replacing Captain Francis. A new midfield partnership, with Surman being paired with Hyndman, started the game. Up front were Mousset on the left, King in the centre and Ibe on the right.

The game started at a fast pace with both sides pushing forward looking for a goal. Burnley rely on long passes over the defending full backs and crosses into the box and were very effective for much of the game without really getting any clear-cut chances to score. Perhaps that is why they haven’t got many goals this season.

Bournemouth were attacking spasmodically but one chance fell to Mousset who hit a searing shot on goal only to see the impressive Pope, in the Burnley goal, get a hand to it to push it wide. Most of the traffic, however, was going the other way with the Bournemouth forwards frustratingly giving the ball away on too many occasions.

When the much deserved Burnley goal came, as half-time approached, it was a bizarre affair and had a great slice of luck attached to it. A cross found Burnley Man of the Match, Westwood, in space in the penalty area. His shot, which would probably miss the corner flag flew across the area and struck WOOD on the shins and flashed into the net.

Half time: Burnley 1 AFCB 0

The second half followed much the same pattern with high being flung to wingers by the Burnley team only for their attacks to fall down on the edge of the area. The Bournemouth team would then push it forward, only for the front three to give it up easily.

However, on 60 minutes Eddie made two substitutions with Gosling coming on for the promising Hyndman and Wilson replacing the misfiring Mousset. Straightaway there was a difference with Wilson’s pace causing the Burnley defence a moment of panic with a quick run on the right but the resulting cross came to nothing.

On 66 minutes there was a moment of concern when Mings went down in our box. The referee, who was truly rubbish, let play continue and allowed Burnley to make two dangerous tackles without sanction before the ball went out for a throw. Mings stayed down for several minutes and looked like he wanted to carry on. The decision to take him off and replace him with Defoe had already been made. This turned out to be the turning of the game.

From this time on Bournemouth pressed on and caused problems for the home team. Firstly, on 73 minutes Defoe broke through and had a fierce shot at goal turned away spectacularly by Pope. However, the ball wasn’t completely cleared and ended up with KING on the left. His sumptuous curling shot found the top of the net.

It was becoming a really open game at this point and either could have taken the win, if only they would get something on target. A Wilson shot had the home keeper hurrying across his but it missed, narrowly. Bournemouth should have a penalty late on when King was clearly impeded in the penalty area. Instead of falling over, like most players nowadays, he tried to keep going and this obviously gave the useless official a reason not to give it.

The winner came, in time added on, when Long slipped about thirty yards out and was dispossessed by Defoe who then headed straight toward the goal. Everybody thought that he would shoot and score but he slipped a pass to WILSON, who was roaring up alongside him, to slide the ball home.

The Comeback Kids had done it again!!!!

Full time: Burnley 1 AFCB 2

Begovic 7 I honestly can’t remember having to make a serious save but he was good in the air and commanded his box. There was one hilarious incident in front of us which involved a spectacular fall over.

Fraser 6 He is not a full back or wing back but he worked his socks off and even won a header but he was often caught by the long ball over him
Cook 7 Another solid performance for the team with no glaring errors this week.
Ake 7 His distribution wasn’t as good as usual but with Cook kept it solid at the back. It did seem that early in the second half before Mongs went he might just have moved to just in front of a back four.
Mings 6 He didn’t look entirely comfortable but did his job well apart from one or two poor passes.
Daniels 7 got forward quite a bit and caused problems for Burnley but it really didn’t work out too well with partnering with either Mousset or Ibe. More productive when King went to the left.

Hyndman 7 I thought he played quite well with some nice passes and he got his foot into some good tackles although the Burnley midfield certainly had more control of the ball.
Surman 7 I don’t he played badly but the poor holding up of the ball by our forwards always put him under pressure. Some nice touches towards the end of the game.

Ibe 4 I thought he was terrible. Couldn’t hold up the ball, gave the ball away almost every time, never goes into a fifty-fifty tackle and his one shot was woeful.
King 8 Got better as the game went on, took his goal really well, should have had a penalty and was a thorn in the Burnley side, especially when went onto the left side.
Mousset 5 Not a great day for him. Gave the ball away too easily and didn’t really get into the game enough. He has a lot of nice touches but most don’t come off. A very impact player but is he a starter yet?

Gosling 7 Did well when he came on and kept the midfield a lot tighter.
Wilson 7 Made a couple of good runs, missed narrowly with a sharp shot and scored the winner, breaking his goal-scoring drought. What’s not to like.
Defoe 8 His introduction changed the game and ultimately provided us with the win. Made the difference at the end.

VERDICT

Bettered by Burnley for much of the game late goals brought the win. The stats show that we had more shots and more on target than the home team but it didn’t really feel like that at the time. Burnley have scored only 36 goals and you see why. They are very organised and have set ways of getting the ball into the danger area but no one to finish their approach work. Bournemouth, on the other hand, do not appear to have a plan and the approach work is so slow you could go and have a cup of tea, cook the dinner, and swim 200 metres in the pool before the final ball is given away. But we have this knack of pushing forward more as the game goes and scoring important late goals. Finishing 12th is no disgrace, especially after our poor start to the season. This morning I read Neil Dawson’s report when we lost 2-0 to Barnet at home under Captain Quinn. WE must not lose sight of where we have come from and continue to enjoy our time in the Premier League. BRING ON SEASON 4.

MOM

I am going to give my MOM to Jermain Defoe. His appearance changed the game. I do get frustrated with him at times but today he galvanised the attack and was heavily involved in both goals.

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