Date: 24th September 2017 at 8:06am
Written by: Uttoxeter cherry

In the words of Lemar… ‘If there’s any justice in the world’.. We would have got something out of this game.

Cherries set up with Begovic behind a back 4 of Daniels Ake Francis and Smith, a central midfield pairing of Gosling and Surman, Stanislas and Ibe on the wings and King behind Defoe up front. S Cook and Fraser dropped to the bench and Arter was absent from the squad.

From the offset, Everton looked low on confidence, despite winning in the cup midweek, whereas the Cherries seemed to have found some self belief with the 2 victories over Brighton.

Bournemouth started brightly and retained possession well despite having few clear cut chances. The defence seemed solid with Ake and Francis competing well in the air and Smith and particularly Daniels making some great forward runs.
The only real shot of note was from Stanislas who tested Pickford with a routine near post shot from the edge of the box.

Everton were slow in the build up and you could sense the frustration of the home crowd growing. Everton did create a number of openings but poor finishing meant that Begovic was barely tested in the opening period.

As expected, Rooney was the subject of ridicule from the Cherries section with chants about his drinking prowess. He was particularly aggrieved by 1 aerial challenge from Francis that left him with a cut above the eye. I didn’t see the incident but it seems Franno might have caught him with an elbow. Rooney contributed little in the game apart from this incident.

We defended well, reading the ball well and not making any mistakes. The midfield closed down well and Defoe and King harried well up front. We won a few corners which Stanislas took, causing a little more danger than other recent set piece takers.

Half time 0-0. A fairly comfortable half with few real worries for either keeper.

The away support had given great encouragement in the first 45, and were really given something to cheer about early in the 2nd half. Some excellent wing play down the left led to King being freed in a central position and shooting past Pickford from the edge of the box. Cue wild celebrations.
1-0 Cherries.

For the next 25 minutes, Bournemouth played with a style and panache that has been lacking all this season. Surman, (yes Surman) was running the show in midfield, looking every part a premier league player. He was linking well and playing some clever forward ( yes forward) passes. King was terrorising Evertons left back with some great close ball skills and clever turns. Smith was working well on the opposite wing, chasing lost causes and winning corners and throw ins.

Shortly after our goal, Defoe was put through 1 on 1 with just Pickford to beat. As time seemed to stand still, Defoe struck the shot well but Pickford saved with his feet and the chance was gone. In hindsight, this was probably the defining moment of the match. We were having a purple patch and were well on top. You felt if that had gone in, it was game over.

Rooney was taken off for Niasse, and Davies was brought on in midfield. With 20 mins left, we started to sit a bit deeper in midfield and you could sense that Everton were beginning to gain the initiative. After 1 let off when a shot was cleared off the line, we lost possession in midfield and 1 sub, Davies fed the other, Niasse to smash the ball home past a diving Begovic.

To firm up our defence, Eddie brought on Cook, to play alongside Francis with Ake seemingly sitting in front of the defence. Defoe also made made way for the height and presence of Afobe.

Man City apart, We haven’t deserved much else this season, but Evertons 2nd and winning goal came about due to an element of luck. A cross was deflected to our back post where our defender was out jumped only for Begovic to parry the ball. Unfortunately this went straight to Niase who finished from close range.

It was going to be difficult for the team to raise themselves again. Moussett came on and glanced a header from a corner over the bar, but in truth, the substitutions did little to change the game.

The table doesn’t make good reading.
In truth, we played poorly against Brighton and won. Today we played well and lost.
I have more confidence however from today’s game that we will be ok this season than I did last Friday.

Begovic – 7 -some wayward kicking. Generally sound handling
Daniels – 8- some superb forward runs. Real attacking intent
Ake -7- solid in the air and calm on the deck
Francis -7- can still do a job in centre. Looked a good balance with Ake
Smith -7- defensively better and some great forward runs
Surman -8- very calm on ball and some intelligent passing.
Gosling -6.5 – worked hard. Harried and closed down.
Stanislas-6- drifted in and out of game.
Ibe -6.5 – tried to make things happen. Energetic. Still makes wrong choices occasionally.
King -8- took goal well and good wing work. Powerful and strong.
Defoe -6.5- 1 big chance. Should have scored? Closed down well.

Afobe -5- didn’t change game
Moussett – 6-still looks raw at this level.
Cook -5- we looked worse with him in team.