As you might imagine with a fiull-of-confidence newly promoted side, as we were just 12-months ago, Brentford were more than up for renewing rivalries against AFC Bournemouth as they came out of the blocks flying as they looked to impose themselves on the match right from the first whistle.
They nearly took an early lead when some inventive play in the 5th minute found Andre Gray in acres of space in the centre of the Cherries penalty box. Thankfully from our perspective he could omnly crash the ball against the cross bar which rebounded to safety. But it was an early warning n ot to take our visitors lightly!
Despite this early threat the Bees seemed to quickly run out of ideas as the Cherries managed to get in to their passing game and in the process started to assert themselves omn the game. For the dominance in possession they weren't able to cause Button too many problems in the visitors goal. That said though, Kermorgant produced a low shot which had to be pushed behind for a corner, and a rasping shot from Ritchie had to be parried as well. Other than that, truely clear cut opportunities were few and far between.
Other points to highlight from the opening 45 minutes ...... Arter seemed to be anywhere but on the pitch! His passing was wayward at times and he seemed hell bent on getting booked with the persistent fouling throughout the match. Inexplicably he wasn't shown a single card when more than one challenge might have warranted a card. Our visitors were not happy when some of their players were shown a card for a first offence, where as Arter ......
The second period followed a simlar pattern as the first. The Cherries dominated possession, but every now and again Brentford produced some football (in short bursts) which would cause problems. But we saw last season, when on top and chances are created they have to be taken, otherwise you're going to be punished! Cruel but at this level football IS cruel, and so it proved.
Having missed a number of opportunities to go ahead the Cherries managed to break through the live wire that kis Ryan Fraser, his cross found fellow sub Stanislas on the opposite flank to slot the ball home in to an empty net! It was harsh on the Bees, but that's the Championship!
The Bees did come back at us again, but some resolute defending from messers Elphick and Cook kept our visitors out, which enabled the Cherries to keep a clean sheet for the third time this season!
Overall it wasn't a pretty game by any means. The squad did what they had to do to claim 3-points to maintain their 100% start to the season.
As for man of the match, no one really stood out head and shoulders above anyone else - it simply wasn't that kind of match, but my nomination goes to Eunan O'Kane who ran his socks off in midfield.
AFCB: Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, O'Kane, Arter, Pugh, Kermorgant, Wilson
Subs: Flahavan, Harte, Smith, Rantie, Fraser (for Ritchie, 66 mins), Stanislas (flor Pugh, 66 mins), Gosling (for Arter, 83 mins)
Andy Burton, Brixton