The match started quite brightly with the Cherries understudies showing the same quick passing skills that Eddie is trying to instil in the whole club. The home side though had the first shot with the first of several attempts high over the bar, this one from Keane.
Junior Stanislas broke down the left but his shot from a narrow angle past the post was perhaps a bit greedy when a pull-back might have yielded more. A better chance fell to Joshua King who was put through by O’Kane but shot tamely at Pickford the home keeper on loan from Sunderland.
The breakthrough came after 22 minutes when Pickford chose to punch a Stanislas cross. He got more of Yann Kermorgant than he did of the ball which fell invitingly for Shaun MacDonald to head into an empty net.
The impressive Bailey Cargill twice denied Keane at the other end with a good block and then a perfectly timed interception. The Preston faithful were getting increasingly annoyed with referee Nigel Miller as most of the decisions seemed to be going the way of the visitors. I have to say that this might be the first time in our history that we got the benefits of being a ‘big club’. H-T 0-1
The referee also seemed obsessed with his new toy the foam spray and insisted on using it at every opportunity, including at one point for a Bournemouth free kick in our own half. He needs to practice his parabolas though as several times the line he drew was 2 yards further from the ball at one end than the other.
Preston presumably had the proverbial bollocking from their manager at half time as they started the second half with more intent. Stanislas made a good tackle on Browne and from the resultant corner Tom Clarke headed wide from a good opportunity.
None of the Cherries fringe players particularly impressed with Kermorgant looking like he’d rather not be there and Atsu, who has recently expressed a hope of making the Chelsea first team, appearing to be a long way off making ours. King also appeared to sulk every time something didn’t go his way.
As the half drew on the equaliser seemed more and more likely with Boscombe showing little desire to increase their lead. Atsu and Kermorgant were replaced by Tomlin and Pugh but the inevitable happened with 6 minutes of normal time to go. Cunningham’s cross from the left was met by Hugill who, after a little shove on Cargill, put his header into the net. Oh well – bang goes our chance of a curry after the game.
MacDonald was replaced by Gosling just before the final whistle after being the first of several players from both sides to go down with cramp. F-T 1-1
Adam Smith looked to be one of the less tired of the starting line up and his pass after a break inside from the left found Marc Pugh who turned it home for 2-1. Some of the visiting fans broke into ‘We score when we want’ but if this was the case we’d have done it before the end of normal time and avoided the waste of Valuable Drinking Time.
Players were by now dropping like flies, resulting in 4 minutes added time at the end of the first half of extra time. Bailey Cargill in particular took what looked like a nasty bang on the head and would surely have been subbed if we had not already used all of our options.
Back down the other end (all 4 goals plus the penalties were scored at the far end) Preston won a soft penalty when the ball struck Pugh on the arm. It looked more ball to hand but Johnson calmly put the spot kick away despite Federici, not for the last time tonight, diving the right way.
By this time I’d have been happy for either team to score again to get it over with but penalties it was.
Federici ‘guessed’ the right way for every spot kick (and with that success rate it must surely be more than guessing) and saved 3 of them to put us through to the next round. I suppose a home draw is too much to ask for. [Yes it was as it turns out].
So, back into town for a muted celebration – thank goodness for Wetherspoons’ late opening (and their free surplus scones which slightly made up for no curry).
Man of the Match: Federici for 3 penalty saves which saw us through (eventually)
AFC Bournemouth: Federici, Francis, Cargill, Cook, Smith, Atsu (Tomlin, 81), O’Kane, MacDonald (Gosling, 88), Stanislas, King, Kermorgant (Pugh, 81)
Subs: Butcher, Buckley, Surridge, Allsop (g/k).
Clive Loader, Basingstoke