No two ways about it, the Cherries came out of the traps all guns blazing on an afternoon of difficult weather conditions at Dean Court as swirling wind and rain dominated proceedings from start to finish.
Were the Cherries going to rue the chances they missed early on? We were praying that wasn't going to be the case as Pitman missed the target (6th min) and Wilson (8th min) saw a chance blocked.
Not be to deterred though, the Cherries still pressed with the Cherries still pressing a corner was won, which was swung in by Ritchie in the 9th minute, which saw Pitman rise highest at the near post to arrow home his 8th goal of the season to mark his 250th Football League appearance! His delight was there to be seen by all as he peeled away to celebrate the goal.
After this initial burst the home side seemed to ease up slightly, but still created the better chances going forward, while Fulham came more in to the match, but failed to test Boruc in the Cherries goal. Credit at this stage was the influence of Arter and Surman in the Cherries midfield who pretty much bossed the show during the opening 45 minutes as further Cherries came and went without causing too many problems!!
The second period saw Fulham come at the Cherries in the same way as the Cherries started the first half. The key difference was that Fulham have yet to force Boruc in to making any saves ...... in fact Boruc only had some catching practice as the ball skipped off a slippery surface. The same conditions also saw the Fulham front line fail to connect when the ball skipped in front of a stranded Boruc. If they had then an equaliser would have been the undoubted the result.
The Cherries had a guilt edge opportunity to extend their lead when Wilson was brought down inside the penalty area in the 50th minute. Pitman stepped up to take the penalty which he struck straight down the centre of the goal. Sadly the effort was saved just as the rebound was scrambled away despite attempts to put the ball in to the back of the net. Was this another spurned chance which we were going to rue?
Thankfully not as the Cherries managed to weather Fulham storm as they pressed for an equaliser, but they failed to take the half chances Fulham managed to create.
The nail in the Fulham coffin came in the 1st minute of stoppage time when a failed Fulham opportunity was broken up allowing Harry Arter to race forward. With options left and right, Arter went alone to fire home a daisy cutter from outside the penalty area, which skipped past Bettinelli and in by the far post to secure the points!!
In the end the result was deserved, even if the conditions and the quality of the opposition made it difficult.
The result sees little old Bournemouth remain on top of the Championship at the half way stage of the season.
My man of the match is Harry Arter who put in a shift of a half in the centre of the park, with an added bonus of a well taken goal.
AFCB: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Pugh, Pitman, Wilson
Subs: Camp, Cargill, O'Kane, Fraser, Gosling (for Pitman, 86 mins), Smith (for Ritchie, 93 mins), Kermorgant (for Wilson, 93 mins)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth