Right from the start of this match there was a strange, but subdued atmosphere. Why that was ...... who knows. Even as the pattern of play settled during these early stages you could tell that an element of our game was missing. It cannot all be put down to the fact that Simon Francis was absent from the starting lineup, but that said the Cherries were not as fluid down the right wing with Adam Smith deputising.
Early headed chances came and went for Cook and Kermorgant, having been set up by Ritchie; one going just wide, the other was a straight forward save for the keeper.
The deadlock didn't remain in place for long as Cherries corner routine. Thoughts that we'd messed it did come to mind when Arter stepped over the ball leaving Kermorgant with a slightly awkward finish, but he took it wonderfully well in the 16th minute to edge out noses in front.
Fearing they might have been on the wrong end of a Cherries goal scoring spree, Huddersfield Town decided to wake up and join in. They even fashioned a few opportunities, which were dealt with by the Cherries rear guard. One opportunity which did slip through saw Boruc deflect the ball to safety for one of their two corners of the game.
The start of the second period saw the Cherries in a particularly wasteful mood as a whole series of chances came and went, which didn't end up in the back of the net. The reason for this is quite simple - Town made it very difficult for us, plus Smithies in the Town goal was in inspired form to deny quite a chances, many of which were close range and perhaps should have gone in!
A price was paid for the missed opportunities when a Town shot came in, it seem to take a couple of deflections, but the simple was that Town had equalised. Sensing blood Town start to press forward and the Cherries were beginning to look very jaded. Even with the introduction of Fraser and Pitman as substitutes proved to be ineffectual in re-claiming the lead.
In the end it was just one of those days when we could have fired the kitchen sink at the Town goal, I suspect their keeper would have still a way to keep us at bay.
Nominating man of the match is a tricky one as no one stood head and shoulders above their colleagues to say that they were man of the match. But for his hard work and industry I'm going to nominate Matt Ritchie.
AFCB: Borus, Smith, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, Surman, Arter, Pugh, Kermorgant, Wilson.
Subs: Camp, Francis, Ward, McDonald, Fraser (for Pugh, 74 mins), Pitman (for Kermorgant, 75 mins)
Andy Burton, Streatham Hill