Feb 8 Bolton Wanderers 2-2 AFC Bournemouth Att: 14336

Last updated : 09 February 2014 By Andy Burton

Shortly after kick off, I was beginning to wonder whether getting up at stupid o'clock to visit The Reebok was going to be worth it, even after Arter managed to produce a rasping shot from distance as we moved in to the 3rd minute. How close we'll never know, but judging from player reactions, the effort wasn't too far away from nestling in the far post. As it was, it went wide for a goal kick.

The 18 minutes passed by without so much of a whimper as both sides failed to deliver what I'd call Championship football - possession was cheaply surrendered through poor passing and nether side seemed keen, let alone likely to pose any threat to the opposing keeper.

The deadlock was surprisinglt broken in the 21st minute when the Cherries defence was caught cold as Chung-Yong found himself clear in the penalty area to shoot past Camp in the Cherries goal.

Ten minutes later the Cherries caught out again, as Jutkiewicz produced a shot from the edge of the area to double the advantage - again the Cherries defence seemed to caught napping.

This time the Cherries responded immediately by going down to the other end of the pitch for Grabban to fire home from distance in the 33rd minute having been set up by Surman.

With the standard of play suggesting a 0-0, how we managed to get to 2-1 at the break was a surprise to all watching. Hopefully the second half couldn't be as poor.

Thankfully the second period was much brighter for the Cherries, made all the more brighter with a double change mid-way through the second period as Howe brought on Kermorgant and Rantie in place of Surman and Pugh.

Even before the changes, the Cherries went close to levelling, as a Cook header from a corner hit the far post and out for a goal kick.

The impact of the changes was immediate. From a corner in the 66th minute, a stooping header from Simon Francis saw the ball squirm beneath Bogdan in the Trotters goal for the equaliser.

At this point, Cherries tails were most definitely up as we poured forward looking for what seemed like an inevitable winner. The best chance came from an improvised back heel from Kermorgant whose effort required a diving save from Bogdan to push the goal bound effort away - this coming just 3 minutes after the leveller.

With chances few and far between, Rantie will be kicking himself when presented with a 1-on-1 situation, which he couldn't take advantage of to secure all 3-points.

In the end the match finished tamely as both sides seemed to settle for a point with a good few minutes to go.

Player Summaries
Lee Camp - Apart from picking the ball out from the back of the net, I don't recall him having to do anything
Man Of The MatchSimon Francis - played well, pulling off some good tackles, plus scored the goal to bring the Cherries level. My Man Of The Match.
Steve Cook - Clearly his first game back as he looked rusty and lacking match fitness. Too many passes went astray. Almost redemmed himself with a goal which hit the post.
Tommy Elphick - Did well at the back
Ian Harte - Proving to be more than a worthy replacement for Daniels while he gets his injury sorted.
Matt Ritchie - Showed promise in the second period.
Andrew Surman - Set Grabban for his goal, and was generally solid in midfield.
Harry Arter - I wonder about Arter at times. Dithers a bit too long on the ball at times and gets caught in possession. Needs to be more decisive when distributing the ball.
Eunan O'Kane - Had a quieter game by his own standards from recent weeks, still played well though causing problems for the Trotters.
Marc Pugh - Caused problems down the Cherries left flank, but definitly misses his over lap parter, Daniels.
Lewis Grabban - Bagged a superb goal to get the Cherries back in the match. Led the line well.
Tokelo Rantie - Despite his critics, I firmly believe he will become an asset for the Club.
Yann Kermorgant - Provided a physical presence which wasn't there in the opening 45 minutes.
Shaun MacDonald - Would be unfair to say a great deal as he was brought on with barely 30 seconds left to play.

AFCB: Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Harte, Ritchie, Surman, Arter, O'Kane, Pugh, Grabban
Subs: Allsop, Pitman, Smith, Fraser, Rantie (for Surman, 66 mins), Kermorgant (for Pugh, 66 mins), MacDonald (for Grabban, 94 mins)

Andy Burton, Portsmouth