March 15 AFC Bournemouth 0-0 Middlesbrough Att: 9710

Last updated : 15 March 2014 By Andy Burton

Just the one change for the visit of Middlesbrough from the victory at Blackburn Rovers in midweek - the introduction of Mohammed Coulibaly for Ryan Fraser, who dropped to the bench. Still no sign of Yann Kermorgant since his debut hat trick a fortnight ago.

It was our visitors to started the brighter as the Cherries seemed to be at 6s and 7s in the opening period of the match. That said though both sides seemed keen to concede possession cheaply throughout the match! But for their opening possession and quick, incisive passing Boro dodn't make too many in roads to the Cherries penalty area and failed to trouble Lee Camp.

At the same time the Cherries were not exactly imposing themselves either, being restricted to some half chances which didn't trouble Konstantopoulos in the Boro goal.

The half managed to come to life with two moments of controversy.

The first came in the 19th minute when Matt Ritchie was kicked by Grant Leadbitter in an off-the-ball incident. I've seen those moments result in a straight red card. Leadbitter escaped with a yellow.

Just before the break Konstantopoulos appeared to carrying the ball outside of his area, close to the bye-line. He then dropped the ball for the poaching Grabban to seize on the opportunity to nick the ball and put the ball in to the back of the net from a tight angle. Inexplicably the ref decided that Grabban had fouled the keeper and ruled in favour of the keeper!!! Really ref??? I don't think so! At no point in that move did the keeper have full control of the ball, therefore Grabban was more than entitled to have a go!

The second half followed a similar pattern of play as the respective midfields tried to assert themselves, while the defensive rear guards nullified any threat posed, but overall the Cherries had more of the possession without posing a concerted threat.

Cook managed to head against the post from a corner, but the ball fell to safety. Simon Francis produced a rasping shot, similar to the one he produced at Blackburn in midweek, which Konstantopoulos had to palm over the cross bar in the 76th minute.

The less said about Pugh's dithering with the goal in front of him the better! Far too slow!!!

The final moment which came and went saw the ball fall to Surman whose curled shot was goal bound until Konstantopoulos, at full stretch, managed to divert the ball wide of his far post.

Sadly an injury to Carayol meant that nearly 8 minutes of added time were played out, which generated plenty of Cherries pressure, but a lack of cutting edge to force a winner.

It just goes to show how far AFC Bournemouth have come that we're disappointed that a win wasn't forthcoming against a side like Middlesbrough, given the recent histories of both sides. A credit to the Cherries on what's been achieved and indication as to what can be achieved.

Suggested Meeting PlaceMy man of the match ......... no one really shone in my opinion this afternoon, but will award it Harry Arter for putting in a shift and a half in the centre of the park.

AFCB: Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Harte, Ritchie, Surman, O'Kane, Arter, Colulibaly, Grabban
Subs: Allsop, Smith, MacDonald, Pitman, Fraser (for Coulibaly, 58 mins), Pugh (for Ritchie, 68 mins), Rantie (for Surman, 88 mins)

Andy Burton, Portsmouth