March 18 Charlton Athletic 1-0 AFC Bournemouth Att: 13537

Last updated : 19 March 2014 By Richie Barker

Kermorgant got an excellent reception from the home fans when his name was announced, Wiggins receiving a slightly less cordial welcome from the away contingent.

For the first half hour it was business as usual with Bournemouth dominating possession and moving the ball well with many neat interchanges of passes, and when we did lose the ball a nervous-looking Charlton were quick to give it back with some woefully inaccurate passes and over-hit attempts to get the ball forward quickly.

However, there was little end product from all the possession other than a lot of uneventful corners and some decent long range efforts from Pugh, Cook and Arter. While poor on the ball, Charlton kept their shape and closed down well, making it hard for us to pass our way through them on the less than perfect playing surface, and as the half wore on we seemed to run out of ideas and Charlton came more into the game. Jackson hit the post from a mishit cross and Green even forced Camp to make a save, something of a rarity of late.

The second half reversed what might have been the expected pattern for this game, with Charlton dominating possession and moving the ball well with increasing confidence, and Bournemouth squandering a diminishing supply of possession with an untypical inability to execute even the most basic passes at times at times. Tiredness, a dodgy pitch, lack of motivation with the job of securing survival virtually done? It was certainly a lesson in what can happen against even the weaker teams in this division if you allow your standards to slip just a little.

Grabban, who could probably do with a rest, was struggling to win the ball and hold it up, not helped by some speculative forward balls and a lack of support from central midfield. Fraser and Pugh tried to take players on but usually found themselves outnumbered and lost possession. Kermorgant came on for O’Kane and set up chances with his first two touches, but then suffered from the lack of quality in supply and wasn’t much in the game. Rantie came on for Grabban in the hope that being able run really fast might bother the Charlton defenders. It didn’t. Smith got some action at last as a late substitute for Fraser.

Poyet had a shot which brushed the top of the net and Camp made two good saves, one from a one-on-one with Church, the other beating away a well hit effort from distance. Even as limited a side as Charlton if allowed enough possession and opportunities to get the ball into the box are liable to score eventually, and in added time that was what happened as Dervite netted a routine header from an inswinging corner. On their performance in the second half it was a deserved win for the home side.

A poor performance and a poor game, fortunately there haven’t been many of either this season. On the plus side somebody has to stay up, and I would rather come back here next season than visit Barnsley or Yeovil again.

Man Of The MatchThe defence was largely exempt from the malaise that descended on the rest of the team today, Steve Cook was probably the pick of them.

AFCB: Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Harte, Fraser, Arter, O'Kane, Surman, Pugh, Grabban
Subs: Allsop, MacDonald, Coulibaly, Ward, Kermorgant (for O'Kane, 59 mins), Rantie (for Grabban, 70 mins), Smith (for Fraser, 83 mins)

Richie Barker, Leyton