March 1 AFC Bournemouth 5-0 Doncaster Rovers Att: 8983

Last updated : 05 March 2014 By Ellis Griffin

As it turned out, we got both.

Many of us were hoping to see Yann Kermorgant make his first start after a couple of weeks of bench-warming. And we weren’t disappointed, with the Breton partnering Lewis Grabban up front and Ryan Fraser coming in on the left flank.

We started brightly, but the visitors also looked dangerous on the break, causing our defence a few dodgy moments.

However, it soon became business as usual, i.e. playing the opposition off the park without having anything to show for it.

The first chance fell to Kermorgant who disappointingly headed Fraser’s cross straight at Johnstone from 6 yards. The keeper then saved well from Fraser at his near post. The Donny defence were finding it hard to cope with the scurrying wee Scotsman who was then only thwarted by a last-ditch tackle when clean through.

When Drew Surman’s shot was tipped over following the corner routine and a couple of other efforts failed to find the target, you couldn’t help thinking it was going to be another of those days. Chances not taken followed by a sucker punch at the other end.

However, Donny weren’t as good as the teams we’ve faced recently and the home side deservedly took the lead after 26 minutes when a wicked cross from Ian Harte skimmed off a defender’s head and fell to Kermorgant who first-timed it sweetly under the keeper for this first goal for the club.

The one-way traffic continued with a good penalty shout turned down and Johnstone saving at full stretch from the rampant Fraser. (The ManU loanee looked like a decent shot-stopper, but couldn’t kick to save his life).

As half-time approached with the Cherries only having a single goal to show for all their dominance, there was great relief all round when Francis whipped in a cross from the right and Kermorgant hung in the air to plant a firm header into the top corner. A proper centre-forward’s goal!

HT: 2-0

After the break, the beleaguered Rovers’ defence only held out for another five minutes. After some neat work by Grabban and Ritchie, the ball fell nicely just outside the area for Harry Arter to send a Exocet of a shot low into the right-hand corner.

We were toying with them now and Camp must have been bored stiff.

Grabban had been running the Rover’s defence ragged for the entire game and he had a couple of chances to extend the lead. If only his finishing matched his pace...

The onslaught continued, but we had to wait until the 73rd minute for Number 4. Again it was the tireless Francis who supplied an excellent cross for Kermorgant to attack. And attack it he did, with his bullet header giving Johnstone no chance for a fine hat-trick.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, the visitors finally had a shot on target, but Camp was sufficiently awake to save it.

Eight minutes from time, with the away fans streaming towards the exits, Arter rounded off an excellent, tigerish performance when the Donny keeper missed his punch and the Londoner hammered the ball past him for 5 nil. And it could have been double that.

Kermorgant went off to a deserved standing ovation, and then Coulibaly, sporting the tiniest pair of shorts seen at Dean Court in many a day, had a run-out near the end, as did Pugh and Rantie, the latter missing a sitter.

One of the most one-sided games we’ve seen this season. A clean sheet, total dominance and – at last – a striker who attacks crosses. Let’s hope we can build on this.

Man Of The MatchObviously Yann Kermorgant for an excellent hat-trick, but run close by Harry Arter for his brace and terrier-like midfield performance.

AFCB: Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Harte, Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Fraser, Kermorgant, Grabban.
Subs: Allsop, Smith, O'Kane, Pitman, Rantie (for Kermorgant, 75 mins), Pugh (for Fraser, 75 mins), Coulibaly (for Grabban, 83 mins)

Ellis Griffin, Chertsey