March 8 Leeds United 2-0 AFC Bournemouth Att: 21,199

Last updated : 11 March 2008 By Phil Nesbitt
AFCB started the match with our fifth goalkeeper of the seaon, David Forde on emergency loan from Cardiff, and playing in a 4 1 4 1 formation with Cooper playing the holding role in front of the back four and Kuffour and Gradel out wide who were also to press forward in support of Sam whenever we had the ball. It was a big ask for an 18 year old to play on his own up front at Elland Road.

The match started quietly with both teams having small sniffs at goal from either long range (off target) shots or not making anything of crosses. Then out of the blue in the 13th minute Leeds went ahead. A high ball to the edge of our penalty box saw Forde at first dither about whether or not to come for it and then saw him come rushing out. Young had decided to take charge (quite rightly) of the situation only to be flattened by the onrushing Forde who also missed the ball for it to fall into the path of Bradley who had the extremely simple task of tapping it into the empty net. Not a good way to introduce yourself to your own fans (or your defenders!) and also no covering by the centre backs.

The rest of the half saw equal chances to each side with Sam and Max making nuisences of themselves but in reality Leeds were edging matters. Leeds 'keeper Ankergren had to make a good save from a Gradel effort and other chances went begging at both ends. One nil at half time was disappointing for the manner in which it occurred but about fair. Hollands had also been booked.

The second half saw more of the same with Leeds just being the side with more quality but not the better chances. Leeds scored their second when for once there wasn't a block at the edge of the area. Kilkenny was fed by Howson and he advanced before shooting past a flatfooted Forde who may not have seen it until late. Two nil down with just under half an hour to go. Try as we might there just seemed no chance of a getting a goal back. Indeed that was the case and despite chances, mainly long range for both sides there were not really any further scares for either 'keeper. Young was booked for his customary 'I used to be able to get there' challenge and that was it.

In general Leeds were disappointing. Prutton looked the livliest in midfield and that must be a bit of a worry for them. There were a number of steady performances from Bournemouth players these being the centre backs, Gowling and Pearce, Hollands, Gradel and Vokes. Bartley was largely anonymous in midfield, the slight step up in class appeared too much for him at this stage.

Man Of The Match
My man of the match goes to one of the unfashionable players in the team Shaun Cooper. He battled hard in his role in front of the back four and put in some good tackles. Like many players before him his versatility, whilst helpful to the manger in solving positional problems, does not allow him to shine. He just gets on with it without the help of some home boo boys.

Apart from Pitman our subs consisted of youth team players with Hutchings making his first appearance on the bench. It is good to see them coming through but it is more a case of necessity due to yet another injury crisis and Perrett finding yet another way to miss matches.

AFCB: Forde, Young, Cummings, Gowling, J Pearce, Cooper, Gradel, Hollands, Bartley, Gradel, Vokes, Kuffour
Subs: Pryce, Hutchings, McQuoid, Partington, Pitman (for Bartley, 73 mins)
Phil Nesbitt, Acocks Green