Nov 30 AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion Att: 9870

Last updated : 30 November 2013 By Andy Burton

The match started brightly enough in front of the Sky Sports cameras as both sides looked to impress in front of a live TV audience.

Ritchie signalled his intentions to put on a show for the cameras, with a wayward shot in the early stages, but it was certainly more Bournemouth than Brighton at the start of the game, even though the home side couldn't quiet find that little bit of quality to hurt our visitors where it counted. Never the less though a bright start.

Steve Cook looked to be inspired, as he has been in past weeks, with a few exquisite passes, one of which set Fraser off on one of his runs down the left wing. Sadly he couldn't get around the man mountain (comparatively) who simply blocked him out of the game. Free kick surely? NOT according to the ref.

Pitman had a decent effort (at attempted over head kick) saved having been set up by Daniels, but it was easily enough for the keeper.

Even though Brighton got more in to the match, they too failed to hurt the Cherries too much in their build up play as both sides pretty much cancelled each other out.

The Cherries could have been easily punished in the 25th minute when the back 4 failed to clear their lines, allowing Calderon a clear shot on target, which he some how conspired to miss with the goal at his mercy! At the other end Pitman was presented with a free header, which he managed to miss too.

The break through wasn't far in coming. In the 29th minute when Ritchie was taken out by Forster-Caskey. The resulting free kick was taken short, and square by Daniels, to Ritchie who unleashed a rasping shot past Kuszczak in the Seagulls goal. Cue the mass celebrations amongst the home fans!

The lead could so easily have been extended moments after a superb cross from Fraser found Ritchie at the far post whose shot was saved, point blank, by the Brighton keeper, with a further effort from Fraser going narrowly wide. At this point it seemed like a matter of time before the Cherries were going to bag their second. Sadly it didn't come, even though the Cherries did press forward to do just that in the latter stages of the half.

HT: 1-0

If the first half was mainly Cherries, then quite clearly the second was mainly Seagulls as they pressed forward in search of an equaliser. Sadly, from a Cherries point of view, the Brighton leveller wasn't too long in coming - just 9 minutes 49 seconds to be exact! Even though I am hopelessly biased, I have to admit that the goal from Barnes in the 55th minute was an absolute screamer having been set up by Calderon. In a single turn and shot the ball flew past Camp to nestle in the corner of the Cherries net. The goal was, beyond doubt, a stunning effort. All this just after Pitman could have given the Cherries a second goal, but couldn't quite dink the ball over the Albion keeper. Equally guilty was Arter, who was largely quiet during the match, who missed a guilt edge opportunity. Sadly he could get his boot over the ball and only managing to sky the effort.

Even after the goal the Cherries, could, and probably should have restored their advantage when Cook saw a header go wide of the target on the hour mark.

The match eventually faded as both sides settled for a draw.

Man Of The MatchAs for man of the match, the sponsors, and those voting by text opted for Matt Ritchie, but for me, my nomination goes to Steve Cook for a commanding performance at the back. Even better considering that he looked to have been out for the count in the defeat against Derby County last week.

AFCB: Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter, O'Kane, Fraser, Pitman, Rantie
Subs: Flahavan, Surman, Harte, MacDonald, Yennaris, Thomas (for Rantie, 67 mins), Pugh (for Fraser, 71 mins)

Andy Burton, Portsmouth