Oct 11 AFC Bournemouth 0-0 Rotherham United Att: 4530

Last updated : 12 October 2008 By Andy Burton
The opening 45 minutes were dominated by AFC Bournemouth as Rotherham United had to defend for very long spells of the first half.

Sammy Igoe, Joel Ward were dominant in their respective positions.

The first clear cut chance of the half fell to Michael Rankine when his header just cleared the cross bar and went on to the roof of the net (8 mins) as the defender and keeper were caught napping as Rankine nipped in for his chance.

Rotherham were still being pegged back as Igoe had a chance that sailed over the cross bar. Moments later, a good move involving several players left to a throw, which resulted in Bradbury having a rasping shot which ping-ponged around the penalty area, which led to a shot from Hollands which went just wide of the target in the 11th minute.

Danny Hollands was lucky to escape a booking when he went in strongly for a challenge ....... he missed the ball by some distance, but clipped the man instead. The ref just spoke to Hollands on a day when it seemed that the ref had forgotten his red and yellow cards as several strong challenges were not punished.

Joel Ward set up Darren Anderton, whose rasping shot stung the Rotherham keepers hands.

In another scramble inside the Rotherham 6-yard area, it seemed that Rankine and Bartley got in each others way, eventually the ball was squeezed out by the left hand post for a corner. Even when the Cherries did loose the ball, they battled back, and prevented Rotherham from making any progress towards the Bournemouth goal. It was good to watch.

Even when Rotherham did have a momentary break, Cooper and Ward were more than a match for the Rotherham front men, dealing with any danger in a cool and calm manner.

In a complete contrast to matches we've witnessed earlier in the season, the Cherries were passing the ball, keeping possession and being quite effective in the process, even if the score line did remain blank.

HT: 0-0

Millers manager, Mark Robins must have told a few home truths to his squad as they showed more determination , and had a greater share of possession during the second period, and consquently created more chances for themselves.

Sammy Igoe was as lively as he was in the first half, had a couple of great shots, even if they just missed the target.

In a lovely move down the left hand side, Bradbury made his way to the bye-line, cut the ball back nicely, which found its' way to Anderton ..... how Anderton managed to miss the target from 6-yards out, clearing the cross bar at the same time when it seemed that scoring was easier is beyond me ..... but it was a great chance that went begging.

In the closing stages, the Cherries, through Anderton had a rasoing shot which rattled the right hand upright, with the keeper well and truely beaten.

Even after 3 minutes of time added, the Cherries still went in search of a winner ........ the Cherries had a free kick just outside of the penalty area. Anderton wasted the free kick as he couldn't clear the wall.

Overall, the performance against a side showing automatic promotion form was good, and I have no doubt that we'll be clearing the points deficit and climbing the table away from danger before too long.

Jalal - compentent in goal
Guyett - competent in what he was asked to do
Cooper - marshalled the back line very well
Pearce - as cool as you like at the back
Ward - probably the best performance we've seen him put in so far
Bradbury - did well in the left back position
Bartley - wasn't quite firing on all cylinders, but as lively as ever
Igoe - lively, willing to shoot and caused no end of problems for the Rotherham back line
Anderton - did well in the first half, but was not so effective in the second
Hollands - the usual cool, calm performance
Rankine - a good debut from the loanee from Rushden & Diamonds

Man Of The Match
My MOM goes to Joel Ward who played very well throughout.

AFCB: Jalal, Guyett, Cooper, Pearce, Ward, Bradbury, Bartley, Igoe, Anderton, Hollands, Rankine
Subs: Pryce, Sturrock, Partington, Pitman (for Igoe, 65 mins), McQuoid (for Rankine, 83 mins)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth