Sept 1 AFC Bournemouth 0-1 Port Vale Att: 5444

Last updated : 01 September 2007 By Andy Burton
From the first whistle, it was clear that AFC Bournemouth were not firing on all cylinders, while Port Vale seemed more intent and interested in the match.

Even though Vale failed to create too many early chances, they had most of the early possession and possed more of a threat. The Cherries, on the other hand, seemed to leave a huge gap between the back 4/midfield 4 and the front 2, who seemed to be miles away from the play. So when the home defence half cleared the ball, it fell in to no mans land, allowing the Vale players to easily apply more pressure on the Bournemouth goal.

Clear cut chances were created by the opposition, and if it wasn't for some brilliant saves by Begovic (and the woodwork), and some dreadful shooting by Vale (but at least they were prepared to shoot!), the Cherries could easily have gone in at half time seriously in arrears.

The few chances that fell the way of the Cherries were half hearted, lacked direction and strength, and were earsily dealt with by the Vale defensive line and their keeper (who didn't have much to do). Even with a conserted period of pressure, we failed to create any meaningful chances.

Gradel looked isolated against a defender twice his size, while others put in crosses which were easily dealt with. The less said about Anderton in the first half the better ...... he was having a mare to say the least! Garreth O'Connor should have done better with a free header ...... needless to say was poorly directed, without power and went straight to their keeper!

HT: 0-0

Even with the Cherries kicking towards the North Stand in the second period, things didn't improve. The same lacklustre performance from the first half continued while Vale looked more determined.

Again, Vale created more of the chances, but this time failed to trouble Begovic in the Bournemouth goal ...... he had virtually nothing to do in the second period. Equally untroubled, was Anyon in the Vale goal. Neither keeper had a meaningful save to make after the restart.

The inept Premiership ref, in the shape of Andy D'Urso, seemed to miss two penalty shouts. One was clearer than the other to be honest, but he still missed them nonetheless!

At the back for Bournemouth, the defence seemed to get itself in a mess as the half progressed. Thankfully someone was around to spare blushes, or the Vale front line were equally inept to take advantage.

But the inevitable came with 5 minutes to go. Luke Beckett was allowed the space (not much mind you) to turn and produce a powerful shot, which saw the ball fly past Begovic with a quality strike. The goal was no more than Vale deserved.

Bradbury could, and probably should, have scored on his home debut. Sadly he probably had too much time and space to decide where to place the ball. By the time he'd made a decision, it was too late and the chance was spurned!

Overall, the Cherries performance was disappointing to say the least. Whether it's just a case that the new dquad needs to jel, or the smaller pitch is a factor ..... only time will tell.

Man Of The Match
Begovic ...... for his first half display!

The result leaves the Cherries back down in 14th, with a JP Trophy match against Walsall to come on Tuesday, and trip to top-of-the-table Leyton Orient on Saturday!

AFCB: Begovic, Cummings, Gowling, Garry, Pearce, O'Connor, Anderton, Christophe, Gradel, Kuffour, Bradbury
Subs: Moss, Cooper, Telfer (on for O'Connor, 60), Pitman (on for Gradel, 74), Vokes (for Christophe, 85)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth