Date: 11 September 2021
Today the Cherries continued the unbeaten start to their 2021-2022 league campaign by beating last season’s playoff hopefuls Barnsley 3-0.
Given the number of new signings during the transfer window it was good to see a fairly familiar line-up starting the match. The only new recruit was Cahill at centre back – effectively demoting Mepham, Ibsen Rossi and Steve Cook. And Cahill proved invaluable, organising all the other players like a captain even though the ‘official’ captain was Kelly. The match also saw the return of Smith, Pearson and Lerma.
As at my previous home match the BBC weather forecast proved to be hopelessly inaccurate as it was very hot indeed in the sun in the East Stand. Barnsley started strongly and I think the whole of the first eight minutes was played in our half. But then the game turned as a great run from Zemura (the cover star on today’s matchday programme) led to a goal scored from quite a tight angle and past several Barnsley defenders. Zemura’s delight at scoring his first senior goal was very evident.
Toward the end of the first half Solanke had two excellent chances to increase our lead: he had one shot saved by the keeper, the resulting corner being taken short and hence effectively wasted, while he did on another occasion get the ball into the net but from an offside position. Half time: 1-0.
Solanke did, however, score very early in the second period, when the Barnsley goalie spilled the ball and Dominic was on hand to score from close range. Following the recent Blackpool game, though, we knew we couldn’t sit comfortably on a 2-0 lead so we pressed on for more goals. When one finally came, it was the 82nd minute and it was an even better goal from Zemura: a solo effort as he came flying down the left flank and once again scored from a tight angle bypassing several Barnsley players. This earned him the sponsors’ ‘man of the match’ award.
Although not wanting to disrupt the team’s flow, Parker did introduce the other three new players – Christie, Lowe and Rogers – during the final twenty minutes. None of them had much chance to make an impression today but at least a home crowd got the opportunity to welcome them to Bournemouth. None of our players really deserved to be substituted except possibly Brooks, who’s still making a few too many mistakes. Meanwhile, we cruised to a convincing victory (who said we never play well after an international break?) despite the gallows humour of Barnsley fans who towards the end were singing “We’re going to win 4-3.”
The team lined up as follows at the start of the game:
Smith, Cahill, Kelly, Zemura;
Brooks, Lerma, Billing, Anthony;