Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 2 Derby 0

Date: 12 March 2022

While we still made heavy weather of it at times, today’s game – and especially the result – was far more convincing than anything we’d seen on Tuesday.

The team lined up with Lerma on for Billing (Lewis Cook retaining the holding position though) and Anthony for Dembele, both of which turned out to be crucial choices. Davis was also starting, surprisingly, for Zemura – but actually he didn’t last long before he was injured and Zemura was off the bench. Anthony made several poor passes early on, but had an excellent shot saved by ‘Rocky’ Allsop (one of two ex-Cherries players lining up for Derby, along with Nathan Byrne) on about 25 minutes. Christie attempted a long shot subsequently that missed. But then five minutes into stoppage time – with several supporters having already retired for their half time refreshments – the breakthrough came. Zemura took ages over a throw; much longer and I’m sure the referee would have given the throw to the other side. But then he threw to Anthony, who passed back to Zemura, who again passed to Anthony, who brilliantly threaded the ball through several opponents until he was able to gift it to Solanke who smashed the shot home. 1-0, right on half time.

The second half was, for the most part, unconvincing if we were trying to demonstrate that we’re a prospective Premier League team – as the rowdy Derby supporters kept reminding us. Lowe was brought on in the wide right position (Christie switching to Cantwell’s former position and Cantwell coming off) in Scott Parker’s first tactical substitution. (Zemura for Davis had been simply a reaction to an injury.) And this would prove crucial because on the 89th minute Solanke had an effort from Bournemouth’s left saved but the ball rebounded to Lowe on the right who sealed the points for us.

In added time, Pearson came on for Christie, so we now had three holding central midfielders to shore up the defence in the remaining minutes.

Lewis Cook, Ryan Christie and – once he had settled onto the game – Jaydon Anthony all had good games, as did the team as a whole. Anthony, as on Tuesday, was frantically waving for the ball every time a Bournemouth player had possession; his enthusiasm is beyond question. The three points put us two ahead of Huddersfield, whom we play next Saturday, but with three games in hand over them.

So it’s four points in two games this week, all scored at home against ‘struggling’ sides; with another such side – Reading – to come next. Roll on Tuesday!

The team lined up as follows at the start of the game:

Stacey, Phillips, Kelly, Davis;
Christie, Lerma, Cantwell, Anthony;

Return to my football reports and links page.