Match Report


Sat 15 Dec 12

The U’s have been defeated on the South Coast, going down by a single goal at Bournemouth.

A much improved performance saw the U’s always in the game but they couldn’t beat David James in the home goal. 

The first half saw the U’s defend resolutely but they were breached five minutes before half time by Lewis Grabban.

Cousins had made a great save seconds before but from the corner, Grabban drilled a shot into the bottom corner. After the break, it was a much more even affair, with the U’s giving as good as they got without getting any reward for their endeavours.

U’s boss Joe Dunne made five changes to his starting line-up, three of which were enforced.

Magnus Okuonghae and Marcus Bean collected their fifth bookings of the season against Oldham, putting them out with one match suspensions.

Brian Wilson was ill during the week and hadn’t recovered in time to make the trip south with the squad. John White came in for Wilson at right back, while Josh Thompson and Kem Izzet replaced Okuonghae and Bean.

The other two changes came in midfield, with Ian Henderson and Andy Bond making way for John-Joe O’Toole and Michael Rose.

Youngsters Drey Wright and Tosin Olufemi were on the bench, with Olufemi making his first appearance in the U’s matchday squad.

The game started with the home crowd in good voice, and it was the Cherries who were on the front foot from the off. They didn’t trouble Mark Cousins though, as two free kicks and a corner came to nothing.

The U’s keeper did have to work on fourteen minutes, palming away a fierce Pitman strike, with Cook then heading wide from the resultant corner.

Seven minutes later and the home chance had a better chance, Fogden couldn’t get over the ball though and his header flew over from a left wing cross.

The U’s were having to defend resolutely but at the other end, David James in the Bournemouth goal remained untested.

On thirty three minutes, a corner should have been converted but Cook misjudged his header and it looped over the U’s crossbar. The home side continued to ask all the questions and Cousins had to react sharply in the fortieth minute to divert a Pitman header wide, after the forward deflected a Daniels’ free kick goalwards.

From the resultant corner, the U’s keeper could do nothing to prevent the home side taking the lead. The set piece wasn’t cleared and Grabban drilled his left foot shot across Cousins and into the bottom corner.

A final flurry in injury time at the end of the first half saw Francis break down the right but a pullback wasn’t the right decision. Then Daniels shot over when well placed.

The half time whistle went after five minutes of added time and the U’s went into the break one goal behind.

Dunne made his second half intentions clear, bringing on Clinton Morrison and Drey Wright at the break. John-Joe O’Toole and Dan Potts were the two to make way as the U’s boss looked for a way back into the match.

The move almost pays instant dividends, with Morrison earning a corner a minute into the half. Rose’s corner was whipped in and Josh Thompson should have done better with his near post header.

Bournemouth cleared and Rose’s second corner caused more trouble but Jabo Ibehre failed to make clean contact with his effort.

At the other end, a long throw was allowed to bounce but Pitman’s header was comfortably saved by Cousins.

The U’s weren’t fazed though and Anthony Wordsworth had their first shot on target a minute later, shooting straight at James after good work by Wright and Sears.

While the U’s were creating more going forward, their still had to be on their guard on the hour, as Pugh’s shot was blocked and Pitman was offside as the loose ball fell to him.

And three minutes later, Pitman should have increased the lead but shot wide from a great position after being found by Pugh.

On sixty seven minutes, Clinton Morrison held the ball up and then laid off for John White, who shot wide from the angle of the box. Seconds later, Dunne made his third and final change, bringing on Andy Bond for skipper Izzet.

With fourteen minutes remaining, both sides had chances in a mater of seconds.

Ibehre’s header from a Wordsworth free kick was easily saved, a home effort was blocked and then Sears shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Wright then received the ball from Rose, cut inside and unleashed a right foot shot. Unfortunately, it was blocked before it could case problems for James.  

As the game went into the final five minutes, Cousins prevented a second for Bournemouth, saving well after a deflected shot goes low to his right. 

And so the scoreline stayed with the hosts a goal to the good and, despite a better second half display, the U's were left to rue another reverse. 

However, boss Joe Dunne will pleased with how his side stuck to their task and will look for a win in next weekend's big game against Walsall.

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