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Town 1-1 Bournemouth - Half-Time
Monday, 21st Apr 2014 16:07

Town and Bournemouth are level at 1-1 at the break, Paul Anderson having put the Blues in front but Steve Cook equalising for the Cherries.

Christophe Berra and Luke Hyam missed out due to injury with on-loan Middlesbrough man Frazer Richardson handed his first Blues start at right-back. Skipper Luke Chambers moved to his preferred position of centre-half alongside Tommy Smith.

Anthony Wordsworth continued in central midfield in Hyam’s absence with Anderson returning on the right and Stephen Hunt on the left, with Frank Nouble dropping to the bench.

Neither side was able to carve out an opening in a scruffy first 15 minutes of over-hit passes at both ends of the field.

There was a scare for the Blues on 14 when Chambers lost his footing but the ball ran through to Gerken before Lewis Grabban was able to get onto it. Two minutes later, the former Millwall striker hit a low effort wide from distance.

On 25 Yann Kermorgant headed well over with chances still rare but with Bournemouth having most of the ball.

Two minutes later, the Frenchman went closer when he nodded Marc Pugh’s cross from the left just over. Soon after, Eunan O’Kane lashed wildly into the upper tier of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand when he should have done better after Matt Ritchie’s mis-hit effort fell to him inside the box.

Hunt switched to the right and Anderson to the left as the Blues looked to get more into the game. On 34 Jonny Williams sent Aaron Cresswell away down the left but the full-back shot wide.

Despite the visitors having been the better of the two teams, the Blues went ahead in the 36th minute. Cole Skuse was found in unfamiliar territory on the right and sent in a low cross. Daryl Murphy couldn’t reach it, but Anderson smashed it into the roof of the net from a few feet out at the far post.

Town were close to adding a second two minutes later after Pugh had fouled Williams not far outside the area. Cresswell curled a goalbound freekick but Cherries keeper Lee Camp did superbly to tip it onto his right post.

Richardson did well to divert Ritchie’s low cross away from Pugh at the far post as the visitors looked to get back on terms.

On 41 Grabban shot wide after a blocked Ritchie shot had deflected to him in a good position in the area.

And it wasn’t long before Bournemouth were back on terms. A Charlie Daniels freekick from deep on the left was headed into the air by Cook at the far post and Cherries the defender acrobatically overhead kicked into the roof of the net.

Just before the whistle Wordsworth hit a shot into Camp’s arms when he might well have tested the one-time Town target more.

It would have been harsh on the visitors to have found themselves behind at the break as they had shaded what hadn't been a great half, creating most of the better opportunities with Town having gone in front from their only clear-cut chance.

However, the Blues could easily have found themselves two in front before the equaliser but for Camp’s excellent save from Cresswell’s freekick. At the break, Town switched Wordsworth for Paul Green.

Town: Gerken, Richardson, Chambers (c), Smith, Cresswell, Skuse, Wordsworth (Green 46), Anderson, Hunt, Williams, Murphy. Subs: Loach, Mings, Tabb, Taylor, Marriott, Nouble.

AFC Bournemouth: Camp, Francis (c), Cook, Ward, Daniels, Surman, O'Kane, Pugh, Ritchie, Kermorgant, Grabban. Subs: Allsop, Elphick, Harte, Smith, MacDonald, Fraser, Rantie. Referee: Andy D'Urso (Billericay).

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