Bournemouth EchoPerrett's verdict: Ipswich Town 2 AFC Bournemouth 2 (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Perrett's verdict: Ipswich Town 2 AFC Bournemouth 2

Bournemouth Echo: LEVELLER: Matt Ritchie nets Cherries' second goal at Portman Road LEVELLER: Matt Ritchie nets Cherries' second goal at Portman Road

AND so, after 44 games of an absorbing season, the dream lives on – just.

Eddie Howe’s heroes threw everything but the kitchen sink at play-off rivals Ipswich and will count themselves unfortunate to have left Portman Road with just a point.

It was scant consolation for their efforts as the visitors dominated possession for long periods and created the lion’s share of the chances, only to twice concede the lead.

But this resolute team which never knows when it is beaten twice hauled itself off the canvas to restore parity and was by far the likelier of the two competitors to land a late knockout blow.

Talk of Cherries reaching the Premier League would have been fanciful 12 months ago. It would also have been pretty far-fetched at the start of March when they trailed the chasing pack by 13 points.

But an inspired run has seen them dispel thoughts of simply playing out the season, with the comfort of mid-table clearly the furthest thing from the minds of the players.

This performance typified the season as Howe’s men again showed oodles of endeavour and character to come back after suffering two body-blows.

And while this was a result which did little for either teams’ chances of securing sixth place, it was also one which kept them both in the hunt.

Cherries, three points adrift but with an inferior goal difference, will need to win their final two games of the season and then hope for the best.

And while they laid siege to the Ipswich goal for the final 15 minutes and committed men forward in search of a winner, their efforts ultimately went unrewarded.

Defenders Elliott Ward and Charlie Daniels returned to the starting line-up as boss Howe made two changes following Cherries’ 4-2 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday on Good Friday.

Ward and Daniels, both sidelined for around three months, replaced Tommy Elphick and Ian Harte, who dropped to the bench, while Harry Arter was ruled out due to a thigh injury.

Simon Francis was handed the skipper’s armband with captain Elphick taken out of the firing line having been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks with a back problem.

Although chances were in short supply during the early stages, Cherries started in confident mood and enjoyed the better of the midfield exchanges.

Ipswich goalkeeper Dean Gerken had to race off his line to save at the feet of Lewis Grabban after Eunan O’Kane’s pass had split the hosts’ defence on 13 minutes.

Grabban then screwed wide after taking aim with a right-foot shot from 20 yards before a well-worked corner taken by Matt Ritchie ended with Andrew Surman’s shot being deflected past the post.

Ward’s thunderous strike from 35 yards flew over the crossbar, while a header from Yann Kermorgant went wide after the Frenchman’s neat pass had started the move.

Kermorgant nodded a Marc Pugh centre on to the top of the net before O’Kane blazed a presentable chance high into the stand after Ritchie’s fly-kick had fallen invitingly for him.

Ipswich fashioned their first shooting chance after 34 minutes, although Aaron Cresswell’s speculative effort failed to trouble Cherries goalkeeper Lee Camp.

However, the hosts opened the scoring against the run of play when Paul Anderson stretched at the far post to poke Cole Skuse’s cross into the roof of the net.

Buoyed by the goal, the Tractor Boys went close to doubling their lead, with Camp pulling off a top-drawer save to push Cresswell’s free kick on to the post.

Grabban’s snapshot was deflected past the post before Cherries deservedly levelled on the stroke of half-time through Steve Cook’s acrobatic scissors kick.

Gerken was powerless to stop the defender finding the back of the net, Cook swivelling to rifle his shot past the Blues goalkeeper after he had reacted quickest having headed a Daniels free kick into the air.

Pugh’s shot through a crowd of players was blocked at the start of the second half before Ipswich regained the lead 11 minutes after the break.

Another Cresswell free kick caused problems for Cherries and substitute Paul Green applied an unstoppable header from close range after it had been helped on at the near post by Tommy Smith.

Pugh squandered a glorious opportunity to fire Cherries back on level terms for a second time when he lifted his shot from a Francis cross over the bar with the goal gaping.

Ritchie threw Cherries a lifeline 10 minutes from time when his free kick took a wicked deflection off the Ipswich wall and flew past a wrong-footed Gerken to make it 2-2.

Blues substitute Tyrone Mings glanced a header narrowly past the upright as Ipswich looked to again wrest the advantage before Grabban’s hesitancy saw his shooting chance bite the dust at the opposite end.

Kermorgant went close to snatching a dramatic late winner when his rasping volley was beaten away by Gerken before the Ipswich goalkeeper was forced to push Grabban’s low drive round the post.

MATCH FACTS

Cherries: Camp, Francis, Cook, Ward, Daniels (Smith, 66), Ritchie, Surman, O’Kane, Pugh (Rantie, 66), Grabban, Kermorgant.
Unused subs:     Elphick, Harte, MacDonald, Fraser, Allsop (g/k).
Blues: Gerken, Richardson, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Anderson (Nouble, 53), Skuse, Wordsworth (Green, h-t), Hunt, Williams (Mings, 77), Murphy. 
Unused subs: Tabb, Taylor, Marriott, Loach (g/k).
Referee: Andy D’Urso (Essex).
Attendance: 20,356 (including 890 away supporters).

Comments (12)

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7:38pm Mon 21 Apr 14

twynhamob says...

Only 900 travelled, I DO NOT believe it
Only 900 travelled, I DO NOT believe it twynhamob
  • Score: -3

8:02pm Mon 21 Apr 14

solihull cherry says...

Still in the chase (just)
Brighton 66pts Yeovil (h) win, Notts Forest (A) lose 69
Ipswich 65pts Burnley (a) lose, Sheff W (h) win 68
Notts For 65pts Bmouth (a) lose, Brighton (h) win 68
Reading 64pts Middlesborough(h)win
, Burnley(a) lose, Doncaster (a) lose 67
Blackburn 64pts Charlton (a) draw, Wigan (h) lose 65
Bournemouth 63pts Notts Forest ( h) win, Millwall (a) win 69

Because of our inferior goal difference we need Yeovil to turn Brighton over for us; we also need Burnley to want to go up in style...

What a finish to the Championship!!
Still in the chase (just) Brighton 66pts Yeovil (h) win, Notts Forest (A) lose 69 Ipswich 65pts Burnley (a) lose, Sheff W (h) win 68 Notts For 65pts Bmouth (a) lose, Brighton (h) win 68 Reading 64pts Middlesborough(h)win , Burnley(a) lose, Doncaster (a) lose 67 Blackburn 64pts Charlton (a) draw, Wigan (h) lose 65 Bournemouth 63pts Notts Forest ( h) win, Millwall (a) win 69 Because of our inferior goal difference we need Yeovil to turn Brighton over for us; we also need Burnley to want to go up in style... What a finish to the Championship!! solihull cherry
  • Score: 10

8:40am Tue 22 Apr 14

CC C-siders says...

twynhamob wrote:
Only 900 travelled, I DO NOT believe it
Nor do I. Seemed like far more than 1,000.
Great performance and totally outplayed them. Yann was my man of the match. He was everywhere!
Where was Tommy? We were awful at defending set-pieces.
[quote][p][bold]twynhamob[/bold] wrote: Only 900 travelled, I DO NOT believe it[/p][/quote]Nor do I. Seemed like far more than 1,000. Great performance and totally outplayed them. Yann was my man of the match. He was everywhere! Where was Tommy? We were awful at defending set-pieces. CC C-siders
  • Score: 1

8:43am Tue 22 Apr 14

CC C-siders says...

solihull cherry wrote:
Still in the chase (just)
Brighton 66pts Yeovil (h) win, Notts Forest (A) lose 69
Ipswich 65pts Burnley (a) lose, Sheff W (h) win 68
Notts For 65pts Bmouth (a) lose, Brighton (h) win 68
Reading 64pts Middlesborough(h)win

, Burnley(a) lose, Doncaster (a) lose 67
Blackburn 64pts Charlton (a) draw, Wigan (h) lose 65
Bournemouth 63pts Notts Forest ( h) win, Millwall (a) win 69

Because of our inferior goal difference we need Yeovil to turn Brighton over for us; we also need Burnley to want to go up in style...

What a finish to the Championship!!
Yeovil to draw with Brighton........who knows!
[quote][p][bold]solihull cherry[/bold] wrote: Still in the chase (just) Brighton 66pts Yeovil (h) win, Notts Forest (A) lose 69 Ipswich 65pts Burnley (a) lose, Sheff W (h) win 68 Notts For 65pts Bmouth (a) lose, Brighton (h) win 68 Reading 64pts Middlesborough(h)win , Burnley(a) lose, Doncaster (a) lose 67 Blackburn 64pts Charlton (a) draw, Wigan (h) lose 65 Bournemouth 63pts Notts Forest ( h) win, Millwall (a) win 69 Because of our inferior goal difference we need Yeovil to turn Brighton over for us; we also need Burnley to want to go up in style... What a finish to the Championship!![/p][/quote]Yeovil to draw with Brighton........who knows! CC C-siders
  • Score: 0

9:07am Tue 22 Apr 14

susi.m says...

Felt nervous about set pieces when I heard Tommy not playing - quite rightly so. Anyone know why he didn't play?. He has been doing well. Cook was the one making the mistakes in past couple of games. However his goal was awesome.
Still missing Arter.
Grabban very static for much of the game but seemed to wake up in the final quarter of the game.
We need to be quicker and make more runs in final third of pitch.
Generally a enjoyable day out and remember that a few months ago we would all have been more than happy with an away draw against Ipswich.
Felt nervous about set pieces when I heard Tommy not playing - quite rightly so. Anyone know why he didn't play?. He has been doing well. Cook was the one making the mistakes in past couple of games. However his goal was awesome. Still missing Arter. Grabban very static for much of the game but seemed to wake up in the final quarter of the game. We need to be quicker and make more runs in final third of pitch. Generally a enjoyable day out and remember that a few months ago we would all have been more than happy with an away draw against Ipswich. susi.m
  • Score: 1

9:11am Tue 22 Apr 14

pokesdown1 says...

Brighton hiding all the toilet rolls....just in case.
Brighton hiding all the toilet rolls....just in case. pokesdown1
  • Score: 1

10:05am Tue 22 Apr 14

mark.s says...

It was a really good game of football. And the stats of 60% possession and 24 shots to Ipswich's 4 shows how well we did. They felt lucky to come away from their own home game against a newly promoted club with a draw.

We're really not far off becoming a properly good side at this level. All it takes is a couple of additions and a couple of dead wood moved on.

I'm sure Eddie has it all in hand.
It was a really good game of football. And the stats of 60% possession and 24 shots to Ipswich's 4 shows how well we did. They felt lucky to come away from their own home game against a newly promoted club with a draw. We're really not far off becoming a properly good side at this level. All it takes is a couple of additions and a couple of dead wood moved on. I'm sure Eddie has it all in hand. mark.s
  • Score: 4

10:34am Tue 22 Apr 14

Afcblees says...

Great day out for a newly promoted team taking the game and outplaying Ipswich on there own turf just shows how far we have come as a unit.
Last 2 games will be interesting can def see us winning both as we are forest bogey team and millwall will be safe so will have to rely on other teams doing us a favour but in all what a fantastic season it's been and cannot wait to next,hopefully ground improvement new additions to the squad and we will be pushing on further up the table,top 6 living the prem dream EHBA
Great day out for a newly promoted team taking the game and outplaying Ipswich on there own turf just shows how far we have come as a unit. Last 2 games will be interesting can def see us winning both as we are forest bogey team and millwall will be safe so will have to rely on other teams doing us a favour but in all what a fantastic season it's been and cannot wait to next,hopefully ground improvement new additions to the squad and we will be pushing on further up the table,top 6 living the prem dream EHBA Afcblees
  • Score: 2

2:38pm Tue 22 Apr 14

solihull cherry says...

Just seen Cook's goal on the highlights; must be a candidate for goal of the season ! Reminds me of a goal by John Archer in the early 60's; - overhead scissors kick from about the same spot and ended up flat on his face in the ubiquitous mud which was the penalty area in those days!
Just seen Cook's goal on the highlights; must be a candidate for goal of the season ! Reminds me of a goal by John Archer in the early 60's; - overhead scissors kick from about the same spot and ended up flat on his face in the ubiquitous mud which was the penalty area in those days! solihull cherry
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Tue 22 Apr 14

coops1965cherry says...

twynhamob wrote:
Only 900 travelled, I DO NOT believe it
Well, at £37.50 a ticket can you blame anyone for not going.

Thieving so and so's at that price its a joke.

U T C I A D.
[quote][p][bold]twynhamob[/bold] wrote: Only 900 travelled, I DO NOT believe it[/p][/quote]Well, at £37.50 a ticket can you blame anyone for not going. Thieving so and so's at that price its a joke. U T C I A D. coops1965cherry
  • Score: 3

2:57pm Tue 22 Apr 14

coops1965cherry says...

susi.m wrote:
Felt nervous about set pieces when I heard Tommy not playing - quite rightly so. Anyone know why he didn't play?. He has been doing well. Cook was the one making the mistakes in past couple of games. However his goal was awesome.
Still missing Arter.
Grabban very static for much of the game but seemed to wake up in the final quarter of the game.
We need to be quicker and make more runs in final third of pitch.
Generally a enjoyable day out and remember that a few months ago we would all have been more than happy with an away draw against Ipswich.
Susi, read the article and you will see that Tommy was rested as he has been playing through a pain barrier !

Happy to help.

U T C I A D
[quote][p][bold]susi.m[/bold] wrote: Felt nervous about set pieces when I heard Tommy not playing - quite rightly so. Anyone know why he didn't play?. He has been doing well. Cook was the one making the mistakes in past couple of games. However his goal was awesome. Still missing Arter. Grabban very static for much of the game but seemed to wake up in the final quarter of the game. We need to be quicker and make more runs in final third of pitch. Generally a enjoyable day out and remember that a few months ago we would all have been more than happy with an away draw against Ipswich.[/p][/quote]Susi, read the article and you will see that Tommy was rested as he has been playing through a pain barrier ! Happy to help. U T C I A D coops1965cherry
  • Score: 1

6:50pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Minty Fresh says...

As much s I would love us to hit the play offs, it's going to take an unlikely set of results for it to happen now. Great if it happens, but so what if it doesn't? What a fantastic season we've had! Yes we've shown some naivety at times and been punished for it, especially early season, but the players have all responded and learnt quickly under the best young manager in the division. We can all be proud of our club and who knows, maybe next season we can be the minnows rubbing shoulders with the big boys at the top once again! UTCIAD!
As much s I would love us to hit the play offs, it's going to take an unlikely set of results for it to happen now. Great if it happens, but so what if it doesn't? What a fantastic season we've had! Yes we've shown some naivety at times and been punished for it, especially early season, but the players have all responded and learnt quickly under the best young manager in the division. We can all be proud of our club and who knows, maybe next season we can be the minnows rubbing shoulders with the big boys at the top once again! UTCIAD! Minty Fresh
  • Score: 0

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