Wadley's Verdict: Cherries 1 Colchester Utd 0

Bournemouth Echo: WINNER: Cherries celebrate Lewis Grabban's goal on Saturday WINNER: Cherries celebrate Lewis Grabban's goal on Saturday

AS Shaun MacDonald was carried off on a stretcher, the standing ovation said it all.

Cherries supporters rose to their feet and sung the midfielder’s name as he left the field.

Clearly recognising his importance to the team, MacDonald was afforded a reception worthy of his efforts.

For the sake of the club’s promotion push, Cherries fans will want to see him again sooner rather than later.

Boss Eddie Howe will now assess the resources within his squad as he looks to select MacDonald’s replacement, with the 24-year-old facing a possible minimum of two months out.

But it will take something special to fill the sizeable void in Cherries’ all-important engine room.

MacDonald arrived at Dean Court with a good pedigree as a full Welsh international and talented footballer.

Nicknamed ‘Zidane’ at former club Swansea City, it was his attacking qualities that initially took top billing.

Yet it has been MacDonald’s ability to show discipline and curb his enthusiasm to storm forward which has provided a vital platform for Cherries’ creative players to flourish.

Shielding the back four and starting Cherries’ attacks from deep, MacDonald has simply gone about his business while others have claimed the headlines.

Terms such as ‘unsung hero’, ‘leader’ and ‘calming influence’ have rarely been more richly deserved.

That is exactly why the sight of him disappearing down the tunnel with an ankle injury would have resonated with the Cherries faithful. It certainly did with Howe.

“He is a massive player to lose and someone who is not only a great player but a great character as well,” said the Cherries manager.

Howe was spot on. A mild mannered and likeable guy off the field, MacDonald’s performances have earned him terrace favourite status at Dean Court.

Howe’s task now will be to maintain the perfect central-midfield balance which the defensive-minded MacDonald had provided during every game since his appointment, with Eunan O’Kane, Harry Arter, Richard Hughes, Joe Partington, Lorenzo Davids and Steven Gregory among his options.

The early prediction was that MacDonald was facing a minimum of two months out after sustaining possible ankle ligament damage towards the end of the first half in Saturday’s clash with Colchester.

If Cherries are to continue their merry march towards the play-off zone during the festive period, much will depend on their ability to cover adequately his absence.

Against Colchester, the signs were largely positive as Eunan O’Kane again staked his claim.

With the energetic O’Kane particularly bright alongside MacDonald in central midfield, Cherries dominated the first half.

The lively Wes Fogden and impressive Steve Cook both headed over and Brett Pitman was denied by acrobatic U’s keeper Mark Cousins before Grabban lashed home his ninth of the season for a deserved lead.

Latching on to a perfectly weighted pass from O’Kane, Grabban left Cousins with no chance as he thumped home from 15 yards with his left foot.

It was not difficult to see why Colchester had arrived in Dorset with six defeats in seven as they offered precious little going forward with Jabo Ibehre left up front on his own.

But after MacDonald’s exit, Colchester improved with the introduction of experienced striker Clinton Morrison.

Portsmouth loan defender Josh Thompson saw a close-range header blocked before Cook bravely threw himself in front of an Ibehre effort.

Pitman came close on no fewer than three occasions before Cherries saw out time in controversial fashion.

Visiting boss Joe Dunne was left furious – and Howe a little relieved – after referee Brendan Malone had opted not to award a spot kick following Fogden’s lunging challenge on substitute Drey Wright.

Dunne said: “He was fouled in the box and it should have been a penalty.”

Howe admitted: “I have to be honest, I was worried when I saw Wes going in for the tackle. My initial reaction was ‘oh dear, we could be in trouble’.”

Given his superstitious nature, it was little surprise to see a hint of a grin creep across Howe’s face as he gave his post-match verdict.

If ever there had been a time for a slightly relieved expression, 5.15pm on Saturday was probably the moment.

Colchester arrived in Dorset in dreadful form and low of numbers – but with omens stacked in their favour.

The Essex outfit had not lost at Dean Court for 13 years, it was Howe’s 13th match at the helm and the so-called manager of the month hoodoo hovered menacingly in the grey south coast skies.

Howe said: “I wouldn’t say things like that play on your mind but you are extra guarded.

“They are a useful side and they have got good footballers and we were thankful to get the win.”

It is clear it will take far more than the small matter of a so-called curse and chance statistics to halt Cherries’ remarkable rise.

And should somebody successfully fill MacDonald’s boots, there is no reason for that to change any time soon.

Match facts and Echo merit marks

Cherries: (4-4-2) James 7.5; Francis 7, Elphick 7, Cook 7.5, Daniels 7; Fogden 7.5 (Partington, 90), MacDonald 7 (Arter, 45, 7), O’Kane 7.5*, Pugh 7; Grabban 7.5, Pitman 7 (McQuoid, 86).

Unused subs: Fletcher, McDermott, Tubbs, Buchel (g/k).

Colchester: (4-5-1) Cousins; White, Eastman, Thompson, Potts (Wright, h-t); Sears, O’Toole (Morrison, h-t), Izzet (Bond, 68), Wordsworth, Rose; Ibehre.

Unused subs: Duguid, Olufemi, Henderson, Pentney (g/k).

Booked: Wordsworth, Ibehre Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire) Attendance: 6,145 (including 155 supporters).

Echo Star Man - Eunan O’Kane

Energetic, inventive and confident on the ball, O’Kane stood out in a hard-working Cherries display.

Combining thrusting runs with incisive passing, particularly in the first half, the former Torquay man looked the part in central midfield.

Given his chance during Harry Arter’s suspension, the 22-year-old summer signing seems determined to take it.

With Shaun MacDonald set for at least two months out, O’Kane’s contributions could become increasingly valuable in Cherries’ promotion bid.

Goal hero Lewis Grabban, defender Steve Cook and goalkeeper David James all caught the eye, while Wes Fogden produced a typically lively performance.

Comments (25)

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7:45pm Sun 16 Dec 12

wearegoingup says...

Wishing Shaun a speedy recovery, going to missed!!!
Wishing Shaun a speedy recovery, going to missed!!! wearegoingup
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Sun 16 Dec 12

Palantir says...

"Attendance: 6,145 (including 155 supporters)"

I hope you mean '155 away supporters' and not just that we were a bit quieter than normal at this one!
"Attendance: 6,145 (including 155 supporters)" I hope you mean '155 away supporters' and not just that we were a bit quieter than normal at this one! Palantir
  • Score: 0

8:05am Mon 17 Dec 12

Carlisle_Cherry says...

Historically we're not great over the Christmas period. Given our unbeaten run, that makes the opposition team talk that more easier. We're now going to be the team everyone wants to beat. Crewe on Saturday we will need to be organised and disciplined, I've enjoyed visits to Gresty Road over the years, hopefully Saturday will be another one of those. In the mid 90's I remember going to Crewe and we scored, but the ball hit the back of the stantion and came back out - The goal was never given. UTCIAD
Historically we're not great over the Christmas period. Given our unbeaten run, that makes the opposition team talk that more easier. We're now going to be the team everyone wants to beat. Crewe on Saturday we will need to be organised and disciplined, I've enjoyed visits to Gresty Road over the years, hopefully Saturday will be another one of those. In the mid 90's I remember going to Crewe and we scored, but the ball hit the back of the stantion and came back out - The goal was never given. UTCIAD Carlisle_Cherry
  • Score: 0

8:21am Mon 17 Dec 12

atha says...

The picture at the top says it all.
Every outfield player celebrating the goal.
Great team spirit.
The picture at the top says it all. Every outfield player celebrating the goal. Great team spirit. atha
  • Score: 0

9:54am Mon 17 Dec 12

bmthtillidie says...

We will miss Shaun badly. For me the best replacement is Richard Hughes. He has the best experience, positional sense and tackling ability. He's also v good with free kicks. We need him out of that treatment room!
We will miss Shaun badly. For me the best replacement is Richard Hughes. He has the best experience, positional sense and tackling ability. He's also v good with free kicks. We need him out of that treatment room! bmthtillidie
  • Score: 0

10:33am Mon 17 Dec 12

Frankiesbackfromhollywood says...

Fingers crossed for Macca, he's been our best player for some time now. Hughes is the obvious choice to cover, hopefully they can get him fit for Saturday. It is pleasing to see competition for Harry from O'Kane, this will keep both of them at the top of their form. We don't have the best record over Christmas but I get the feeling that is about to change, the lads look bang up for the fight, they worked their socks off for 90 minutes on Saturday, it was very pleasing to watch them, also passing was slick and we were inventive, only real problem was that Colchester came to rough them up, it didn't work, a very good 3 points won!
Fingers crossed for Macca, he's been our best player for some time now. Hughes is the obvious choice to cover, hopefully they can get him fit for Saturday. It is pleasing to see competition for Harry from O'Kane, this will keep both of them at the top of their form. We don't have the best record over Christmas but I get the feeling that is about to change, the lads look bang up for the fight, they worked their socks off for 90 minutes on Saturday, it was very pleasing to watch them, also passing was slick and we were inventive, only real problem was that Colchester came to rough them up, it didn't work, a very good 3 points won! Frankiesbackfromhollywood
  • Score: 0

10:56am Mon 17 Dec 12

Crashtest1976 says...

What jounralistic drivel. "Wadley's Verdict"???

This gushing, sycophantic piece of writing is nothing more thana 'look at me' from Ian Wadley.

This is a man who was the echo's non-league back-up reporter two yars ago.... how can fans, readers, anyone be comforted by the wisdom of Wadley? Surely a half decent paper would be looking for some sort of expert with a groudning in the game and an authority based on experience to give the necessary analysis of FCB's fantastic performance of late.

Take nothing away from Eddie's men but, as someone who has two young children who require 'Dads taxi' on a Saturday, I rely on the OHEC for coverage.... I would like a little better please!
What jounralistic drivel. "Wadley's Verdict"??? This gushing, sycophantic piece of writing is nothing more thana 'look at me' from Ian Wadley. This is a man who was the echo's non-league back-up reporter two yars ago.... how can fans, readers, anyone be comforted by the wisdom of Wadley? Surely a half decent paper would be looking for some sort of expert with a groudning in the game and an authority based on experience to give the necessary analysis of FCB's fantastic performance of late. Take nothing away from Eddie's men but, as someone who has two young children who require 'Dads taxi' on a Saturday, I rely on the OHEC for coverage.... I would like a little better please! Crashtest1976
  • Score: 0

11:40am Mon 17 Dec 12

Mike Oxbig says...

Crashtest1976 wrote:
What jounralistic drivel. "Wadley's Verdict"???

This gushing, sycophantic piece of writing is nothing more thana 'look at me' from Ian Wadley.

This is a man who was the echo's non-league back-up reporter two yars ago.... how can fans, readers, anyone be comforted by the wisdom of Wadley? Surely a half decent paper would be looking for some sort of expert with a groudning in the game and an authority based on experience to give the necessary analysis of FCB's fantastic performance of late.

Take nothing away from Eddie's men but, as someone who has two young children who require 'Dads taxi' on a Saturday, I rely on the OHEC for coverage.... I would like a little better please!
haha!! Harsh, but fair.
[quote][p][bold]Crashtest1976[/bold] wrote: What jounralistic drivel. "Wadley's Verdict"??? This gushing, sycophantic piece of writing is nothing more thana 'look at me' from Ian Wadley. This is a man who was the echo's non-league back-up reporter two yars ago.... how can fans, readers, anyone be comforted by the wisdom of Wadley? Surely a half decent paper would be looking for some sort of expert with a groudning in the game and an authority based on experience to give the necessary analysis of FCB's fantastic performance of late. Take nothing away from Eddie's men but, as someone who has two young children who require 'Dads taxi' on a Saturday, I rely on the OHEC for coverage.... I would like a little better please![/p][/quote]haha!! Harsh, but fair. Mike Oxbig
  • Score: 0

11:44am Mon 17 Dec 12

stevobath says...

atha wrote:
The picture at the top says it all.
Every outfield player celebrating the goal.
Great team spirit.
Yes & another winbonus for all.....
[quote][p][bold]atha[/bold] wrote: The picture at the top says it all. Every outfield player celebrating the goal. Great team spirit.[/p][/quote]Yes & another winbonus for all..... stevobath
  • Score: 0

11:59am Mon 17 Dec 12

Piston_Broke says...

I see Danny Hollands has obviously fallen out of favour at Charlton, and is currently on loan at that lovely Swindon place. I for one would be delighted to see us try and tempt him back, and upset that shower at the same time. He is one of the few who've left here recently on good terms, and already knows what a lovely place this is!
I see Danny Hollands has obviously fallen out of favour at Charlton, and is currently on loan at that lovely Swindon place. I for one would be delighted to see us try and tempt him back, and upset that shower at the same time. He is one of the few who've left here recently on good terms, and already knows what a lovely place this is! Piston_Broke
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Cherryfan says...

I can't see Hollands getting a place on the bench let alone a starting position in this side. Sorry Piston!
I can't see Hollands getting a place on the bench let alone a starting position in this side. Sorry Piston! Cherryfan
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Mike Oxbig says...

Cherryfan wrote:
I can't see Hollands getting a place on the bench let alone a starting position in this side. Sorry Piston!
I think he would be the perfect replacement for MacDonald......
[quote][p][bold]Cherryfan[/bold] wrote: I can't see Hollands getting a place on the bench let alone a starting position in this side. Sorry Piston![/p][/quote]I think he would be the perfect replacement for MacDonald...... Mike Oxbig
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Mon 17 Dec 12

afcbtintin says...

What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?
What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ? afcbtintin
  • Score: 0

2:38pm Mon 17 Dec 12

pete woodley says...

"the supporters rose to their feet" not where i was they didnt.
"the supporters rose to their feet" not where i was they didnt. pete woodley
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Frankiesbackfromhollywood says...

afcbtintin wrote:
What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?
Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!!
[quote][p][bold]afcbtintin[/bold] wrote: What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?[/p][/quote]Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!! Frankiesbackfromhollywood
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Mon 17 Dec 12

scottie190 says...

The North Stand rose to their feet and that's what counts
We will miss Sean he is one of the unsung heroes in the team. There really are some sour **** on here.
The North Stand rose to their feet and that's what counts We will miss Sean he is one of the unsung heroes in the team. There really are some sour **** on here. scottie190
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Mike Oxbig says...

Frankiesbackfromholl
ywood
wrote:
afcbtintin wrote:
What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?
Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!!
WRONG..... He's back from his loan period at Wimbledon..... Great commenting strikes again!!
[quote][p][bold]Frankiesbackfromholl ywood[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]afcbtintin[/bold] wrote: What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?[/p][/quote]Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!![/p][/quote]WRONG..... He's back from his loan period at Wimbledon..... Great commenting strikes again!! Mike Oxbig
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Piston_Broke says...

Mike Oxbig wrote:
Cherryfan wrote:
I can't see Hollands getting a place on the bench let alone a starting position in this side. Sorry Piston!
I think he would be the perfect replacement for MacDonald......
Exactly my point - Hollands is a very good holding midfielder. Fronts up the defence, and backs up the midfield, as well as a good goalscoring ratio for a midfielder.
[quote][p][bold]Mike Oxbig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cherryfan[/bold] wrote: I can't see Hollands getting a place on the bench let alone a starting position in this side. Sorry Piston![/p][/quote]I think he would be the perfect replacement for MacDonald......[/p][/quote]Exactly my point - Hollands is a very good holding midfielder. Fronts up the defence, and backs up the midfield, as well as a good goalscoring ratio for a midfielder. Piston_Broke
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Oakdale12 says...

pete woodley wrote:
"the supporters rose to their feet" not where i was they didnt.
North stand , Family stand and the main stand all stood up , did you have your eyes closed ?
[quote][p][bold]pete woodley[/bold] wrote: "the supporters rose to their feet" not where i was they didnt.[/p][/quote]North stand , Family stand and the main stand all stood up , did you have your eyes closed ? Oakdale12
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Frankiesbackfromhollywood says...

Mike Oxbig wrote:
Frankiesbackfromholl

ywood
wrote:
afcbtintin wrote:
What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?
Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!!
WRONG..... He's back from his loan period at Wimbledon..... Great commenting strikes again!!
Smart arse, know all strikes again!!
[quote][p][bold]Mike Oxbig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frankiesbackfromholl ywood[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]afcbtintin[/bold] wrote: What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?[/p][/quote]Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!![/p][/quote]WRONG..... He's back from his loan period at Wimbledon..... Great commenting strikes again!![/p][/quote]Smart arse, know all strikes again!! Frankiesbackfromhollywood
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Frankiesbackfromhollywood says...

pete woodley wrote:
"the supporters rose to their feet" not where i was they didnt.
where were you then? the car park??
[quote][p][bold]pete woodley[/bold] wrote: "the supporters rose to their feet" not where i was they didnt.[/p][/quote]where were you then? the car park?? Frankiesbackfromhollywood
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Frankiesbackfromhollywood says...

Mike Oxbig wrote:
Frankiesbackfromholl

ywood
wrote:
afcbtintin wrote:
What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?
Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!!
WRONG..... He's back from his loan period at Wimbledon..... Great commenting strikes again!!
Well done you can read, and Hollands is not the man to replace Macca either!!!
[quote][p][bold]Mike Oxbig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frankiesbackfromholl ywood[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]afcbtintin[/bold] wrote: What makes Mr wadley think Stephen Gregory is an "option" ?[/p][/quote]Very good point, he's out on loan for the rest of the season, great reporting strikes again!![/p][/quote]WRONG..... He's back from his loan period at Wimbledon..... Great commenting strikes again!![/p][/quote]Well done you can read, and Hollands is not the man to replace Macca either!!! Frankiesbackfromhollywood
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Mon 17 Dec 12

bibocherry says...

Yeovil tickets going fast. Bought tickets for the Crewe Alexander game. Amazing deal for the Crewe game £10 per adult £7 for concessions. Tickets now selling fast due to reduction. Well done the board in these hard times.
Yeovil tickets going fast. Bought tickets for the Crewe Alexander game. Amazing deal for the Crewe game £10 per adult £7 for concessions. Tickets now selling fast due to reduction. Well done the board in these hard times. bibocherry
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Mon 17 Dec 12

golfer33 says...

Crashtest1976 wrote:
What jounralistic drivel. "Wadley's Verdict"??? This gushing, sycophantic piece of writing is nothing more thana 'look at me' from Ian Wadley. This is a man who was the echo's non-league back-up reporter two yars ago.... how can fans, readers, anyone be comforted by the wisdom of Wadley? Surely a half decent paper would be looking for some sort of expert with a groudning in the game and an authority based on experience to give the necessary analysis of FCB's fantastic performance of late. Take nothing away from Eddie's men but, as someone who has two young children who require 'Dads taxi' on a Saturday, I rely on the OHEC for coverage.... I would like a little better please!
Try joining FANS on the cherries website, you get to see every match for under a fiver a month.
[quote][p][bold]Crashtest1976[/bold] wrote: What jounralistic drivel. "Wadley's Verdict"??? This gushing, sycophantic piece of writing is nothing more thana 'look at me' from Ian Wadley. This is a man who was the echo's non-league back-up reporter two yars ago.... how can fans, readers, anyone be comforted by the wisdom of Wadley? Surely a half decent paper would be looking for some sort of expert with a groudning in the game and an authority based on experience to give the necessary analysis of FCB's fantastic performance of late. Take nothing away from Eddie's men but, as someone who has two young children who require 'Dads taxi' on a Saturday, I rely on the OHEC for coverage.... I would like a little better please![/p][/quote]Try joining FANS on the cherries website, you get to see every match for under a fiver a month. golfer33
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Tue 18 Dec 12

pehf1rules says...

It's best to get your facts straight before you post rather than have a go at them for getting it right !!!!!
It's best to get your facts straight before you post rather than have a go at them for getting it right !!!!! pehf1rules
  • Score: 0

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