When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Huddersfield Town 5 AFC Bournemouth 1: Match comment
CTRL C, CTRL V...
Two weeks on from the massacre of Vicarage Road, Cherries were again dealt a harsh Championship lesson. It was almost a carbon copy of the 6-1 defeat to Watford shunted a few more miles up the M1.
Only this time, unlike in Hertfordshire where Eddie Howe’s men dominated in spells, Cherries partly contributed to their own downfall.
Certainly you could argue that James Vaughan, like Troy Deeney two weeks ago, is playing somewhat beneath himself in the Championship.
In terms of finishing ability, the ruthless, cold manner with which they dispatched their trebles against Howe’s men would suggest both could ply their trade higher.
But some uncharacteristic defensive frailties at the John Smith’s Stadium will concern Howe. As will an inability to convert one or two very good chances.
Lewis Grabban, in particular, should have done better with a 21st-minute header with the score at 1-0. Brett Pitman’s bicycle kick was unlucky to strike human barrier Peter Clarke when destined for the net.
In his post-match analysis, Howe’s overriding concern was the manner with which his side failed to keep possession for any length of time, inviting pressure from a side intent on making sure Martin Paterson and £1million man Vaughan had plenty of the ball to work with in key areas.
The word “punished” is often used in the face of cameras and dictaphones by managers who would rather be on the bus heading home. Cherries were punished here.
Howe will be fearful of gaining an unwanted reputation for fronting a side with cracks in its defensive lines. Despite the stats that confirm 11 goals against in two awaydays, the Cherries boss knows his back four is made of far sterner stuff than those numbers suggest.
Howe’s preparations for both the clash at Vicarage Road and this thumping in West Yorkshire were hampered by late withdrawals. Elliott Ward, seemingly set to start against the Terriers here, returned to Dorset after his wife went into labour. Tommy Elphick, Ward’s replacement, was set to start against Watford but injured his back.
The fans will see five goals in the home team’s scorebox on these pages, but the impact of a week’s work being disrupted by circumstance should not be underestimated.
While the similarities with Vicarage Road were stark, it was, instead, a first-half barrage that did for Howe’s men here. They were all but out of the game at half-time.
Chief tormenter was Adam Hammill. He gave Ian Harte, in for Charlie Daniels, a torrid time.
While Ryan Allsop was equal to Hammill’s shot during the early exchanges, Howe’s defence was somewhat culpable in allowing the lively wing-back to burst into the penalty area unchallenged for the opener on 17 minutes.
Hammill cut inside from the right before making his way into the six-yard box. He could have been stopped, but Howe’s men looked terrified of giving away a spot kick. Hammill’s poke went in off the upright. Allsop would have been disappointed to concede at the near post.
Like at Vicarage Road, Cherries responded well to going behind. Ryan Fraser was excellent down the left and, although Pitman’s effort was blocked by Clarke, Grabban’s header into the arms of Smithies was weak. The striker was well-placed and Fraser’s cross was pinpoint.
Allsop tipped Vaughan’s fearsome drive over the bar following a wonderful crossfield pass from Hammill. From the corner, Allsop superbly pushed Jonathan Hogg’s long-range effort wide of the target.
But on 37 minutes, Huddersfield doubled their lead.
Hammill’s cross was met by Vaughan, the summer signing from Norwich completely unmarked inside the box. He simply headed past Allsop to give Howe’s men the Pennines to climb.
Three minutes before half-time, Vaughan’s perfectly-timed run enabled him to collect Paterson’s defence-bewildering ball and slot coolly past Allsop. Game over.
Although Pitman continued to toil, his effort at the start of the second-half deflected away by Joel Lynch, Cherries were dealt another blow on 58 minutes. Simon Francis clattered Jake Carroll and referee Darren Bond pointed to the spot.
Vaughan blasted his penalty into the roof of the net off the fingertips of Allsop.
Marc Pugh, who turned in a lively, albeit brief performance from the bench, made the scoreline more respectable when he headed home, with a little help from a shoulder, 22 minutes from time following Francis’s cross. But a comeback was never on the cards.
And Adam Clayton completed the scoring with the goal of the game after 79 minutes when he thumped home a left-foot effort into the top corner.
Doncaster director of football Brian Flynn slipped away early from this encounter. He had already witnessed the six conceded by Cherries at Vicarage Road.
Back-to-back away games in Yorkshire, with Howe’s men visiting the Keepmoat on Saturday, will be a true test of character given Cherries’ recent woes on the road.
Time to pull up the drawbridge.
STAR MAN - RYAN FRASER
The little Scot was a shining light. He ran himself into the ground and got the better of Huddersfield's 3-5-2 formation by exploiting gaps down the left.
His crossing was superb and, but for some poor finishing, he could have had his name down on the assists stats.
Although his second-half display was quieter, Fraser would have given Eddie Howe food for thought as Matt Ritchie works his way back to fitness.
MATCH FACTS AND MERIT MARKS
Cherries: Allsop 6.5, Francis 6, Cook 6.5, Elphick 6, Harte 5.5, Arter 6.5, MacDonald 6, Surman 6 (O'Kane, h-t, Hughes, 62), Fraser 7*, Pitman 6 (Pugh, 58), Grabban 6.
Unused subs: Daniels, Thomas, Addison, Flahavan (g/k).
Booked: Pitman, Hughes.
Terriers: Smithies, Clarke, Gerrard (Woods, 76), Lynch, Hammill, Clayton, Hogg, Norwood, Carroll, Paterson (Scannell, 80), Vaughan (Stead, 80).
Unused subs: Hunt, Gobern, Ward, Bennett (g/k).
Booked: Paterson, Norwood.
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).
Attendance: 12,035 (335 away fans).
Comments are closed on this article.