Mitchell's Verdict: Derby County 1 AFC Bournemouth 0

Bournemouth Echo: BOSS: Eddie Howe BOSS: Eddie Howe

ULTIMATELY, it’s the hope that kills you.

Cherries supporters travelling in the backs of cars looking at this fixture on paper would have been shooting for hope at best. Realistically, expectation wouldn’t have entered the equation.

Since Steve McClaren took over, Derby County have been in imperious form, particularly at home where the Rams have now secured nine wins from 11 Championship outings.

But once the players cross that white line and the action unfolds, the rhyme and reason of the form book swiftly goes out of the window – a point proved beyond reasonable doubt during the first 45 minutes at Pride Park.

Much like the near-perfect performances at Reading and Sheffield Wednesday in December, Cherries soaked up some early pressure with their former County custodian Lee Camp having precious little to do.

Even without midfield platform Eunan O’Kane through injury, Eddie Howe’s men set about their supposedly illustrious opponents without fear and could have had the match sewn up by half-time.

The difference on this occasion? Bad finishing and bad luck combined to leave Cherries vulnerable to the type of sucker punch those in-form teams always seem to dig out from somewhere.

One controversial call and the bud of hope which had blossomed into expectation was mercilessly trampled into the mud.

When captain Tommy Elphick was punished for a seemingly legitimate challenge on Will Hughes with five minutes to go, Derby’s top scorer Chris Martin took his opportunity to land the knock-out blow with a dipping drive from 20 yards which oozed Premier League class.

Quite rightly, Cherries were incensed, but how they could have benefitted from such impeccable marksmanship.

After the visitors spent the first 15 minutes silencing the crowd, maligned striker Tokelo Rantie buzzed around to great effect, keeping Derby’s defenders busy and creating openings for the visitors to implement their effective away-day game plan.

The South Africa international teed up Matt Ritchie to strike the base of Lee Grant’s near post in Cherries’ first meaningful attack before Rantie’s single, yet telling touch, in a one-two handed strike partner Lewis Grabban the game’s golden opportunity, only for Cherries’ top scorer to inexplicably place his shot high and wide from 12 yards.

Rantie remained full of running and forced worried centre-half Richard Keogh to unwittingly chip his own keeper under pressure from Cherries’ pacy presence with the ball bouncing agonisingly past the far post.

Grabban, possibly with that earlier miss preying on his mind, chose to shoot straight at Grant after leaving two Derby defenders in his wake, despite Rantie being handily placed.

It was hard to tell what the punch-drunk home side were more perplexed about at half-time – the fact they had been carved open so often or that somehow they were still level when Cherries should have been out of sight.

Either way, County boss McClaren’s double change at half-time spoke volumes for what he had witnessed and, from his point of view, had the desired effect.

Connor Sammon’s presence immediately gave Cherries something to think about with fellow frontman Chris Martin afforded more room to manoeuvre.

That, coupled with Simon Dawkins’ trickery, added a new-found purpose and productivity for the Rams.

But while Cherries were unable to repeat their dominant first-half showing after the interval, their efforts in keeping out Derby were just as valiant.

After imposing himself on the first half, Harry Arter was tigerish in the tackle after the interval, breaking up play as Cherries got forced deeper, while Steve Cook was back to his best in a near-faultless defensive display.

The ex-Brighton man helped to ensure the ball squirmed away from Sammon in front of goal after Hendrick and Dawkins had opened up Cherries down the left just after the hour mark.

More crucially, Cook calmly stuck out a foot to deflect Johnny Russell’s close-range finish off the goal line from Martin’s low centre after Dawkins had caught Francis in possession.

Despite being under pressure, it was all going to plan until the match-defining moment that got everyone talking.

But while the heightened anticipation resulted in much more hurt on the day, this was a marker for where Cherries want to be – competing with the Championship’s very best.

Amid the frustration and anger it would be easy to forget the positives from this strong showing, and while it might kick you in the shins from time to time, hope springs eternal.

Star man - Harry Arter

Such a tight call between Arter and Steve Cook for the accolade but the midfield man edges it for his flexibility during a tough test at Pride Park.

Instrumental in getting Cherries on the front foot, Arter brought discipline and bite to the middle of the park once Derby took control after the interval.

Well-timed tackles in his own penalty area and the ability to shrug off one or two meaty challenges while keeping a cool head displayed a mature side to Arter’s game.

Cook’s series of blocks and perfectly-timed interceptions saw him stand out. Neither man deserved to be on the losing side.

Match facts

Cherries (4-4-2): Camp 7, Francis 7, Elphick 7.5, Cook 8, Harte 6.5, Ritchie 6.5 (Fraser, 70), Arter 8, Surman 6.5, Pugh 6.5 (MacDonald, 75), Rantie 7 (Kermorgant, 58), Grabban 6.5.

Unused subs: Smith, Coulibaly, Pitman, Allsop (g/k).

Booked: Camp, Elphick, Francis, Arter.

Derby (4-1-2-3): Grant, Wisdom, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Eustace (Dawkins, h-t), Hendrick, Hughes, Russell, Bamford (Sammon, h-t), Martin.

Unused subs: O’Brien, Bailey, Thorne, Whitbread, Legzdins (g/k).

Booked: Buxton, Forsyth.

Referee: Mark Heywood (Cheshire).

Attendance: 27,306.

Comments (14)

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9:31pm Sun 23 Feb 14

lionheart says...

That's a fair assessment. The lads were magnificent and kept a 27,000 home crowd pretty quiet for 85 minutes. We must be more clinical and take some of the chances we make.

Just a suggestion. How about marking the referee each week. Mr Heywood was pretty ineffective all afternoon and couldn't handle reffing before such a large crowd. He seemed to be a graduate of the Barry Knight How Not to Referee School.

A more observant and assertive referee could well have sent off their player who poleaxed Kermogant and Martin for the nasty sneaky assault on Cookie which broke his nose and went unseen and unpunished.

Then to rub salt in the wounds he penalises and books Elphick for a fair tackle which Martin then scores from.

Hope we don't come up against such an incompetent official again this season
That's a fair assessment. The lads were magnificent and kept a 27,000 home crowd pretty quiet for 85 minutes. We must be more clinical and take some of the chances we make. Just a suggestion. How about marking the referee each week. Mr Heywood was pretty ineffective all afternoon and couldn't handle reffing before such a large crowd. He seemed to be a graduate of the Barry Knight How Not to Referee School. A more observant and assertive referee could well have sent off their player who poleaxed Kermogant and Martin for the nasty sneaky assault on Cookie which broke his nose and went unseen and unpunished. Then to rub salt in the wounds he penalises and books Elphick for a fair tackle which Martin then scores from. Hope we don't come up against such an incompetent official again this season lionheart
  • Score: 9

9:58pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Scalpel says...

Was always going to be a tough test, but the late goal was kick in the proverbials. March looks like our moving month. Eight games where I expect us to gain point(s) every week. Let's make a move.
Was always going to be a tough test, but the late goal was kick in the proverbials. March looks like our moving month. Eight games where I expect us to gain point(s) every week. Let's make a move. Scalpel
  • Score: 4

10:00pm Sun 23 Feb 14

CherryBee says...

I was at the game yesterday and I agree with most of the comments, but I cannot agree with the mark of 7.0 for Rantie, he has pace but is totally ineffective in front of goal, I'm sure he is a great trainer and a nice person but in this league we need a goal scorer and unfortunately he is not the answer, I am beginning to get worried about the amount of times I have left away grounds to be told we are one of the best footballing sides in the division but once again no points, I think we will be ok this season but I fear for the future unless we can score goals when we are on top, finally I thought the back four were brilliant against Derby and the winning goal was unstoppable.
I was at the game yesterday and I agree with most of the comments, but I cannot agree with the mark of 7.0 for Rantie, he has pace but is totally ineffective in front of goal, I'm sure he is a great trainer and a nice person but in this league we need a goal scorer and unfortunately he is not the answer, I am beginning to get worried about the amount of times I have left away grounds to be told we are one of the best footballing sides in the division but once again no points, I think we will be ok this season but I fear for the future unless we can score goals when we are on top, finally I thought the back four were brilliant against Derby and the winning goal was unstoppable. CherryBee
  • Score: 2

10:23pm Sun 23 Feb 14

mossy 1 says...

lionheart wrote:
That's a fair assessment. The lads were magnificent and kept a 27,000 home crowd pretty quiet for 85 minutes. We must be more clinical and take some of the chances we make.

Just a suggestion. How about marking the referee each week. Mr Heywood was pretty ineffective all afternoon and couldn't handle reffing before such a large crowd. He seemed to be a graduate of the Barry Knight How Not to Referee School.

A more observant and assertive referee could well have sent off their player who poleaxed Kermogant and Martin for the nasty sneaky assault on Cookie which broke his nose and went unseen and unpunished.

Then to rub salt in the wounds he penalises and books Elphick for a fair tackle which Martin then scores from.

Hope we don't come up against such an incompetent official again this season
It seems that the officials are getting worse compared to when we were even a league or two lower.EH is not normally someone to complain publically about the officials,but it seems even he has had enough,just look at the complaints by premiership club managers about poor decisions that have been news headlines recently.The fact that goalline technology and additional officials have had to be introduced by football authorities shows that even they admit something has to be done.
[quote][p][bold]lionheart[/bold] wrote: That's a fair assessment. The lads were magnificent and kept a 27,000 home crowd pretty quiet for 85 minutes. We must be more clinical and take some of the chances we make. Just a suggestion. How about marking the referee each week. Mr Heywood was pretty ineffective all afternoon and couldn't handle reffing before such a large crowd. He seemed to be a graduate of the Barry Knight How Not to Referee School. A more observant and assertive referee could well have sent off their player who poleaxed Kermogant and Martin for the nasty sneaky assault on Cookie which broke his nose and went unseen and unpunished. Then to rub salt in the wounds he penalises and books Elphick for a fair tackle which Martin then scores from. Hope we don't come up against such an incompetent official again this season[/p][/quote]It seems that the officials are getting worse compared to when we were even a league or two lower.EH is not normally someone to complain publically about the officials,but it seems even he has had enough,just look at the complaints by premiership club managers about poor decisions that have been news headlines recently.The fact that goalline technology and additional officials have had to be introduced by football authorities shows that even they admit something has to be done. mossy 1
  • Score: 6

12:26am Mon 24 Feb 14

RED LETTER DAY says...

ITS no good pinning the result on the ref. . . . . We should have defended the free kick. . . . . . . We had five good chances to score in the first half. . . We just can not score in this division. . . ITS time to give Brett a proper run of say 12 games and not use him as a fetch and carry man. . Stick him up front in his best position. . If he does not score then I will go along with with some of the other posters on here who say that he can not cut it in this league. . . . To be honest , . we can not be any worse.
ITS no good pinning the result on the ref. . . . . We should have defended the free kick. . . . . . . We had five good chances to score in the first half. . . We just can not score in this division. . . ITS time to give Brett a proper run of say 12 games and not use him as a fetch and carry man. . Stick him up front in his best position. . If he does not score then I will go along with with some of the other posters on here who say that he can not cut it in this league. . . . To be honest , . we can not be any worse. RED LETTER DAY
  • Score: 3

7:46am Mon 24 Feb 14

Talkingheadera says...

RED LETTER DAY wrote:
ITS no good pinning the result on the ref. . . . . We should have defended the free kick. . . . . . . We had five good chances to score in the first half. . . We just can not score in this division. . . ITS time to give Brett a proper run of say 12 games and not use him as a fetch and carry man. . Stick him up front in his best position. . If he does not score then I will go along with with some of the other posters on here who say that he can not cut it in this league. . . . To be honest , . we can not be any worse.
You can't defend the indefensible!
Like the report said it was unstoppable
[quote][p][bold]RED LETTER DAY[/bold] wrote: ITS no good pinning the result on the ref. . . . . We should have defended the free kick. . . . . . . We had five good chances to score in the first half. . . We just can not score in this division. . . ITS time to give Brett a proper run of say 12 games and not use him as a fetch and carry man. . Stick him up front in his best position. . If he does not score then I will go along with with some of the other posters on here who say that he can not cut it in this league. . . . To be honest , . we can not be any worse.[/p][/quote]You can't defend the indefensible! Like the report said it was unstoppable Talkingheadera
  • Score: 4

9:12am Mon 24 Feb 14

susi.m says...

RED LETTER DAY wrote:
ITS no good pinning the result on the ref. . . . . We should have defended the free kick. . . . . . . We had five good chances to score in the first half. . . We just can not score in this division. . . ITS time to give Brett a proper run of say 12 games and not use him as a fetch and carry man. . Stick him up front in his best position. . If he does not score then I will go along with with some of the other posters on here who say that he can not cut it in this league. . . . To be honest , . we can not be any worse.
Watch the free kick again.
Exactly how would you suggest such a great free kick was defended.
Brett is far too slow for this league. Have you been at all the games this year when he has come on?
[quote][p][bold]RED LETTER DAY[/bold] wrote: ITS no good pinning the result on the ref. . . . . We should have defended the free kick. . . . . . . We had five good chances to score in the first half. . . We just can not score in this division. . . ITS time to give Brett a proper run of say 12 games and not use him as a fetch and carry man. . Stick him up front in his best position. . If he does not score then I will go along with with some of the other posters on here who say that he can not cut it in this league. . . . To be honest , . we can not be any worse.[/p][/quote]Watch the free kick again. Exactly how would you suggest such a great free kick was defended. Brett is far too slow for this league. Have you been at all the games this year when he has come on? susi.m
  • Score: 1

9:35am Mon 24 Feb 14

SUFFERINGBJ says...

The whole discussion should centre round our lack of goal scoring.Great with the ball till we get to the edge of the penalty box.
Week in Week out, lack of shots on goal, and inept efforts.Pugh took a a freekick last week, not only went over the Ted Mcdougal stand, but probably landed in the cemetary!
Our defence has improved 100% over the season, but so poor in front of goal.
Have to improve or Pittman will be top scorer in Div 1 next season!
The whole discussion should centre round our lack of goal scoring.Great with the ball till we get to the edge of the penalty box. Week in Week out, lack of shots on goal, and inept efforts.Pugh took a a freekick last week, not only went over the Ted Mcdougal stand, but probably landed in the cemetary! Our defence has improved 100% over the season, but so poor in front of goal. Have to improve or Pittman will be top scorer in Div 1 next season! SUFFERINGBJ
  • Score: -2

12:40pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Afcbpete says...

Seeing as it's Rantie teeing up chances for others again, let's hope Yann starts with him, and it's TK who can benefit for a change, as Grabb's is squandering FAR more chances than TK ever does!!! UTCIAD
Seeing as it's Rantie teeing up chances for others again, let's hope Yann starts with him, and it's TK who can benefit for a change, as Grabb's is squandering FAR more chances than TK ever does!!! UTCIAD Afcbpete
  • Score: 9

1:18pm Mon 24 Feb 14

4stands says...

I like Rantie and think that Yan will start banging them in, I don't know about Grabban, he seems to freeze in front of goal, once we start scoring there will be no problem
I like Rantie and think that Yan will start banging them in, I don't know about Grabban, he seems to freeze in front of goal, once we start scoring there will be no problem 4stands
  • Score: 7

2:08pm Mon 24 Feb 14

eaststandman says...

Shame really that Martin was still on the pitch to score, considering the off the ball elbow that near knocked Cooke out !!
Everyone in the ground could see it.....except the officials of course.

There's a lot more to strikers than pace. Bringing the ball under control, holding off defenders, winning aerial battles, having the nonce to know what to do with the ball etc, etc.

TK has just One of those attributes. I'd rather have a striker with all the others. Don't take any notice of me though, i only watch all the games - rather than read or listen to them - or watch the highlights.......
Shame really that Martin was still on the pitch to score, considering the off the ball elbow that near knocked Cooke out !! Everyone in the ground could see it.....except the officials of course. There's a lot more to strikers than pace. Bringing the ball under control, holding off defenders, winning aerial battles, having the nonce to know what to do with the ball etc, etc. TK has just One of those attributes. I'd rather have a striker with all the others. Don't take any notice of me though, i only watch all the games - rather than read or listen to them - or watch the highlights....... eaststandman
  • Score: -6

3:12pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Afcbpete says...

eaststandman wrote:
Shame really that Martin was still on the pitch to score, considering the off the ball elbow that near knocked Cooke out !!
Everyone in the ground could see it.....except the officials of course.

There's a lot more to strikers than pace. Bringing the ball under control, holding off defenders, winning aerial battles, having the nonce to know what to do with the ball etc, etc.

TK has just One of those attributes. I'd rather have a striker with all the others. Don't take any notice of me though, i only watch all the games - rather than read or listen to them - or watch the highlights.......
You're right, I won't be taking any notice of you!!!!
[quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: Shame really that Martin was still on the pitch to score, considering the off the ball elbow that near knocked Cooke out !! Everyone in the ground could see it.....except the officials of course. There's a lot more to strikers than pace. Bringing the ball under control, holding off defenders, winning aerial battles, having the nonce to know what to do with the ball etc, etc. TK has just One of those attributes. I'd rather have a striker with all the others. Don't take any notice of me though, i only watch all the games - rather than read or listen to them - or watch the highlights.......[/p][/quote]You're right, I won't be taking any notice of you!!!! Afcbpete
  • Score: 5

8:34pm Mon 24 Feb 14

wiltshireboy says...

Having been a paying Fan of AFCBmth for over 40 years,when I had to finish supporting them from the South End and The North Stand. I really wish We got shot of a lot of tactics and looked at SCORING Goals I think most people Go to See Goals above all other things that happen in most games . I am afraid it will be back to Div 1 again next season.Forward and through the Middle pays off Quite Often, without all the prancing that seems to go on at the moment in most Games ,I read about here, and from Willow On RADIO SOLENT. WILLOW would be the leading scorer if he was playing now with all the corners we are having and getting no where with.
Having been a paying Fan of AFCBmth for over 40 years,when I had to finish supporting them from the South End and The North Stand. I really wish We got shot of a lot of tactics and looked at SCORING Goals I think most people Go to See Goals above all other things that happen in most games . I am afraid it will be back to Div 1 again next season.Forward and through the Middle pays off Quite Often, without all the prancing that seems to go on at the moment in most Games ,I read about here, and from Willow On RADIO SOLENT. WILLOW would be the leading scorer if he was playing now with all the corners we are having and getting no where with. wiltshireboy
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Mon 24 Feb 14

eaststandman says...

Afcbpete wrote:
eaststandman wrote:
Shame really that Martin was still on the pitch to score, considering the off the ball elbow that near knocked Cooke out !!
Everyone in the ground could see it.....except the officials of course.

There's a lot more to strikers than pace. Bringing the ball under control, holding off defenders, winning aerial battles, having the nonce to know what to do with the ball etc, etc.

TK has just One of those attributes. I'd rather have a striker with all the others. Don't take any notice of me though, i only watch all the games - rather than read or listen to them - or watch the highlights.......
You're right, I won't be taking any notice of you!!!!
I don't mind.

After all, we score so, so, many goals, I've frankly lost count !!
[quote][p][bold]Afcbpete[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: Shame really that Martin was still on the pitch to score, considering the off the ball elbow that near knocked Cooke out !! Everyone in the ground could see it.....except the officials of course. There's a lot more to strikers than pace. Bringing the ball under control, holding off defenders, winning aerial battles, having the nonce to know what to do with the ball etc, etc. TK has just One of those attributes. I'd rather have a striker with all the others. Don't take any notice of me though, i only watch all the games - rather than read or listen to them - or watch the highlights.......[/p][/quote]You're right, I won't be taking any notice of you!!!![/p][/quote]I don't mind. After all, we score so, so, many goals, I've frankly lost count !! eaststandman
  • Score: 0

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