Payne's Verdict: AFC Bournemouth 0 Middlesbrough 0

Bournemouth Echo: DISALLOWED GOAL: Lewis Grabban DISALLOWED GOAL: Lewis Grabban

SOMETIMES, the fine margins of football can be cruel.

Chasing a fourth win and clean sheet in a row, a feat not achieved since Harry Redknapp was at the helm in 1984, Cherries accomplished half of their aim against Middlesbrough.

Unfortunately, the hosts’ vastly-superior possession and territory could not be converted into the only statistic that matters.

But for two key refereeing decisions and the width of a post, the latest chapter in Cherries’ Championship tale would have been different.

It would be too strong to say that Boro came for a draw, but their focus was certainly more on defence than attack.

This was a team that had drawn four games 0-0 inside four weeks across January and February and, on the evidence of 90 minutes at Dean Court, it was not difficult to see why.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka, a centre-half of some distinction during a playing career that took in Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid amongst others, appears to have carried his defensive sensibilities into management.

Visiting skipper Grant Leadbitter and former Stoke man Dean Whitehead were enlisted to sit in front of the back four, leaving just an attacking three and striker Danny Graham to do the majority of the offensive work.

Seldom did Boro have enough players in the final third to cause Cherries a serious problem and, when they did, more often than not, Steve Cook and Tommy Elphick stepped in.

Upon winning possession, the hosts could have knocked the ball about in their own half all day long. Karanka’s troops swiftly retreated into defensive areas and that made it tricky for Harry Arter and Andrew Surman to make a killer pass.

Leadbitter and Whitehead swarmed around the ball whenever Cherries were one ball away from a shot on goal, while Boro’s deep-sitting defence generally negated the threat of Lewis Grabban’s pace.

On the one occasion the Teesside outfit side did slip, referee Fred Graham came to their rescue, ruling out Grabban’s strike for a foul on goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos. On such decisions do football matches swing.

Boss Eddie Howe made one change to the side that edged out Blackburn 1-0 on Wednesday, with Mohamed Coulibaly handed his first start since the opening day of the season.

Chances were sparse in the early stages. A neat short corner routine resulted in Matt Ritchie sending a teasing ball across goal, but no one could apply the finishing touch.

On 20 minutes, one of the few occasions that the visitors left space in behind, Grabban was flagged offside despite having appeared to have timed to perfection his run on to Arter’s through ball.

Midway through the half, whistler Graham made one of the game’s two major decisions.

Leadbitter, who had already had a nibble at Arter in the early stages, kicked out at Ritchie with the winger’s discomfort clearly audible to the majority of the Main Stand.

On the advice of his assistant, Graham opted for clemency in only brandishing a yellow card. Another lucky escape for Boro came seconds later, when Ian Harte’s delivery from the resulting free kick was nodded a fraction over the bar by left-back George Friend.

Boro had their first attempt of note in the 28th minute as Mustapha Carayol’s effort deflected wide. Soon after, O’Kane was robbed by Lee Tomlin, but Cook was swiftly across to block the midfielder’s fierce drive.

Five minutes before half-time, the game’s most prominent bone of contention.

Konstantopoulos raced out to claim a loose ball on the corner of his area but lost control under pressure from Grabban, who then slotted into the net from an acute angle. Much to the striker’s chagrin, he was penalised for a foul.

Tomlin volleyed clear of the bar from Carayol’s cross and Surman did the same at the other end to close out the opening period.

There was little action to get excited about in the first 30 minutes of the second half, although moments after the restart, Ritchie’s cross-shot thumped against the outside of the post.

Cook twice intervened on dangerous crosses from the left flank before Eunan O’Kane was booked for taking a tumble in the opposing penalty area.

Marc Pugh, on as a substitute for Coulibaly, exchanged passes with Surman but could not get the ball out from under his feet when well-placed in the penalty area, allowing centre-half Ben Gibson to slide in with a last-ditch challenge.

Simon Francis brought out a full-length diving save from Konstantopolous with a rasping effort from 25 yards, before Surman forced an almost identical stop with an effort that was also bound for the top-left corner.

In between, Cherries stopper Lee Camp was swiftly out of goal to prevent Graham getting a clean strike at goal and the game ended on a sombre note, when Carayol was stretchered off with a knee injury.

Star man – Steve Cook

Ever since Elliott Ward fell victim to a knee injury early last month, Cook has grasped his opportunity with both hands.

The centre-half has built a solid partnership with skipper Tommy Elphick and the understanding of the pair is improving all the time.

Boro’s main danger was down the flanks and Cook was often on hand to deal with dangerous deliveries.

This was no accident. The 22-year-old took up intelligent positions throughout and made well-timed interventions when required.

The visitors’ loan striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game.

Match facts

Cherries: Camp 7, Francis 7, Cook 8, Elphick 7, Harte 7.5, O’Kane 6.5, Ritchie 6.5 (Pugh, 68), Arter 6.5, Surman 7 (Rantie, 88), Coulibaly 6.5 (Fraser, 58), Grabban 6.5.

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

Booked: O’Kane.

Boro: Konstantopoulos, Varga, Omeruo, Gibson, Friend, Adomah, Whitehead, Leadbitter (Ledesma, 77), Tomlin (Chalobah, 58), Carayol (Main, 90), Graham.

Unused subs: Butterfield, Williams, Atkinson, Steele (g/k).

Booked: Leadbitter, Whitehead, Omeruo.

Referee: Fred Graham (Essex).

Attendance: 9,710 (including 1,187 away supporters).

Comments (14)

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5:32pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Trifecta says...

"The visitors’ loan striker"

Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?
"The visitors’ loan striker" Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers? Trifecta
  • Score: -5

5:52pm Sun 16 Mar 14

nonnogeppetto says...

I reasonable assessment of the game very little else to add though I would have preferred the three points, as it has been said elsewhere, not too far back we were losing such games so one point isn't the end of the world. We should soon be safe enough for EH to be able to experiment with next season's tactics. UTCIAD
I reasonable assessment of the game very little else to add though I would have preferred the three points, as it has been said elsewhere, not too far back we were losing such games so one point isn't the end of the world. We should soon be safe enough for EH to be able to experiment with next season's tactics. UTCIAD nonnogeppetto
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Richard 1976 says...

I hope the boro faithful enjoyed the fresh air and greenery before their return to Teesside..
I hope the boro faithful enjoyed the fresh air and greenery before their return to Teesside.. Richard 1976
  • Score: 0

7:22pm Sun 16 Mar 14

lymicherry says...

Trifecta wrote:
"The visitors’ loan striker"

Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?
Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.
[quote][p][bold]Trifecta[/bold] wrote: "The visitors’ loan striker" Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?[/p][/quote]Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact. lymicherry
  • Score: 4

7:34pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Rotterdam says...

lymicherry wrote:
Trifecta wrote:
"The visitors’ loan striker"

Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?
Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.
I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said:

"The visitors’ loan striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game."

I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him!
[quote][p][bold]lymicherry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Trifecta[/bold] wrote: "The visitors’ loan striker" Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?[/p][/quote]Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.[/p][/quote]I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said: "The visitors’ loan [sic] striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game." I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him! Rotterdam
  • Score: -4

7:45pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Neil Perrett says...

Rotterdam wrote:
lymicherry wrote:
Trifecta wrote:
"The visitors’ loan striker"

Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?
Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.
I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said:

"The visitors’ loan striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game."

I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him!
Everyone at Echo Towers is desperate to know what exactly you think Ned has got wrong here...
[quote][p][bold]Rotterdam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lymicherry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Trifecta[/bold] wrote: "The visitors’ loan striker" Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?[/p][/quote]Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.[/p][/quote]I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said: "The visitors’ loan [sic] striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game." I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him![/p][/quote]Everyone at Echo Towers is desperate to know what exactly you think Ned has got wrong here... Neil Perrett
  • Score: 5

7:52pm Sun 16 Mar 14

lymicherry says...

Neil Perrett wrote:
Rotterdam wrote:
lymicherry wrote:
Trifecta wrote:
"The visitors’ loan striker"

Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?
Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.
I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said:

"The visitors’ loan striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game."

I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him!
Everyone at Echo Towers is desperate to know what exactly you think Ned has got wrong here...
Don't worry, Neil, Ned et al, we're not all as thick as Rotterdam and Trifecta. For the record, Danny Graham is on loan from Sunderland. Perhaps those who enjoy taking cheap swipes at the Echo and its staff should check their facts before making themselves look rather silly.
[quote][p][bold]Neil Perrett[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rotterdam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lymicherry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Trifecta[/bold] wrote: "The visitors’ loan striker" Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?[/p][/quote]Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.[/p][/quote]I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said: "The visitors’ loan [sic] striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game." I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him![/p][/quote]Everyone at Echo Towers is desperate to know what exactly you think Ned has got wrong here...[/p][/quote]Don't worry, Neil, Ned et al, we're not all as thick as Rotterdam and Trifecta. For the record, Danny Graham is on loan from Sunderland. Perhaps those who enjoy taking cheap swipes at the Echo and its staff should check their facts before making themselves look rather silly. lymicherry
  • Score: 2

8:10pm Sun 16 Mar 14

nonnogeppetto says...

all this should be left 'alone' some people are 'loners' whether they are alone or on loan or even lonely!!!!

I am afraid every time I point the finger at someone I have three pointing back at me!!! I wrongly accused the echo of removing one of my post last week only to realise that I relied on assumptions when I should have read what was in front of me and followed the instructions se la vive
all this should be left 'alone' some people are 'loners' whether they are alone or on loan or even lonely!!!! I am afraid every time I point the finger at someone I have three pointing back at me!!! I wrongly accused the echo of removing one of my post last week only to realise that I relied on assumptions when I should have read what was in front of me and followed the instructions se la vive nonnogeppetto
  • Score: 2

8:11pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Rotterdam says...

lymicherry wrote:
Neil Perrett wrote:
Rotterdam wrote:
lymicherry wrote:
Trifecta wrote:
"The visitors’ loan striker"

Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?
Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.
I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said:

"The visitors’ loan striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game."

I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him!
Everyone at Echo Towers is desperate to know what exactly you think Ned has got wrong here...
Don't worry, Neil, Ned et al, we're not all as thick as Rotterdam and Trifecta. For the record, Danny Graham is on loan from Sunderland. Perhaps those who enjoy taking cheap swipes at the Echo and its staff should check their facts before making themselves look rather silly.
Fair enough.

Hands held in air like defender trying to pretend I never touched him, honest ref!
[quote][p][bold]lymicherry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Neil Perrett[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rotterdam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lymicherry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Trifecta[/bold] wrote: "The visitors’ loan striker" Can we assume that Ned Payne is not one of the stars that Toby is so in awe of at Ohec Towers?[/p][/quote]Can we assume that Trifecta doesn't know the difference between "loan" and "lone"? Ned Payne's description is a simple statement of fact.[/p][/quote]I'm sure Trifecta knows the difference, but here's exactly what Payne said: "The visitors’ loan [sic] striker, Danny Graham, barely had a kick all game." I'm afraid Payne can't assume that a spellchecker will do his job for him![/p][/quote]Everyone at Echo Towers is desperate to know what exactly you think Ned has got wrong here...[/p][/quote]Don't worry, Neil, Ned et al, we're not all as thick as Rotterdam and Trifecta. For the record, Danny Graham is on loan from Sunderland. Perhaps those who enjoy taking cheap swipes at the Echo and its staff should check their facts before making themselves look rather silly.[/p][/quote]Fair enough. Hands held in air like defender trying to pretend I never touched him, honest ref! Rotterdam
  • Score: 2

8:56pm Sun 16 Mar 14

West moors 1 says...

They had two very capable centre backside by playing only one striker, we found it almost impossible to get past. Then take on board we seem to want to walk the ball in the net, rather than shoot at any opportunity, this game has a draw written all over it from the half hour mark. Steve Cooke was outstanding, a superb performance. O'Kane has a quiet game by his standards and he still looked like a quality player, if he would just release the trigger once and a while and add to the goal tally, he would be crazy good! Many positives to take to Charlton on Tuesday. Up the cherries!!
They had two very capable centre backside by playing only one striker, we found it almost impossible to get past. Then take on board we seem to want to walk the ball in the net, rather than shoot at any opportunity, this game has a draw written all over it from the half hour mark. Steve Cooke was outstanding, a superb performance. O'Kane has a quiet game by his standards and he still looked like a quality player, if he would just release the trigger once and a while and add to the goal tally, he would be crazy good! Many positives to take to Charlton on Tuesday. Up the cherries!! West moors 1
  • Score: 3

9:33pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Chukki's uncle says...

Shall we take it as a compliment that a Championship big fish like Boro were a bit frightened of us and set up accordingly ?
Shall we take it as a compliment that a Championship big fish like Boro were a bit frightened of us and set up accordingly ? Chukki's uncle
  • Score: 5

9:14am Mon 17 Mar 14

elite50 says...

nonnogeppetto wrote:
all this should be left 'alone' some people are 'loners' whether they are alone or on loan or even lonely!!!!

I am afraid every time I point the finger at someone I have three pointing back at me!!! I wrongly accused the echo of removing one of my post last week only to realise that I relied on assumptions when I should have read what was in front of me and followed the instructions se la vive
Hey Nonno, I think you should stick to English (or Italian).
The word is Cest (not se).
[quote][p][bold]nonnogeppetto[/bold] wrote: all this should be left 'alone' some people are 'loners' whether they are alone or on loan or even lonely!!!! I am afraid every time I point the finger at someone I have three pointing back at me!!! I wrongly accused the echo of removing one of my post last week only to realise that I relied on assumptions when I should have read what was in front of me and followed the instructions se la vive[/p][/quote]Hey Nonno, I think you should stick to English (or Italian). The word is Cest (not se). elite50
  • Score: 0

9:25am Mon 17 Mar 14

a real supporter says...

I disagree Ned, it would not be too strong to suggest Boro came for a draw. Their record indicates that’s exactly what the aim is and if they should score it’s a bonus. Whatever happens 1 point is the aim. As mentioned before what a terrible way to play football. What satisfaction do the players get out of it and as for the fans, why would they want to watch that week in week out. Will Danny Graham want to sign and play that type of football, I don’t think so. It's not as if it's even working well for Boro unless of course the aim is middle of the league obscurity.
Thankfully we don’t have to play them again for sometime.
I disagree Ned, it would not be too strong to suggest Boro came for a draw. Their record indicates that’s exactly what the aim is and if they should score it’s a bonus. Whatever happens 1 point is the aim. As mentioned before what a terrible way to play football. What satisfaction do the players get out of it and as for the fans, why would they want to watch that week in week out. Will Danny Graham want to sign and play that type of football, I don’t think so. It's not as if it's even working well for Boro unless of course the aim is middle of the league obscurity. Thankfully we don’t have to play them again for sometime. a real supporter
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Trifecta says...

Stand by my original point.

He is either an "on loan" striker or he was played as a "lone" striker and I cannot find, via the wonder of Google, another example of the above!

And as for lymicherry (sic) , I bet my degree out-trumps yours but I would not be so rude as to suggest that you are in anyway "thick".

Are you ?
Stand by my original point. He is either an "on loan" striker or he was played as a "lone" striker and I cannot find, via the wonder of Google, another example of the above! And as for lymicherry (sic) , I bet my degree out-trumps yours but I would not be so rude as to suggest that you are in anyway "thick". Are you ? Trifecta
  • Score: 0

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