Meldrum's verdict: Blackburn Rovers 3 AFC Bournemouth 2

MUCH TO PONDER: Cherries boss Eddie Howe looks on at Ewood Park yesterday

MUCH TO PONDER: Cherries boss Eddie Howe looks on at Ewood Park yesterday

First published in Sport
Last updated
Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

THIS defeat will concern Eddie Howe perhaps more than any other during his tenure.

Not the three goals in 11 first-half minutes that ultimately settled the game in favour of Blackburn Rovers, but his players’ uncharacteristic, some might say abject response to going a goal behind to Jordan Rhodes’s 13th-minute opener.

Prior to that, Cherries had looked assured, composed and played the ball with a sense of purpose and confidence. They were rarely chasing possession during the opening 10 minutes.

As Howe said himself, at that stage it looked like it was going to be a good afternoon. There was certainly no head-hanging left over from Tuesday’s defeat at home to Nottingham Forest.

But as soon as Rhodes, probably playing his last game for Rovers before moving to Hull City for a rumoured £10million transfer fee, had taken full advantage of Steve Cook’s dawdling to slot underneath Lee Camp, it was just like watching Brazil - against Germany in the World Cup. And Rhodes was Thomas Muller.

The reaction of Howe’s players was as surprising as it was disappointing. They were punished down the Rovers left-hand side time after time. Matt Ritchie made way at half-time. Had Simon Francis not missed out due to a hamstring injury, Adam Smith may well have followed Ritchie, such was the pain inflicted by Markus Olsson and Ben Marshall.

Rovers piled forward in numbers, winning free-kicks and forcing Cherries into mistakes, exposing an apparent vulnerability in Howe’s defence from the set-piece.

On 21 minutes, Grant Hanley rose above Cook to loop home a header and make it 2-0. Howe’s men were all at sea.

Three minutes later it was 3-0. There was little Camp could do, although the same could not be said for the first two goals.

After Cherries had failed to clear effectively another set-piece, Craig Conway’s eyes widened as he collected the loose ball 25 yards out. His goalbound shot was diverted by Rudy Gestede past a wrong-footed Camp.

It was fortuitous, yes, but no more than Rovers had deserved for sensing blood after the first goal. That kind of ethos had been missing at Ewood Park for some time but, keep Rhodes, and they will be in the mix for promotion, surely?

The Scotsman was unlucky not to double his tally for the afternoon on the half-hour when he turned beautifully inside the box and blasted a crisp left-foot shot against the post. Once again, it was Olsson who had been the provider from the left.

Camp saved, albeit unconvincingly, from Marshall before half-time but the pressure showed no sign of abating right up to the whistle.

Howe certainly earned his corn at the interval. Ritchie made way in favour of Ryan Fraser, who did cause problems for Rovers during a much better second half.

Yann Kermorgant, anonymous for 50 minutes, tested Paul Robinson with a good effort which was saved at full stretch by the former England goalkeeper. Fraser blazed into the side netting, before Robinson turned Callum Wilson’s low drive around the post on 54 minutes.

Rovers appeared reasonably content to sit on what they had earned during that first-half blitz, seemingly confident that for all Cherries style and joie de vivre during that opening 10 minutes, Howe’s men had shown little that was going to truly hurt them.

In truth, though, the home side always seemed like they had another goal in them should they have needed it. Tommy Elphick was forced to block substitute Josh King’s shot on 66 minutes. Alex Baptiste’s fearsome header flew over the bar.

King was impressive. Having tortured Cherries at Dean Court last season, the 22-year-old was equally dangerous charging down the left or cutting inside. He should have capped his performance with a goal on 86 minutes but fired over the bar.

Prior to that chance, Howe’s men had been given a lifeline from referee Geoff Eltringham.

On 81 minutes, Smith weaved his way into the box before crashing to the turf under a challenge from Baptiste.

Press box replays showed little or no contact. Rovers boss Gary Bowyer later accused Smith of diving. Substitute Brett Pitman, on for Junior Stanislas, cared not a jot as he blasted the spot-kick home with real intent.

That moment of fortune seemed to spark a further gear and a degree of belief from Howe’s side that had been lacking during their first-half capitulation.

Cook atoned for his earlier errors when he headed Charlie Daniels’s corner past Robinson during the first seconds of stoppage time, while Elphick saw his shot from close range blocked during a dramatic scramble moments before full-time.

Next up in the league? Norwich City and one Lewis Grabban. A proper response needed.

Match facts

Cherries: (4-4-2) Camp; Smith, Elphick, Cook, Daniels; Ritchie (Fraser, h-t), Arter, O'Kane, Stanislas (Pitman, 74); Kermorgant (Rantie, 66), Wilson.

Unused subs: Cargill, Harte, Gosling, Flahavan (g/k).

Booked: Cook.

Rovers: (4-4-2) Robinson; Lowe, Baptiste, Hanley, Olsson; Conway, Evans, Cairney, Marshall (King, 60); Rhodes (Dunn, 77), Gestede.

Unused subs: Henley, Varney, Williamson, Taylor, Eastwood (g/k).

Booked: Evans, Robinson.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).

Attendance: 13,900 (319 away fans).

Comments (13)

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6:05pm Sun 24 Aug 14

dustbindanny says...

Mr Meldrum, have you nothing to say about the two games we have played earning 30 corners, scoring one goal, and the five we have conceeded, where two goals have been scored against us?
Mr Meldrum, have you nothing to say about the two games we have played earning 30 corners, scoring one goal, and the five we have conceeded, where two goals have been scored against us? dustbindanny
  • Score: 6

6:08pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Court Side says...

Certain players are causing concern with their early season form. Yann hasn't started the season like he finished the last, certainly having the worst game i've seen him have in a Bournemouth shirt against Forest. Matt Ritchie keeps getting hooked around the hour mark, (half time yesterday), and although he's played well enough in my opinion, (apart from yesterday), i'm wondering if there's a fitness problem there concerning Eddie? Cookie, who again has played ok so far, obviously had an absolute mare yesterday despite the goal but with Elliot Ward still having knee problems there's not a lot of strength in depth for players out of form. These opinions are only formed on watching home games and listening on the radio to away games, i'm sure those that can get to all will have a much more informed opinion then me.
I'm not getting ahead of myself and this isn't a knee jerk reaction, we destroyed Huddersfield, rode our luck against Brentford, were bang out of luck against Forest and at least rallied when we were in danger of getting mullared against Blackburn. We read a lot of interviews with players saying this team are going places and how they want to get to the Prem, while that's only going to happen if these same players take a long look at themselves in the mirror and step up to the plate.
Of course these are very early days and i think we can still have a very good season but we need to, when we're all over teams, take our chances and get ourselves out of sight and, when we're under the cosh, make sure we stick together and defend as a team.
Norwich away next is arguebly our toughest fixture of the season, time to stand up and be counted. 3 defeats on the spin and a loss of confidence can be a hard thing to recover but i know when our backs are against the wall we come out fighting. Wouldn't surprise me if we went up there and got a result!
Certain players are causing concern with their early season form. Yann hasn't started the season like he finished the last, certainly having the worst game i've seen him have in a Bournemouth shirt against Forest. Matt Ritchie keeps getting hooked around the hour mark, (half time yesterday), and although he's played well enough in my opinion, (apart from yesterday), i'm wondering if there's a fitness problem there concerning Eddie? Cookie, who again has played ok so far, obviously had an absolute mare yesterday despite the goal but with Elliot Ward still having knee problems there's not a lot of strength in depth for players out of form. These opinions are only formed on watching home games and listening on the radio to away games, i'm sure those that can get to all will have a much more informed opinion then me. I'm not getting ahead of myself and this isn't a knee jerk reaction, we destroyed Huddersfield, rode our luck against Brentford, were bang out of luck against Forest and at least rallied when we were in danger of getting mullared against Blackburn. We read a lot of interviews with players saying this team are going places and how they want to get to the Prem, while that's only going to happen if these same players take a long look at themselves in the mirror and step up to the plate. Of course these are very early days and i think we can still have a very good season but we need to, when we're all over teams, take our chances and get ourselves out of sight and, when we're under the cosh, make sure we stick together and defend as a team. Norwich away next is arguebly our toughest fixture of the season, time to stand up and be counted. 3 defeats on the spin and a loss of confidence can be a hard thing to recover but i know when our backs are against the wall we come out fighting. Wouldn't surprise me if we went up there and got a result! Court Side
  • Score: 24

7:57pm Sun 24 Aug 14

bournered26 says...

There is a strong rumour on various networking sites that Carlton Cole is joining Bournemouth !!
There is a strong rumour on various networking sites that Carlton Cole is joining Bournemouth !! bournered26
  • Score: 4

8:09pm Sun 24 Aug 14

West moors 1 says...

It did feel when Nottinham forest went ahead we lost our style and pass and move attacking approach. It's sounds as though this was similar. It seems as though EH And JT got their message across at half time and we were better. The team will turn it round that's for sure.
It did feel when Nottinham forest went ahead we lost our style and pass and move attacking approach. It's sounds as though this was similar. It seems as though EH And JT got their message across at half time and we were better. The team will turn it round that's for sure. West moors 1
  • Score: 3

8:40pm Sun 24 Aug 14

St Albans Cherry says...

Oh it's just so awful, being in the Championship, we should just be able to turn up and win...NOT!

This is early days for us all at DC and Ed will want to put the progress/dream to the Prem (The Holy Grail) on hold until we all get the reality check, that this is the Championship and all his players need to step up from last year. (hence the signings), yes just to keep us treading water! Look at QPR today they made last years losers (Spurs) look like, well, Man City.

So it beggars belief that we cut our wrists over defeats to Notts Forest and Blackburn! Clearly if we fall short this Tuesday then maybe self-doubt has entered the squad... I don't think it has, so let's keep on going!

Take a look at the table, we are making progress in the 'hardest league of expectation in the world'...

Keep the faith it may not be a goal fest on Tuesday but we will win and demonstrate our conviction... (Maybe TK will score a hat trick!)
Oh it's just so awful, being in the Championship, we should just be able to turn up and win...NOT! This is early days for us all at DC and Ed will want to put the progress/dream to the Prem (The Holy Grail) on hold until we all get the reality check, that this is the Championship and all his players need to step up from last year. (hence the signings), yes just to keep us treading water! Look at QPR today they made last years losers (Spurs) look like, well, Man City. So it beggars belief that we cut our wrists over defeats to Notts Forest and Blackburn! Clearly if we fall short this Tuesday then maybe self-doubt has entered the squad... I don't think it has, so let's keep on going! Take a look at the table, we are making progress in the 'hardest league of expectation in the world'... Keep the faith it may not be a goal fest on Tuesday but we will win and demonstrate our conviction... (Maybe TK will score a hat trick!) St Albans Cherry
  • Score: 6

9:00pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Realisticherry says...

dustbindanny wrote:
Mr Meldrum, have you nothing to say about the two games we have played earning 30 corners, scoring one goal, and the five we have conceeded, where two goals have been scored against us?
Because this is a verdict on yesterday's game not the season to date!
[quote][p][bold]dustbindanny[/bold] wrote: Mr Meldrum, have you nothing to say about the two games we have played earning 30 corners, scoring one goal, and the five we have conceeded, where two goals have been scored against us?[/p][/quote]Because this is a verdict on yesterday's game not the season to date! Realisticherry
  • Score: 5

9:05pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Realisticherry says...

I know that I will be labelled a troll or not a real supporter but I think we have some real issues at DC. We miss Surman more than anyone will admit. Kermie is not on song, he does not yet have any understanding with Wilson, though the Kermie/Grabban partnership last year hit the ground running almost from match 1. Perhaps some players are believing the hype and need to be brought back to earth.

No need to panic yet but just get a realistic view on how good we are and where we can finish this season. Still a couple of players needed I think particularly in midfield, one being Surman.
I know that I will be labelled a troll or not a real supporter but I think we have some real issues at DC. We miss Surman more than anyone will admit. Kermie is not on song, he does not yet have any understanding with Wilson, though the Kermie/Grabban partnership last year hit the ground running almost from match 1. Perhaps some players are believing the hype and need to be brought back to earth. No need to panic yet but just get a realistic view on how good we are and where we can finish this season. Still a couple of players needed I think particularly in midfield, one being Surman. Realisticherry
  • Score: 5

9:39pm Sun 24 Aug 14

holdinkæft says...

St Albans Cherry wrote:
Oh it's just so awful, being in the Championship, we should just be able to turn up and win...NOT!

This is early days for us all at DC and Ed will want to put the progress/dream to the Prem (The Holy Grail) on hold until we all get the reality check, that this is the Championship and all his players need to step up from last year. (hence the signings), yes just to keep us treading water! Look at QPR today they made last years losers (Spurs) look like, well, Man City.

So it beggars belief that we cut our wrists over defeats to Notts Forest and Blackburn! Clearly if we fall short this Tuesday then maybe self-doubt has entered the squad... I don't think it has, so let's keep on going!

Take a look at the table, we are making progress in the 'hardest league of expectation in the world'...

Keep the faith it may not be a goal fest on Tuesday but we will win and demonstrate our conviction... (Maybe TK will score a hat trick!)
Wake up, you are in dreamland again.
[quote][p][bold]St Albans Cherry[/bold] wrote: Oh it's just so awful, being in the Championship, we should just be able to turn up and win...NOT! This is early days for us all at DC and Ed will want to put the progress/dream to the Prem (The Holy Grail) on hold until we all get the reality check, that this is the Championship and all his players need to step up from last year. (hence the signings), yes just to keep us treading water! Look at QPR today they made last years losers (Spurs) look like, well, Man City. So it beggars belief that we cut our wrists over defeats to Notts Forest and Blackburn! Clearly if we fall short this Tuesday then maybe self-doubt has entered the squad... I don't think it has, so let's keep on going! Take a look at the table, we are making progress in the 'hardest league of expectation in the world'... Keep the faith it may not be a goal fest on Tuesday but we will win and demonstrate our conviction... (Maybe TK will score a hat trick!)[/p][/quote]Wake up, you are in dreamland again. holdinkæft
  • Score: -6

9:42pm Sun 24 Aug 14

holdinkæft says...

Realisticherry wrote:
I know that I will be labelled a troll or not a real supporter but I think we have some real issues at DC. We miss Surman more than anyone will admit. Kermie is not on song, he does not yet have any understanding with Wilson, though the Kermie/Grabban partnership last year hit the ground running almost from match 1. Perhaps some players are believing the hype and need to be brought back to earth.

No need to panic yet but just get a realistic view on how good we are and where we can finish this season. Still a couple of players needed I think particularly in midfield, one being Surman.
Like your name says, realistic. we miss Hart too
[quote][p][bold]Realisticherry[/bold] wrote: I know that I will be labelled a troll or not a real supporter but I think we have some real issues at DC. We miss Surman more than anyone will admit. Kermie is not on song, he does not yet have any understanding with Wilson, though the Kermie/Grabban partnership last year hit the ground running almost from match 1. Perhaps some players are believing the hype and need to be brought back to earth. No need to panic yet but just get a realistic view on how good we are and where we can finish this season. Still a couple of players needed I think particularly in midfield, one being Surman.[/p][/quote]Like your name says, realistic. we miss Hart too holdinkæft
  • Score: 1

10:04pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Web by says...

Why do we worry we will turn it around we have had a better start than last year as for someone saying we need a couple of midfielders what has happened to josh carmichael I remember when the 2 muppets were in charge in the games he played the stats said he was probably our best player yet he can't make the squad does Eddie not like him or something I also noticed via the echo he has been on a scotland u/20 training camp so what is going on at dean court
Why do we worry we will turn it around we have had a better start than last year as for someone saying we need a couple of midfielders what has happened to josh carmichael I remember when the 2 muppets were in charge in the games he played the stats said he was probably our best player yet he can't make the squad does Eddie not like him or something I also noticed via the echo he has been on a scotland u/20 training camp so what is going on at dean court Web by
  • Score: 3

6:12am Mon 25 Aug 14

ASM says...

I am thrilled that we are in the championship and I think it will take a good 3 or 4 years to settle in this league before we can fancy ourselves for the premiership. I'd be happy to stay up and I am sure we will.
I don't think we are in need of any new players, we have 22 players who on their day can play in our team that can beat anyone in this league. Forest are top and we played them off the pitch, they just won 4-0 too.
If we do sign anyone, it could be a striker. The rumours are pointing to Max Gradel, Carlton Cole, Andrew Surman and Jordan Ibe. All would be good signings. Carlton Cole is a target man with loads of experience who scored in the premiership on saturday. Jordan Ibe is one of the most exciting young players in the country. We don't need any more wingers so I can't see us signing Gradel and I think we can't reach a fair price on Surman, otherwise we would have signed him already. Interesting few days with the transfer window. I can't see anyone leaving unless it's on loan. Rantie and Pitman need game time, loan 'em out or drop Yann who is having a bad patch of form.
I am thrilled that we are in the championship and I think it will take a good 3 or 4 years to settle in this league before we can fancy ourselves for the premiership. I'd be happy to stay up and I am sure we will. I don't think we are in need of any new players, we have 22 players who on their day can play in our team that can beat anyone in this league. Forest are top and we played them off the pitch, they just won 4-0 too. If we do sign anyone, it could be a striker. The rumours are pointing to Max Gradel, Carlton Cole, Andrew Surman and Jordan Ibe. All would be good signings. Carlton Cole is a target man with loads of experience who scored in the premiership on saturday. Jordan Ibe is one of the most exciting young players in the country. We don't need any more wingers so I can't see us signing Gradel and I think we can't reach a fair price on Surman, otherwise we would have signed him already. Interesting few days with the transfer window. I can't see anyone leaving unless it's on loan. Rantie and Pitman need game time, loan 'em out or drop Yann who is having a bad patch of form. ASM
  • Score: 2

10:22am Mon 25 Aug 14

Nat1234 says...

ASM wrote:
I am thrilled that we are in the championship and I think it will take a good 3 or 4 years to settle in this league before we can fancy ourselves for the premiership. I'd be happy to stay up and I am sure we will.
I don't think we are in need of any new players, we have 22 players who on their day can play in our team that can beat anyone in this league. Forest are top and we played them off the pitch, they just won 4-0 too.
If we do sign anyone, it could be a striker. The rumours are pointing to Max Gradel, Carlton Cole, Andrew Surman and Jordan Ibe. All would be good signings. Carlton Cole is a target man with loads of experience who scored in the premiership on saturday. Jordan Ibe is one of the most exciting young players in the country. We don't need any more wingers so I can't see us signing Gradel and I think we can't reach a fair price on Surman, otherwise we would have signed him already. Interesting few days with the transfer window. I can't see anyone leaving unless it's on loan. Rantie and Pitman need game time, loan 'em out or drop Yann who is having a bad patch of form.
Who would you replace yann with ? , we proved it last season we need a target man . Yann is the only one in our squad ...
[quote][p][bold]ASM[/bold] wrote: I am thrilled that we are in the championship and I think it will take a good 3 or 4 years to settle in this league before we can fancy ourselves for the premiership. I'd be happy to stay up and I am sure we will. I don't think we are in need of any new players, we have 22 players who on their day can play in our team that can beat anyone in this league. Forest are top and we played them off the pitch, they just won 4-0 too. If we do sign anyone, it could be a striker. The rumours are pointing to Max Gradel, Carlton Cole, Andrew Surman and Jordan Ibe. All would be good signings. Carlton Cole is a target man with loads of experience who scored in the premiership on saturday. Jordan Ibe is one of the most exciting young players in the country. We don't need any more wingers so I can't see us signing Gradel and I think we can't reach a fair price on Surman, otherwise we would have signed him already. Interesting few days with the transfer window. I can't see anyone leaving unless it's on loan. Rantie and Pitman need game time, loan 'em out or drop Yann who is having a bad patch of form.[/p][/quote]Who would you replace yann with ? , we proved it last season we need a target man . Yann is the only one in our squad ... Nat1234
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Mon 25 Aug 14

devon fan says...

Realisticherry wrote:
I know that I will be labelled a troll or not a real supporter but I think we have some real issues at DC. We miss Surman more than anyone will admit. Kermie is not on song, he does not yet have any understanding with Wilson, though the Kermie/Grabban partnership last year hit the ground running almost from match 1. Perhaps some players are believing the hype and need to be brought back to earth.

No need to panic yet but just get a realistic view on how good we are and where we can finish this season. Still a couple of players needed I think particularly in midfield, one being Surman.
at last someone else can see the possible problems, it is too easy to accept that because we passed the ball for fun and outplayed the opposition, in the last match 17 shots was good 4 on target was not, and I would prefer to hear the manager say so
[quote][p][bold]Realisticherry[/bold] wrote: I know that I will be labelled a troll or not a real supporter but I think we have some real issues at DC. We miss Surman more than anyone will admit. Kermie is not on song, he does not yet have any understanding with Wilson, though the Kermie/Grabban partnership last year hit the ground running almost from match 1. Perhaps some players are believing the hype and need to be brought back to earth. No need to panic yet but just get a realistic view on how good we are and where we can finish this season. Still a couple of players needed I think particularly in midfield, one being Surman.[/p][/quote]at last someone else can see the possible problems, it is too easy to accept that because we passed the ball for fun and outplayed the opposition, in the last match 17 shots was good 4 on target was not, and I would prefer to hear the manager say so devon fan
  • Score: 0

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