Report from Tom Crocker:-
Goals from Ryan Garry and Michael Symes helped the Cherries end Carlisle's unbeaten league record with an impressive victory at Dean Court.
Bournemouth made one change from the side that lost at Oldham last week with new loan signing Adam Smith replacing Lee Bradbury at right back. Michael Symes also returned to the squad after missing the last four games due to a shoulder injury and took his place on the bench. The visitors remained unchanged from the draw against Brighton last week as they looked to continue their impressive start to this league 1 campaign.
Prior to the match, the Cherries boasted the best attacking force in the division, whilst Carlisle had the best defensive record. The Cumbrians had conceded just three league goals all season, so perhaps it wasn't too much of a surprise that the first half was a tight affair. A mixture of fouls and throw ins meant that the half couldn't really gain much tempo as both sides struggled to get into a rhythm.
In-form Josh McQuoid was the closest to opening the deadlock in the early exchanges after a smart corner routine ended with the 20 year old seeing his shot tipped over via the fingertips of United keeper Adam Collin. Francois Zoko tried to break the deadlock from 25 yards with a curling effort which seemed destined for the top corner. Fortunately for the Cherries the ball missed the target by the narrowest of margins to ensure the scores remained goalless.
The best chance of the first half came after forty three minutes. After Gary Madine fouled Adam Smith just inside the Carlisle half, there appeared to be little danger but Shaun Cooper had other ideas. The defensive midfielder launched the ball into the box for Ryan Garry who managed to flick it on. Marc Pugh stole a march on his marker to nod it back across the face of goal but Adam Collin was on hand to prevent the simple tap in. Instead Josh McQuoid latched onto the end of the clearance but could only fire his close range effort over the cross bar. Given his recent run of scoring you would've expected him to find the back of the net there too, but it wasn't to be and half time arrived with the scores locked at 0-0.
Eddie Howe decided to take a different approach in the second period and went for a more attacking style, replacing Shaun Cooper with the returning Michael Symes. Jason Tindall commented after the game how Symes had "only returned to full contact training for the last two days", so this made his impact all the more impressive. McQuoid now had a striking partner and the Cherries appeared to have a new found confidence. Just three minutes into the second half Marc Pugh whipped in a corner which was met by the leaping Ryan Garry to notch his first goal of the season and breach a Carlisle defence who had previously gone 380 minutes without conceding.
Craig Curran was the visitors' liveliest threat, trying to create opportunities whenever he could. However, a stern Bournemouth backline held strong with Cooper and Garry both blocking efforts from the Cumbrians' forward. Carlisle boss Abbott had mentioned in his pre-match comments how the Cherries do tend to leak goals at the back, but this seemed to spur the hosts on even more to not be beaten defensively today.
Admittedly Bournemouth don't have the best defensive record in the league, but no-one can deny their attacking prowess. Just past the hour mark a neat move culminated in Symes picking out Adam Smith. The right back on loan from Spurs had clearly benefitted from the half time change by bursting beyond Liam Feeney down the right wing, something he hadn't done all that much in the first half. The youngster then cut inside Francois Zoko, only for the Ivorian to trip him and give away a penalty. Michael Symes stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to double Bournemouth's advantage and give them a bit of breathing space.
It was clear that the Cherries were beginning to learn from their mistakes against both Oldham and Notts County, as they remained switched on at the back until the death. Some last ditch defending from Pearce and the immense Marvin Bartley, who picked up his second man of the match award in two home games, ensured that the points were to heading to the south coast club. In truth it should've been more than two-nil. Marc Pugh wasted a glorious opportunity, firing wide from a one-on-one with half the crowd thinking it was in. Additionally, two minutes into stoppage time Symes appeared to be fouled when bearing down on goal but the referee thought otherwise and waved play on. Fortunately for Bournemouth it mattered little as the points, as well as the clean sheet, were theirs. As Tindall also said after the game, it was "a thoroughly deserved win".
Next up is another home tie on Tuesday, this time against Exeter as the Cherries look to continue moving up the table.
AFC Bournemouth: Jalal; Smith, Garry, Pearce (c), Wiggins; Cooper (Symes 45); Feeney (Fletcher 90), Bartley, Robinson, Pugh (Cummings 90); McQuoid
Subs not used: Stewart, Bradbury, Hollands, Arter
Goals: Garry (48), Symes (64)
Carlisle United: Collin; Simek (c), Chester, Michalik, McDaid; Berrett, Norwood (Marshall 55), Zoko (Price 66), Taiwo; Curran (Robson 66), Madine
Subs not used: Caig, Kane, Murphy, Kavanagh