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Match Report


Posted Wed 08 Feb 12 at 08:22 AM

AFC Bournemouth 2 Exeter City 0 - Match

Tom Crocker reports from Seward Stadium:-

Tom Crocker

A goal and assist from substitute Scott Malone helped Bournemouth to all three points against a determined Exeter side.

Both sides struggled to create clear cut chances throughout the evening with Wes Thomas' bar hit and Richard Logan's header the only time either side really came close to breaking the deadlock. That was until the introduction of Scott Malone twenty five minutes from time and the winger swung the balance in the Cherries favour, first setting up Matt Tubbs for a goal on his return before netting himself to seal all three points.

Matt Tubbs and Donal McDermott were both named in the starting line-up after their return to the club last week with Stephen Purches and Wes Fogden missing out in the only two changes from the defeat to Chesterfield. Meanwhile Exeter adopted a 5-3-2 formation with Nardiello and Logan leading the line as Paul Tisdale made three changes to the side which narrowly lost to Charlton last time out.

The first shot arrived on nine minutes when Exeter forward Daniel Nardiello did well to cut inside both Cook and Zubar before firing straight at Flahavan. The Cherries immediately went down the other end through Simon Francis who found himself in acres of room. The full back crossed towards Tubbs who teed up MacDonald but the Welshman sliced over the crossbar.

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A lot of the early Cherries attacks started at the feet of Steven Gregory. The deep lying playmaker continually sprayed passes out to the wings but none of Pugh, Francis or McDermott's crosses were met by a red and black shirt in the box despite numerous attempts inside the opening twenty five minutes.

With just over half an hour gone, both of Bradbury's new boys, Tubbs and McDermott, had chances to open the scoring. Firstly former Crawley man Tubbs almost latched onto Charlie Daniels' flick on but Krysiak collected before McDermott curled just over from long range less than a minute later.

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McDermott's trickery was beginning to cause the Grecians problems and the winger's dinked cross was forced to be headed behind by Richard Duffy. From the resulting corner no less than four Bournemouth players saw their shots blocked with Daniels, Tubbs, McDermott and then Cook all trying their luck but to no avail.

Shooting towards the Steve Fletcher stand in the second period, Bournemouth created two early opportunities, both through Wes Thomas. The first came after the striker nipped in before keeper Krysiak and turned the ball goalwards but it was swiped behind with Pugh lurking. From the resulting corner Thomas rose but saw his header come back off the crossbar.

The Cherries were cranking up the pressure and just a minute later Matt Tubbs almost netted the first goal of his second spell after striding onto a low Marc Pugh free kick but firing just wide left footed.

The visiting fans thought their side had taken the lead on 53 minutes when Troy Archibald-Henville headed past Darryl Flahavan from close range but the defender was deemed to have impeded the Bournemouth keeper and a free kick was given.

Three minutes later the visitors came close again when Richard Logan turned James Dunne's cross towards the top corner but Flahavan somehow managed to claw the ball away to safety.

The best Bournemouth had been able to muster since the early foray forwards in the second half were two speculative twenty yard efforts from Steven Gregory which didn't find the target. However, as the game entered its final third a long ball from Simon Francis found Wes Thomas. The striker broke the offside trap but didn't do enough to touch it round the on-rushing Krysiak who gathered.

afcb v exeter

Scott Malone replaced Donal McDermott shortly afterwards as the Cherries went in search of the winner. And they may well have broken the deadlock after Tubbs and Thomas combined but as the latter looked to curl the ball towards the far corner, Troy Archibald-Henville got back to make a superb sliding tackle.

The goal finally arrived on 72 minutes after a darting run from substitute Scott Malone. The winger received the ball off of Wes Thomas and showed strength to hold off the challenge of a defender before squaring the ball across the face of goal. At the back post waited Matt Tubbs and the striker took a touch before smashing the ball into the net from close range to continue where he left off for Crawley Town and delight the home fans behind the goal.

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Things got even better for Bournemouth and substitute Malone six minutes later. Exeter won a corner after Guillem Bauza's cross deflected off Charlie Daniels and from that kick Shaun MacDonald won possession inside the area. He released Malone who burst from the edge of his own box before perfectly weighting a pass for Matt Tubbs. The striker then turned provider for the man who had set him up just minutes earlier and Scott Malone made no mistake, tucking in from close range and doubling the advantage.

Exeter simply couldn't handle the former Wolves loanee and he almost created a third goal, shrugging off Steve Tully before laying the ball into the path of Wes Thomas but his shot was saved.

Thomas didn't dwell on that missed chance however and looked determined to score but the keeper again denied him, this time from the edge of the box.

The match finished 2-0 to move Bournemouth up to 8th in the league table ahead of Saturday's long trip to Hartlepool.

AFC Bournemouth: Flahavan (c); Francis, Zubar, Cook, Daniels; McDermott (Malone 68), Gregory (Purches 89), MacDonald, Pugh; Tubbs (Fletcher 89), W. Thomas

Subs not used: D. Thomas, Arter

Goals: Tubbs (72), Malone (78)

Exeter City: Krysiak; Tully, Duffy (O'Flynn 73), Coles, Archibald-Henville, Jones; Dunne, Noble (c), Bennett (Taylor 79); Nardiello (Bauza 66), Logan

Subs not used: Pidgeley, McNish

Yellow Card: Nardiello (86)

Attendance: 5,497 (299 away)

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