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Match Report


Posted Sat 30 Nov 13 at 14:00 PM

Ritchie shines in Brighton draw

Matt Ritchie marked his first start of the season with a goal as the Cherries drew 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Ritchie was a constant threat throughout and opened the scoring with a long range strike in the 29th minute.

Last season’s League One player of the year then went close to doubling the lead before creating a good chance for Brett Pitman at the start of the second half.

But Albion got themselves back on level terms shortly afterwards when Ashley Barnes produced a spectacular finish.

Although Ritchie and Pitman had further chances, Eddie Howe's team couldn't find a late winner in front of almost 10,000 supporters at the Goldsands Stadium.

Howe was certainly bold in his team selection, starting Harry Arter, Ryan Fraser and Ritchie, while Steve Cook recoverd from injury in time to face his former club.

New signing Nico Yennaris, who joined from Arsenal ahead of the loan deadline on Thursday, was named amongst the substitutes.

Charlie Daniels and Fraser were causing Albion full-back Inigo Calderon plenty of problems early on and they combined to create an opportunity for Pitman.

Daniels sent a low cross along the edge of the area and Pitman directed it goalwards with an overhead kick, but it lacked enough pace to trouble Tomasz Kuszczak.

The chance seemed to spark the game into life with Jake Forster-Caskey and Barnes both going close inside the opening 25 minutes.

But Ritchie smashed the ball home from the edge of the area to score the first goal of the afternoon and his first of the season.

Daniels looked set to take the free-kick but shifted the ball to the winger and he found the side netting.

He then went close ten minutes later in similar circumstances, only this time his free-kick was deflected just wide of the post.

Ritchie was once again pivotal in creating the first chance of the second half as he played in Pitman, but former Manchester United keeper Kuszczak was equal to his close range strike.

However, as the momentum began to build, Brighton equalised through Barnes. The striker turned away from his marker and thumped the ball past Lee Camp.

Cook then saw a header bounce just wide in front of the Steve Fletcher Stand before Howe sent on Wes Thomas and Marc Pugh for the final 25 minutes.

The hosts then seemed to enjoy more possession and Eunan O’Kane played in Pitman, who dragged his shot narrowly off target.

Both sides pushed for a winner but had to settle for a point in front of the Sky Sports cameras, keeping the Cherries in 17th place.

Cherries: Camp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter, O'Kane, Fraser (Pugh 70), Rantie (Thomas 67), Pitman.

Unused substitutes: Flahavan, Harte, Yennaris, Surman, MacDonald.

Goal: Ritchie (29)

Brighton: Kuszczak, Calderon, Greer, Upson, Ward, Ince (Andrews 68), Crofts, Forster-Caskey (Bridcutt h-t) Conway, Barnes, David (Orlandi 65).

Unused substitutes: Ankergren, El-Abd, Agustien, Lita.

Goal: Barnes (55)

Attendance: 9,870 (including 1,341 Brighton supporters)

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