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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 30 Jun 15 at 20:43 PM

AFC Bournemouth secured a 1-1 draw with fellow Premier League newbies Watford at Vitality Stadium.

Glenn Murray headed the Cherries ahead on the 28th minute mark to open the scoring, but Odion Ighalo levelled for the Hornets just before the break.

There were chances towards the end for both sides to take all three points, but the biggest came from the spot when Murray was denied a second by Heurelho Gomes.

The home side controlled the early stages of this encounter; testing Gomes early on with a number of deep crosses into the penalty area. 

Joshua King and Murray were linking up well for the Cherries and the latter soon gained his reward. On the 28th minute a deep cross from Matt Ritchie found the head of the former Crystal Palace striker, who guided the ball home past Gomes to gain his first AFC Bournemouth goal. 

Whilst Eddie Howe’s men continued to look the better of the two sides, there were few clear-cut chances created and the Hornets, with their potent frontline of Troy Deeney and Ighalo, continued to look threatening on the counter.

The visitors then levelled, albeit against the run of play, just before half time. Artur Boruc gifted the ball to the onrushing Ighalo who then rounded the Polish stopper and rolled the ball into an open net.

Despite the manner in which the Cherries conceded, they started the second half brightly. An early Ritchie backheel teed up Francis to cross, but goalscorer Murray moved slightly too soon and his header was called back for offside.

The Hornet’s had come out fighting as well though and Ben Watson soon rocketed a half-cleared corner back against the crossbar. The Cherries managed to regain control and scramble the ball clear, but the visitors were threatening. 

At this stage the match turned into a blow-for-blow contest, but both sets of supporters took a moment out of the game on the 55th minute to pay their respects to former Cherries photographer and programme editor, Mick Cunningham. 

Watford then had a chance to take the lead soon after. A clever ball from their captain Deeney slipped in Ikechi Anya, but Boruc got down well to beat the danger away.

Bournemouth soon regained their composure and Murray had a chance to regain the lead. A fluid passing move from the back resulted in Francis cutting back from the byline, but the goalscorer couldn’t keep his header down.

The home side then almost took the lead through an unlikely source. A half-cleared corner fell to Steve Cook on the edge of the penalty area and the defender unleashed an audacious overhead kick, only for Gomes to reach to his top corner and tip it behind.

The Cherries were camped inside the Watford half at this point. Murray darted into the penalty area and was felled before a melee ensued in which Adam Smith was brought down and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.

Murray stepped up confidently to take the penalty, but was denied by Gomes who guessed the right way and pushed the striker’s effort behind with just five minutes remaining.

Eddie Howe's men continued to press and create chances right up until the final whistle, but the visitors fought well to ensure they took home a share of the points.

Cherries: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Gosling, Surman, Pugh (Smith, 56), Daniels, King (O’Kane, 70), Distin, Murray, Ritchie
Not used: Federici, Kermorgant, Tomlin, Bennett, Cargill
Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Prodl, Deeney, Cathcart, Ake, Anya (Paredes, 78), Abdi (Guedioura, 90), Watson, Ighalo, Capoue
Not used: Arlauskis, Britos, Ibarbo, Diamanti, Dyer

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