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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 30 Jun 15 at 20:46 PM

AFC Bournemouth played out an entertaining goalless draw against high-flyers Crystal Palace at Vitality Stadium.

Both sides showed no signs of a festive hangover, but neither could find the net despite some good chances during a fast paced Boxing Day clash on the south coast.

Joshua King lost his race for fitness and was forced to sit out another match with a hamstring injury, so former Palace front man Glenn Murray led the line for a second consecutive weekend.

Crystal Palace started the brighter of the sides, with three corners in the opening ten minutes, culminating in a shot towards goal from captain Damien Delaney. Whilst Artur Boruc looked to have the effort covered at full stretch, Simon Francis thwarted the strike with the back of his heel.

Harry Arter worked himself a shooting opportunity to carve the Cherries' first effort on goal, but Wayne Hennessy was equal to the midfielder’s low drive.

The Cherries were beginning to grow into the game and forged the best chance of the half on 22 minutes. Junior Stanislas wriggled away from his marker and put in a teasing cross which was met on the penalty spot by a combination of Murray and Matt Ritchie. With neither able to make a decisive connection the ball went agonisingly wide of the post.

Dan Gosling and Stanislas both had decent opportunities before the break. Gosling’s effort from the edge of the box deflected onto the roof of the net, while Stanilsas couldn’t keep his volley from going over the bar.

The yellow carded Harry Arter and Jordan Mutch were withdrawn at the break and replaced with Eunan O’Kane and Yohan Cabaye respectively.

O’Kane nearly made an immediate impact, receiving the ball on the edge of the area after some fine Cherries build-up play. The Irishman dropped his shoulder and wrong-footed his marker before unleashing one towards the roof of the net, but Hennessy batted the strike behind for a corner.

Murray missed a fine chance to net against his former side when Gosling teed him up on the edge of the area. Gosling’s run from the halfway line, epitomising the midfielder’s exceptional recent performances, deserved to be guided home, but Murray scuffed the shot straight into the ‘keepers arms.

The game slowed progressively, despite the efforts of 71st minute substitute Tokelo Rantie, who huffed and puffed and quickly won two corners for the home side. The South African was sent on to stretch a tiring Palace defence, but his hold up play couldn't match that of Murray and the Cherries began to invite pressure on themselves.

Despite the visitor's ascendancy in the dying moments, neither side could carve out the decisive opportunity, and the Cherries added a much deserved point to their 2015/16 haul; and kept their unbeaten run intact for a sixth consecutive match.

Cherries: Boruc, Daniels, Cook, Francis (C), Smith, Gosling (Kermorgant 90+2), Arter (O’Kane 45), Surman, Ritchie, Stanislas, Murray (Rantie 71). 

Subs: Federici, Distin, MacDonald, O’Kane, Pugh, Rantie, Kermorgant.

Booked: Arter.

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney (C), Souare, Zaha, McArthur, Ledley (Jedinak 74), Puncheon, Mutch (Cabaye 45), Campbell (Chamakh 67).

Subs: McCarthy, Kelly, Hangeland, Dymond, Jedinak, Cabaye, Chamakh.

Attendance: 11,218.

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