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Match Report


Posted Sat 19 Nov 16 at 16:50 PM

Report: Stoke City 0-1 AFC Bournemouth - Ake header secures first away victory

Nathan Ake headed AFC Bournemouth to their first Premier League away win of the season, with a 1-0 triumph at Stoke City on Saturday.

The Chelsea loanee, making his first league start for the club, dispatched Junior Stanislas’ free-kick midway through the first period and that was enough to earn three important points.

And it was no less than the Cherries deserved for a performance of outstanding defensive resilience and regular attacking threat at the bet365 Stadium.

In fact, the scoreline could have been even greater, but Callum Wilson saw a stonewall penalty turned down, while Joshua King, Stanislas and substitute Benik Afobe all saw chances come and go.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, with Potters forward Bojan missing a second half penalty and goalkeeper Adam Federici pulling off some crucial saves on his first league appearance this season.

But manager Eddie Howe will be delighted with his side’s performance as they returned to winning ways following back-to-back defeats.

The opening exchanges were lively, with both sides enjoying spells of possession, but it took until the tenth minute for the first chance of the afternoon to be conjured up.

And it fell the way of the Cherries. A patient passing move saw the ball worked to Gosling 25 yards out and the midfielder took a touch before pulling the trigger on a rising drive which cleared the crossbar.

That sparked the game into life and, almost immediately after, the visitors had a strong penalty appeal waved away by referee Roger East.

Wilson broke the offside trap to race onto Jack Wilshere’s through ball and, bearing down on goal, he tumbled under the sliding challenge of Potters captain Ryan Shawcross.

It looked a certain spot-kick but Mr East had other ideas, much to the dismay of Wilson and his team-mates.

Seconds later and Bournemouth threatened again, this time through King, who was found in space on the right-hand side of the area, steadied himself but found Lee Grant’s fingertips in the way of his low strike.

It was one-way traffic and Stanislas was next to try his luck but saw his free-kick deflect off the wall and behind for a corner.

It looked as if it could have been another frustrating afternoon in front of goal, but Bournemouth deservedly broke the deadlock with the half-hour mark approaching.

Awarded a free-kick wide on the right, Stanislas delivered straight onto the head of Ake, who had stole into the six-yard box completely unmarked to nod powerfully past Grant.

Stoke had offered precious little in the final third but Xherdan Shaqiri came close to an equaliser by curling a free-kick narrowly over the top.

And with half-time four minutes away, only an outstanding piece of defending from Steve Cook prevented them from grabbing a leveller.

As the Cherries failed to properly clear a corner, Shawcross looped a header over Federici and towards the back of the net, only for centre-half Cook to back-pedal and nod clear from the goalline.

The second half was less than four minutes old when Stoke spurned a glorious opportunity to get back on terms.

As Federici turned away Bony’s glancing header, it fell into the path of Bojan, whose ankle was clipped by captain Simon Francis.

Mr East pointed straight to the spot but former Barcelona forward Bojan blasted the penalty against the crossbar and away to safety.

The Cherries were soon back on the front foot and Wilson glanced Jack Wilshere’s inswinging delivery narrowly the wrong side of the upright, shortly before King drove off target from a tight angle.

With time ticking away, Stoke introduced experienced front men Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch and piled on heavy pressure.

But Bournemouth were outstanding defensively and stood strong for six added minutes to claim their first away league triumph of the 2016/17 campaign.

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