Cherries draw at West Bromwich Albion
AFC Bournemouth drew 0-0 in their first pre-season fixture back on English soil at Championship side West Bromwich Albion.
Chances were at a premium at the Hawthorns, but some fine saves from young stopper Aaron Ramsdale caught the eye in the Midlands.
Joshua King returned from illness to start the game – his first pre-season minutes since the AFC Wimbledon game in La Manga – with youngsters Corey Jordan, Nnamdi Ofoborh and Alex Dobre also in from the off.
The first-half saw few major chances, but the Cherries were able to create some problems in the wide areas early on.
Adam Smith got into a great area on the right-hand side but his cut-back for the waiting Joshua King was just behind the frontman in the box.
Another wide cross caused the home defence problems minutes later, this time it was winger Ryan Fraser who provided the ammunition, sweeping a high ball into the area which Jack Simpson nodded over when well placed in the middle.
But the hosts should have had the lead when Jake Livermore sprung into the area unmarked, but instead of opting to shoot, he tried to play one more pass when it looked a glaring opportunity.
However, in the aftermath of that Livermore chance, new Albion signing Kenneth Zohore looked set to tap the ball in in the six-yard box, but Ramsdale and Corey Jordan did enough to put the striker off and deflect the ball to safety.
That was the last real action of the half, with the Cherries keeping the team the same for the beginning of the second period.
Working through the wide areas was a recurring theme for both sides, and Eddie Howe’s men almost took the lead when a superb Fraser free-kick from the left was an inch away from skipper Wilson in the area for a tap in.
After a lul in goalmatch action, Slaven Bilic’s side almost took the lead with 20 minutes to go as Oliver Burke collected the ball in the box.
The Scotsman produced a venomous low drive which was very well saved by Ramsdale who managed to tip the ball behind.
That prompted the Cherries into life though, and a slick passing move saw Fraser cut the ball back to the waiting Harry Arter in the box. Arter took a touch and moved the ball on but in the process, was completely wiped out by Semi Ajayi.
The referee however, was unmoved despite the clear contact and Cherries protests.
Sam Surridge then came on for the last 15 minutes to replace King, but Ramsdale had to be at his very best five minutes later to keep the scores level.
From point blank range, Hal Robson-Kanu thought he had given the Baggies the lead, but some lightning reflexes from the England youth international meant the ball was tipped away to the right.
And Ramsdale was once forced into action once again shortly afterwards, this time the stopper dived to his right to smother a well-struck effort from substitute Rayhaan Tulloch.
That proved to be the last of the action in the Midlands as the Cherries were able to get 90 minutes into the majority of the squad.