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Heartbreak in the final seconds as ten-men Cherries are pinned back by Coventry City.

It's a valuable point in context - an injury-hit team, down to 10 men.

But given how heroically we'd defended for so long, it's an absolute sucker-punch.

Thanks for joining us.



Wow. That's brutal.

The Cherries, who have defended heroically, are done by the wind.

Todd Kane's cross from the right loops over Travers and into the side-netting.



Leif Davis boots away from a cross as the Cherries salvage vital seconds. 


Final change for Cherries

Jaidon Anthony is replaced by Emiliano Marcondes for the final couple of minutes. 


Cook and Travers clear

Steve Cook makes a good block in the middle before Travers punches away from a cross. A Coventry player deflects it behind so it's a goal-kick. 


Change for Coventry

Tyler Walker replaces Ian Maatsen for Coventry's final change.

The Cherries have a goal-kick which Travers is taking his time over.



A huge save from the Irishman as Godden's effort is tipped over the bar!


Travers palms away

Strong hands from the goalkeeper.

Five minutes added on!


Free-kick to Coventry

Mepham penalised for a foul just outside the box, on the left side. 


Our second change

Zeno Ibsen Rossi is on, replacing Gavin Kilkenny.

All backs to the wall now!


GOAL - Coventry


Godden fires home from within the box as Coventry pull one back.

Travers had palmed away a cross before the ball dropped to Godden, Mepham doing his best to make the block but can't quite turn it away.

Immediately, Jodi Jones comes on for Ben Sheaf.


Coventry corners

The pressure has been ramped up as Coventry push with a series of set-pieces.

The Cherries are throwing everything to block crosses or win loose balls before eventually, a cross floats harmlessly into Travers' arms. 



Brilliant by Anthony again!

Now on the right, he clips in a dangerous cross to the back post.

Solanke is there but has to crane his neck behind him to make connection.

He gets it on target but a combination of Moore and McFadzean block it on the line. 


Our first change

Leif Davis comes on for Ryan Christie, who was exceptional again today.

Davis will play at left wing-back while Anthony has moved to right wing-back.

Stacey has dropped into the back three, while Lewis Cook continues to sit just in front of them, so he can drop in immediately if needed. 


Our shape

Since the red card, we've kept it largely the same - albeit Leif Davis briefly was ready to come on but has since put his top back on.

Lewis Cook is basically playing as the third member of the back three, although shoots out when we have to ball to ensure we're not flat when looking for passing options.

We're defending well as it's not only pressure by Coventry, but agains the wind as well, and we need a second attempt to clear a cross that Mepham thought he'd gotten rid of.



That's brilliant play by the Cherries!

I can't tell you how good Ryan Christie's feet are before Anthony clips a superb pass beyond the defence to Solanke, his shot blocked by Moore at close-range.

Meanwhile, Lewis Cook - who is basically part of the back four - shoots from distance but it flies wide.

Chris Mepham is booked for a foul.


The Cherries take a moment

Jack Stacey makes a great block from the resulting free-kick as Coventry aimed an effort under the wall.

Moments later, Mark Travers needs treatment on cramp which allows the Cherries the chance to head over to Scott Parker for some instructions. 


RED - Lerma

The Cherries are suddenly down to 10 men.

Lerma's touch at the edge of the box runs away from him and Godden nips in.

Lerma's outstretched foot brings down the attacker and as he's last man, and it wasn't inside the penalty area, he's sent off.

A blow. 



We double our lead!

That's an excellent goal by the Dane.

Billing stepped up to take a free-kick which he'd won at the edge of the box and while his effort was blasted into the wall, he stayed alive in the area.

The ball was worked out to Anthony who sends an inch-perfect cross into the middle and Billing gets his foot high to apply the finish.



Change for Coventry

Viktor Gyokeres replaces Jamie Allen.

The Cherries immediately charge forward through Stacey, he plays in Solanke who drives it across goal.

A Coventry defender makes a vital interception to stop it finding Anthony at the back post for a tap-in.



Almost the second!

Mepham plays in a brilliant pass between the Coventry midfield into Christie's feet.

He takes a touch and turns before playing an even better pass, using the outside of his foot, behind the back-line to Billing, who has made a run into the middle.

He takes it past the goalkeeper but finds himself at a very tight angle, his subsequent shot hits the side-netting. Lovely play though.


Good defending by Christie

Coventry are causing a few more problems and a cross from the right comes into the middle, but Mepham wins the header at the back post and Christie gets between the ball and a Coventry man to win a free-kick.

Steve Cook and Lerma win a series of key headers from a free-kick, as Billing was penalised.


Coventry trying to press higher

The away team want to combat the control the Cherries have had so far by pressing higher up the pitch.

This means the short, intricate passes in midfield are becoming more dangerous but it does create the opportunity for the counter attack.

Christie does well to turn under pressure on the half-way line and starts a counter, Solanke driving at the box.

He tries to beat one man too many and is tackled, before Steve Cook finds himself in the referees book for a foul (despite winning the ball, it appeared). 


Promising start

A couple of threatening crosses to start this second half as the Cherries have started with a good tempo.

Anthony attempts to capitalise on a poor defensive header by sending a cross into the middle, it's overhit but bounces through to Stacey.

He whips one in but it's defended well. 


Back underway!

The Cherries get this second half started. 


Solanke is all of us!

What a lovely reaction photo of Dominic Solanke as the Cherries take the lead.

The mission in the second half is to keep it.


That first half

The Cherries will be delighted to have the lead going into the break.

With the usual back-line missing today, it's a little bit make-shift at the back with Lerma playing in the middle of a three and Anthony at left-wing back.

But Scott Parker's team have attempted to control the play as much as possible, holding 65% of the possession in that first half.

They want Lewis Cook and Gavin Kilkenny to operate between the lines and pick out passes to players in wide areas.

You get the sense that Parker thinks they could be even braver based on his reactions on the touchline but they're heavily involved, you can see Lewis Cook is getting back to his best.

If they can add a bit more of a consistent threat in the second half, but maintain that control, Parker will be very happy.



And that's the half-time whistle.

The Cherries have dominated a lot of the first half without creating lots, but their efforts are rewarded with Anthony's last-gasp opener. 



The breakthrough!

I'm not sure he meant it but we are ahead.

Full credit to the referee who plays advantage for a foul on Christie by McFadzean, and the Cherries work it to Anthony.

He sends a curling cross towards the far post and while it misses everyone in the middle, it picks out the far corner.

McFadzean is booked for his foul later on. 


Stacey is a threat

The Cherries are trying to play intricately in the final third but some of the execution has let them down.

Stacey has proven to be constantly available on the right and causes a scare as a good cross into the middle forces Moore to attempt a punch.

He misses it but a good defensive header stops Solanke from getting a free header.


Christie fires from distance

The Cherries haven't shown a lot of quality when making decisions in the final third but they're showing an incredible work ethic.

We win the ball back on the half way line and work the ball across to Christie.

He notes the space opening up in front of him and has a go, but it flies well wide.

Coventry cause a scare as the Cherries give the ball away this time, Kane's cross driving across goal but thankfully no touch to turn it home.


It's very congested

It's one of those games where there seems to be a body everywhere.

Both teams have got formations that cover a lot of the pitch and neither has been able to find the holes often enough.

The Cherries are trying - Billing tries to thread in Stacey who has made a good run on the right flank but he overhits the pass.

At the other end, Sheaf has a shot at goal from distance but it's comfortable for Travers to collect.


An indication of the wind

It's fairly windy in the press box but clearly nothing to the wind affecting the play.

Simon Moore tried to clear a ball forward and it caught the wind and held up.

The Coventry defence had to scramble to get it clear when it returned to the pitch but something that could have an effect today. 


The skipper!

Great to see Steve Cook out there. He's looked confident so far. 


Solanke has a penalty claim

This is the best move of the game from the Cherries!

Christie makes a good pass to Billing, who has darted off the shoulder of his marker and into the middle.

It's too tight an angle to take a shot on so he cuts it back towards Solanke, but plays it just behind the striker.

Solanke tries to adjust his body but is brought to the ground by Dabo, and he looks to the referee for a penalty. It probably would have been a harsh decision.

The Cherries haven't looked massively threatening so far but their influence is slowly growing into the game.


Kilkenny has dropped deeper

The Irishman is now in a similar line to Lewis Cook.

The Cherries are creating passing triangles easily from the back three and Parker is keen for the midfield pair to get the ball on the half-turn and make quick passes.

A couple instances where they haven't turned to spread play has brought anger from Parker on the touchline but he'll be pleased with how often they're touching the ball.

Stacey gets a crossing opportunity on the right, trying to find Solanke in the middle, but it's defended well. The resulting corner comes to nothing.


The high press

Our best moments in this game have come when we've won the ball back in advanced positions.

We're statistically one of the best pressing teams in the division and we've shown our capabilities already.

The Cherries win a corner on the right, which Anthony fires into the near post but is comfortably clear.

Minutes later, a long ball by Christie tries to split the defence and find Solanke making a good run but it's ever so slightly overhit. 


Our first chance!

It falls to Lewis Cook of all people, as his shot from distance tests Simon Moore.

The Cherries win the ball back through Stacey on the right touchline, poking it to Christie.

He threads it back to Kilkenny, who lays it off to Cook at the edge of the box and he takes aim, firing a low, dipping effort at goal but Moore gets down low and makes the save. 


Minor scare for the Cherries

Coventry haven't had a lot of the ball but have the first half-chance as Todd Kane finds space on the right touchline.

He sends a low delivery into the middle which Matt Godden attempts to flick towards goal.

He doesn't get a firm connection and after a brief bit of pinball in the box, the Cherries get hold of it and get it away.

For all of the possession the Cherries have had, we haven't looked dangerous at all yet.


Confident on the ball

The Cherries have made a good start here.

There are no chances of note but we've dominated the early possession and are keeping the ball really well.

Lewis Cook is finding himself on the ball a lot, playing really deep in-front of Lerma.

That allows the wing-backs to push really high and hopefully create opportunities to send the ball beyond the defence.

Steve Cook is called into action for the first time with a good interception as the stadium stands to sing David Brooks' name in the seventh minute.


How we've set-up

The main question on everyone's lips when the teams were announced was how the Cherries were going to line-up.

Looks like it's a 5-4-1 at first glance.

Jefferson Lerma is sitting in the middle of a defensive trio, with Chris Mepham and Steve Cook on either side.

Lewis Cook is sat just in-front of him and Jack Stacey is at right wing-back, Jaidon Anthony at left wing-back.

Gavin Kilkenny and Philip Billing are in midfield with Ryan Christie just behind Dominic Solanke up top.

It's been a decent start too, quickly getting a hold of the ball and moving it well. Billing did well to win the ball in an advanced position, but his cross to Solanke is skewed behind for a goal-kick.


We're underway!

Coventry City get this game started.

Let's go, Cherries!


Here they come!

Steve Cook leads the team to the pitch.

It's a bitterly cold afternoon - let's hope the Cherries can brighten the day up!


Farewell, Nonny

The teams are waiting in the tunnel, we're not far away now.

Before kick-off, we'll pay tribute to John Garard, our super fan who sadly passed away recently.

We'll play his famous 'Red Army' chant before kick-off. He will be missed!


Out for the warm ups

Only 20 minutes to go until kick-off and the warm ups are well underway.

This man is searching for his 17th goal of the season today, having equalled his best ever campaign in the defeat to Derby County on Sunday.

Despite a couple disappointing results, Solanke hasn't stopped firing and he's got eight goals in his last seven matches.


Today is our Rainbow Laces game

This afternoon is our annual Rainbow Laces fixture.

It's an important opportunity to show our support to the LGBTQ+ community and continue the work to make football as inclusive a space as possible.

Scott Parker addressed it in his programme notes, saying: "[It's] a campaign I think is massively important.

"Recently, we saw Australian footballer Josh Cavallo come out as gay and I think it's a massive step.

"It's terrible to think that other players still wouldn't feel comfortable to do so.

"Campaigns like Rainbow Laces and the good work being done by our own Proud Cherries are helping continue progress throughout the sport."


Mepham - "We've got an opportunity"

We spoke to Chris Mepham ahead of this weekend's action and he was keen to ensure the lads kept their heads after a disappointing couple of results.

He said: “Naturally, when you have a bit of a blip, it can frustrate you a little and it can get everyone over-thinking.

“But at the same time, it’s a relentless league. Games come thick and fast and you haven’t really got time to dwell on the past.

“We’ve got an opportunity to put things right against Coventry and, hopefully, get back to winning ways.


Steve Cook is back!

It's a first league start of the season for Steve Cook today!

The Cherries defender will make his 385th appearance for the team this afternoon.

Cook has had to wait patiently for his opportunity this season, with the form of Gary Cahill and Lloyd Kelly keeping him out of the side.

He featured for the only time this campaign in the Carabao Cup defeat to Norwich City, but Scott Parker has praised his professionalism in training and he's been rewarded with a start today. 



Here's how we line-up for this afternoon's game.

Steve Cook makes his first league start of the season, as Lewis Cook and Philip Billing return to the team.

Gary Cahill misses out with a rib injury while Jamal Lowe and Leif Davis drop to the bench. 


Welcome to our live coverage!

We're back at Vitality Stadium for this afternoon's Sky Bet Championship match.

Coventry City are the visitors as Scott Parker's men look to bounce back from two tough trips in the last week.

We'll have full updates from throughout the afternoon here on our live blog. 

Other games that day

  • Stoke City0
    Blackburn Rovers1
  • Birmingham City1
  • Swansea City2
  • Luton Town1
    Cardiff City2
  • Hull City2
  • Huddersfield Town1
  • Peterborough United0
  • Preston North End1

As it stood

1 Fulham 20 +33 43
3 West Bromwich Albion 20 +11 34
4 Blackburn Rovers 20 +7 33
5 Coventry City 20 +4 33
6 Queens Park Rangers 19 +7 32
7 Stoke City 20 +3 31
8 Huddersfield Town 20 0 28
9 Swansea City 20 -1 27
10 Millwall 20 -1 27
11 Blackpool 20 -2 27
12 Middlesbrough 20 0 26
13 Birmingham City 20 -2 26
14 Luton Town 20 +1 25
15 Nottingham Forest 20 +1 25
16 Preston North End 20 -4 25
17 Sheffield United 19 -3 23
18 Bristol City 19 -7 23
19 Hull City 20 -7 21
20 Cardiff City 20 -13 21
21 Reading 20 -6 20
22 Peterborough United 20 -21 16
23 Barnsley 20 -18 12
24 Derby County 19 -2 1

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