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Match Reports

REPORT: AFBOURNEMOUTH 2-1 TOWN

5 December 2018

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Two early goals condemned Town to defeat at the Vitality Stadium, although the men from West Yorkshire could well have taken a point home following a good response having gone two goals down.

Callum Wilson nodded in Ryan Fraser's corner before Fraser himself got in on the act to make it 2-0 after 22 minutes. It goes without saying that Town dominated proceedings from then on, with a number of chances to earn a share of the spoils following Terence Kongolo's header to pull a goal back shortly before the interval.

But it wasn't to be as a resilient Cherries defence- and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in particular who made a number of key saves- stood up well to the questions that David Wagner's side probed time after time.

Laurent Depoitre in for Steve Mounié was the only and enforced change for Town in light of a three-match ban being upheld by the FA following an unsuccessful appeal against the red card shown to the Benin striker on Saturday.

On paper, the fixture had all the hallmarks of a tough encounter. A long midweek trip, wet and chilly conditions coupled with an imminent response expected from the home side to maintain their good start to the season despite a recent run of four straight league defeats.

Looking to bounce back themselves from a frustrating weekend defeat to Brighton were the Terriers. A flurry of early half-chances fell the way of Erik Durm and Florent Hadergjonaj. Erik's burst through the middle was halted by Steve Cook having been found by an inch-perfect Aaron Mooy pass, and Florent volleyed over despite a generous amount of space at the far post from a Mooy corner.

Bournemouth wouldn't miss their first chance of the clash, meanwhile. Bournemouth was awarded a free-kick given against Jonathan Hogg that resulted in Callum Wilson heading home a Ryan Fraser delivery at the near post to give the hosts an early advantage in Dorset.

Joshua King thought he'd made it two with a looping effort that almost caught Jonas Lössl out. The Dane was more than equal to palm over the bar and keep the deficit at a relieving one for the time being at least.

Bournemouth have grown a reputation over recent seasons to play with a substantial degree of pace and power on the break, and that system was evident as both King and Wilson continued to pose threats alongside constant assistance from Brooks and Fraser on the flanks looking to run beyond the Town rearguard.

Wilson skipped marker Zanka before flashing across goal to which winger Ryan Fraser couldn't manage to squeeze in around the back to poke home into an empty net.

The duo of Durm and Hadergjonaj combined to fashion a brief chance, as the latter crossed deep aiming for Laurent Depoitre but as the ball sailed over the head of the Belgian, Durm's recovering header failed to trouble Begovic.

Just as Town were growing into the game, Ryan Fraser struck a dagger right to the heart.

Laurent Depoitre found Nathan Aké in the way as he attempted to flick a Hadergjonaj cross goalwards, only for the decisive blow to occur at the other end just seconds later.

Callum Wilson's clever dash into a gap opened up space for Ryan Fraser on the far side, bursting a lung to get forward. The Scot calmly finished past Lössl to double the lead.

A trio of saves from Asmir Begovic single-handedly kept the home side's two-goal cushion in-tact.

Alex Pritchard, Depoitre and Mooy all saw fantastic chances thwarted by the Bosnian. Pritch couldn't stick a low shot in the corner from inside the six-yard box having received Billing's knockdown, Depoitre's unmarked header from another Hadergjonaj cross was somehow batted away at shoulder height and Mooy's thunderous free-kick from the edge of the area was also powerfully palmed out of harms way.

There was nothing Begovic could do to keep out Terence Kongolo's header with 7 minutes left to the break. Thoroughly deserved on the balance of play, Terence flicked in a first Huddersfield Town goal from Zanka's ball back into the danger area, finally reducing the arrears that the display probably deserved after Bournemouth’s second.

Superb midfield work from Aaron Mooy again set Pritchard on his way, direct at Nathan Aké. It would've been the best possible outcome as first half injury time commenced, but Alex's right-footed effort blazed wildly off target; a definite half of two halves as they come.

A high intensity welcomed in the second 45. King fortunately fired wide, laid in by Wilson who sprung the offside trap once more to almost catch Zanka cold.

Livewire Pritchard maintained his intentions to work in those pockets of space. Found by Mooy, he danced his way into a shooting position only for Cook to heroically put his body on the line to deny the cornerbound attempt.

Town could smell an equaliser, and as per the pattern of this contest, it was the long legs of Begovic that intervened to keep out a Mooy volley at the far post after Phil Billing's cross evaded everyone in and around the penalty spot.

Pressure was beginning to mount, and the possession stats in the Terriers' favour nearly came close to being made to pay off.

The unlikely figure of Zanka found himself through on goal, and after good shepherding out wide from Charlie Daniels, the resulting cross concluded with Philip Billing returning it back to the near post where Ake crucially got across Depoitre, stopping the big man from sweeping home that all important leveller.

Abdelhamid Sabiri and Isaac Mbenza's introductions were a positive roll of the dice for the Head Coach; albeit with German Under 21 International Sabiri only lasting a matter of seconds following a shoulder injury sustained on his first reception of the ball.

Ramadan Sobhi stepped in to make just his third Town appearance in the process; the shape now a 4-3-3, with constant movement between the lines and a pacey threat of their own up top in the form of Isaac Mbenza.

The Cherries had stood up well to the aerial bombardment from the men from HD1 had instigated right upto the final minutes. Florent Hadergjonaj tamely volleyed at Begovic, and that just about summed up the luck infront of goal.

It's a trip to Arsenal up next on Saturday for the Terriers (Saturday 8th December, 3pm).

TOWN (4-4-1-1):
Jonas Lössl; Terence Kongolo (Isaac Mbenza, 75'), Christopher Schindler, Zanka; Erik Durm, Philip Billing (Abdelhamid Sabiri, 75' (Ramadan Sobhi, 76'), Jonathan Hogg (c), Aaron Mooy, Florent Hadergjonaj; Alex Pritchard, Laurent Depoitre

UNUSED SUBS:
Ben Hamer, Tommy Smith, Danny Williams, Elias Kachunga

AFC BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-1-1):
Asmir Begovic; Charlie Daniels, Nathan Aké, Steve Cook, Simon Francis (c); Ryan Fraser (Lys Mousset, 87'), Jefferson Lerma, Lewis Cook, David Brooks (Junior Stanislas, 61'); Joshua King (Tyrone Mings, 90'); Callum Wilson

UNUSED SUBS:
Artur Boruc, Andrew Surman, Jordon Ibe, Jermain Defoe

REFEREE:
Roger East


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