Match Details: 26/12/2012
AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 3. Jamie McAllister, 4. Richard Hinds, 5. Byron Webster, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 8. Ed Upson, 9. James Hayter, 10. Gavin Williams, 17. Paddy Madden, 18. Daniel Burn,
Subs: 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 11. Reuben Reid, 12. Gareth Stewart, 19. Gozie Ugwu, 24. Mitch Brundle
Substitutes Used: Reuben Reid for Gavin Williams (50 mins), Keanu Marsh-Brown for Richard Hinds (66 mins), Gozie Ugwu for Byron Webster (86 mins)
Bookings: Daniel Burn (Foul, 42)
Yeovil Town crashed to a 3-0 defeat against AFC Bournemouth this afternoon, as they were comfortably beaten by their in-form hosts. The Cherries haven't lost in the 14 matches they've played since manager Eddie Howe returned to the club, and it never really looked like that record was going to be broken. The pace of Lewis Grabban caused problems throughout and he opened the scoring on the half hour mark, and that was added to by a second half strike from the edge of the box by Harry Arter, and a late penalty from Brett Pitman, with poor defending from the Glovers threatening a wider scoreline. That caused them to slip one place to 12th place, still six points off the play-offs.
The Glovers went into the match making two enforced changes to their starting line-up. Joe Edwards had returned to Bristol City over the Christmas holidays at the end of his 17 match loan, whilst Sam Foley also had to miss the match with a hamstring strain. That saw Yeovil's squad stretched to its limits, despite Dan Burn returning to the starting line-up after his one match ban. Burn slotted in the left-back position, with Jamie McAllister taking up a more advanced position on the same flank to cover for the loss of Foley. Meanwhile Dominic Blizzard got his first start since November 3rd, having been out with his own groin injury problems for much of the last two months. On the bench, there were only three recognised outfield professionals, with the squad now down to its bare bones.
The pattern of the game was shown up right from the start, with Yeovil having problems coping with the pace of Lewis Grabban throughout the whole match. He set up several early chances for the Cherries - one that went through the penalty area , another that saw Dan Burn forced to block a Wes Fogden shot, and then a third that saw Brett Pitman execute a fairly tame effort that Marek Stech comfortably saved.
In rainy, skiddy conditions, both sides struggled to find their feet and get control of the ball, and on the occasions when Yeovil did attack, they had the right idea - fire it low and hard at former England keeper David James, and look for the rebound. Jamie McAllister produced one of the best efforts, with a Cherries defender just about mopping up the spill from the keeper before James Hayter - making his first return to Dean Court since leaving them five years ago - could steal in on the loose ball.
Yeovil were gradually showing better signs of getting into the match just at the point at which they went behind on 32 minutes. A multi-man passing move from the home side saw Marc Pugh released down the left flank, and his cut back into the penalty box saw Lewis Grabban able to react first to fire into the back of the net. 1-0 down and on the balance of play deserved. The same man went close again soon after as Dan Burn and Byron Webster were left chasing him, but the end shot went wide. Defensively Yeovil needed to do something to cut out Grabban's runs at source.
Five minutes after half time, Gavin Williams was replaced by Reuben Reid, with the Welshman not having managed to create the impact he did last Saturday, although the same could be said of most of his team-mates. Reid occupied the right-wing slot, and Yeovil opened by Dominic Blizzard having a deflected shot turned out for a corner, with the Glovers appealing in vain for a handball decision.
Gradually Bournemouth turned the screw again, although some of their attacks were gifts by Yeovil's back line. Richard Hinds delivered a woeful 'backpass' into the path of Lewis Grabban, who thankfully couldn't get past Marek Stech who saved brilliantly from a corner. Stech then saved a Harry Arter attempt from the edge of the box, followed by Dan Burn having to slice the ball out for a corner when Brett Pitman shot on goal from a Grabban attack.
Bournemouth were easily in control, and Yeovil reshuffled again, taking off Richard Hinds and briging on Keanu Marsh-Brown. The winger took up a left-wing position, seeing Jamie McAllister move back to his usual left-back role, whilst Dan Burn moved into the centre. The Glovers attacks were rare, with a Luke Ayling run that set up James Hayter being one of the best of the few as Hayter's cross saw Dominic Blizzard head over the bar.
However, Yeovil's back four had been collectively fragile all game, and so despite the Glovers doing their best to get an equaliser, the inabiity to defend cost them with 17 minutes to go. A ball into the box from Simon Francis saw a number of chances for Yeovil to clear their lines, and when the ball fell loose to Harry Arter on the edge of the box, no-one closed him down, allowing him the space to double Bournemouth's lead by firing into the top corner.
At that point the Glovers pretty much gave up the ghost. Bournemouth looked persistently likely to grab further goals, and their win was confirmed with ease via the penalty spot, five minutes from time. Luke Ayling was judged to have handled a Simon Francis ball into the box, and up stepped Bristol City loan striker Brett Pitman and he fired the ball home for the third and final goal. Not even a late, possibly ambitious substitution that saw Gozie Ugwu brought on for Byron Webster, and another reshuffle throughout the side, could turn the pattern of the game - there was a gulf in class throughout the 90 minutes, and that is the gap that will currently separate genuine play-off contenders like Bournemouth, from realistically mid-table sides like Yeovil.
Final Score: AFC Bournemouth 3 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Lewis Grabban (1-0, 32 mins), Harry Arter (2-0, 73 mins), Brett Pitman (3-0, 86 mins, pen)
34. David James 3. Steve Cook 7. Marc Pugh 8. Harry Arter 13. Tommy Elphick 11. Charlie Daniels 2. Simon Francis 12. Wes Fogden 32. Eunan O'Kane 22. Lewis Graban 40. Brett Pitman
1. Shwan Jalal 18. Matt Tubbs 23. Donal McDermott (88 mins for Brett Pitman) 17. Josh McQuoid (65 mins for Wes Fogden) 33. Steve Fletcher 26. Richard Hughes (88 mins for Lewis Grabban) 6. Joe Partington
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster 4. Richard Hinds 18. Daniel Burn
10. Gavin Williams 8. Ed Upson 6. Dominic Blizzard 3. Jamie McAllister
17. Paddy Madden 9. James Hayter
12. Gareth Stewart 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown (66 mins for Richard Hinds) 11. Reuben Reid (50 mins for Gavin Williams) 19. Gozie Ugwu (86 mins for Byron Webster) 24. Mitch Brundle
AFC Bournemouth Bookings: Harry Arter (foul, 20 mins), Tommy Elphick (foul, 80 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Daniel Burn (foul, 42 mins)
AFC Bournemouth Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 10; Corners: 5; Fouls: 8.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 5; Fouls: 7.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Ryan Atkin (London) and Daniel Robathan (Surrey). Fourth Official: Michael Webb (Surrey).
Attendance: 8,016 (including 665 Yeovil supporters).