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Match Reports

Match Report : 21/04/2014

21 April 2014

Goals from Paul Anderson and Paul Green weren’t quite enough to take Town into the Play-Off places in a thriller at Portman Road.

Anderson gave Blues the lead deep into the first-half and Aaron Cresswell hit the post with a free-kick soon after before a fantastic overhead kick from Steve Cook levelled it up before the break.

Town went in front again when Green scored his first goal for the Club before Matt Ritchie gave Bournemouth a point with a free-kick that deflected in off Cole Skuse. 

Town made three changes to the side that went down at Watford on Saturday, with Christophe Berra and Luke Hyam both ruled out through injury. Frank Nouble dropped to the bench with Frazer Richardson coming in for his first start for Blues, Anderson and Stephen Hunt handed the wide roles. 

Dean Gerken was quick off his line to cancel out the threat from Lewis Grabban as the Cherries’ leading scorer looked to get in, the frontman then firing wide from the edge of the box after Bournemouth countered. 

Skuse was in the right place to stop Grabban’s cross reaching a team-mate as the visitors shaded the first 20 minutes but without really worrying Gerken in Blues’ goal. 

Andrew Surman had a shot deflected behind, Simon Francis powered an effort over the bar, then Yann Kermorgant headed over as Bournemouth continued to hold the upperhand.

Kermorgant was closer with another header from Marc Pugh’s cross, then Ritchie sliced another opening right into the path of Eunan O’Kane, who blasted over. 

Cresswell had Town’s first effort, just past the half hour mark when he latched onto Williams’ flick but his shot went wide and on 36 minutes Blues were ahead. Skuse did brilliantly to get behind the Cherries’ defence and from an even better cross, Anderson guided the ball in at the far post. 

The goal lifted Portman Road, Williams immediately winning a free-kick on the edge of the box and it needed a fingertip save from Lee Camp to force Cresswell’s free-kick on to the post and away. 

Ritchie responded for Bournemouth, crossing from the right after good interplay – Richardson doing enough to prevent the danger, then Grabban had a great chance to find the net but dragged his shot wide under pressure from Cresswell. 

Surman saw a shot blocked by Tommy Smith but Bournemouth wouldn’t be denied and after a free-kick wasn’t dealt with, Cook put his side back on equal terms with a spectacular overhead kick just before the break.

Anthony Wordsworth could have sent Town in at half-time ahead but his sidefooted effort from the edge of the box was straight at Camp before referee Andy D’Urso brought the half to an end.

Town made a change at the break with Green on for the injured Wordsworth, Ritchie swinging in an early cross that Gerken dealt with. 

Anderson, looking as though the hamstring injury that saw him miss the defeat at Watford had flared up again, was replaced by Nouble eight minutes into the second-half. 

Seconds later Town were ahead, Cresswell’s free-kick was flicked on by Murphy at the near post and it cannoned into the net off Green. 

Bournemouth should have been level on the hour, Simon Francis got down the right and from his cross, Pugh smashed the ball high over the bar from close range. 

It was the wideman’s last kick of the game, Tokelo Rantie his replacement, with Adam Smith on for Charlie Daniels as the Cherries changed things around. 

Grabban found space on the right but his cross was cleared by Richardson, Williams then sending Murphy though on goal, the Cherries saved by the offside flag. 

Tyrone Mings replaced Williams for the last 15 minutes in Town’s final change, Cresswell then whipping in a fierce free-kick that skimmed off a defender for a corner. 

At the other end, Mings and Gerken combined to stop Rantie getting on the end of the ball over the top before the Cherries levelled again on 80 minutes, Ritchie’s free-kick taking a wicked deflection off Skuse to beat Gerken. 

Mings was inches away from putting Town in front with a header from Cresswell’s free-kick, Grabban failed to get his shot on target as the game swung from end to end, Nouble’s cross then cleared as Murphy looked to divert the ball in. 

Gerken fisted away Kermorgant’s volley as the game reached a thrilling climax, the Town ‘keeper again just doing enough to tip Grabban’s shot behind before referee D’Urso’s final blast of the whistle left honours even.

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