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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 03 Aug 13 at 16:45 PM

AFC Bournemouth 2 Charlton 1

Gary Haines reports

Ten-man Charlton suffered defeat on their Championship opener at AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.

The newly-promoted Cherries made the perfect start to their new life in the second tier thanks to two goals from Lewis Grabban

Yann Kermorgant had levelled four minutes into the second half with a magical volley and just as Charlton threatened to go for the jugular they were breached for a second time by Grabban.

The striker, who had headed his side in front on 26 minutes, rolled away from his marker and unleashed a superb shot past Hamer and into the bottom corner as the clock ticked on to 66.

An upward task became even harder as Bradley Pritchard, who not long before had a header cleared off the line, was sent off for a miss-timed challenge on Ryan Fraser seven minutes from time.

Dorian Dervite went closes to salvaging a point when he headed over late on, but the hosts held firm.

While you could probably not argue about the outcome of the points, it was a reminder of how goals can change games, Grabban firing home just as the rejuvenated visitors started to sense blood in a far-improved second-half showing.

The hosts had made the brighter start on a warm afternoon on the South Coast, utilising a high-octane pressing game when out of possession and allowing their visitors no chance to settle into a rhythm.

After Marvin Sordell had headed over for the Addicks from an early corner, newcomer Mohamed Coulibaly steered their first shot of the season narrowly wide.

As the hosts grew in confidence, the set-piece count started to stack up, and although the Londoners dealt with most with diligence, a lapse in concentration allowed Bournemouth to open the scoring.

It was former Charlton man Arter who supplied the ammunition, intelligently racing towards the corner flag – not for the first time – to collect a short corner from Pugh, and his clipped centre was perfect for Grabban who headed into the back of the net.

There was almost an instant second for the hosts as Wes Thomas sneaked in front of the white-shirted rearguard but stabbed wide from close range.

Hamer was by far the busier keeper in the opening period, saving from Arter and twice from Grabban, while Harriott fired wide on the run in a rare raid from the visitors.

Ryan Allsop was not tested in the home goal, however, a concerning statistic as the sides returned to the changing rooms at half-time.

But it was all change four minutes after the break as Charlton levelled in spectacular fashion.

Talisman Kermorgant was the man on the mark, proving once again to be a volleyer extraordinaire, almost breaking the back of the net with a sizzling swivelling strike.

It might have got even better for the visitors as Pritchard headed a great chance over as the Addicks searched for more, but they were breached for the second time as Grabban claimed a spectacular second from range.

Pritchard’s header was cleared off the line by Elliott Ward before he was banished for a challenge on lively substitute Fraser.

Dervite went close with a late header from a Green corner, but chances also went begging for the hosts amid some wide-open spaces at the end, and in the end it was the Cherries who were able to celebrate an opening day win.

The big team news for the visitors surrounded the fitness of skipper Johnnie Jackson, the midfielder missing out on the opening day clash with a calf injury.

There was a start up front for new loan striking signing Sordell while Mark Gower’s permanent spell for the club begun with him in central midfield against a Cherries side that fielded his brother-in-law – and former Charlton defender Simon Francis.

In the absence of Jackson, his central midfield partner was Andy Hughes while defender Michael Morrison took the captain’s armband. Fellow Thursday frontline signing Simon Church was on the bench.

There was a return to the Goldsands Stadium for former Cherry Rhoys Wiggins and he joined Morrison, Dervite and right-back Chris Solly at the back, ahead of keeper Hamer.

Callum Harriott and Pritchard flanked Hughes and Gower in midfield with Kermorgant and Sordell up top.

There was a place on the bench for young keeper Nick Pope as back up for Hamer and he was joined in reserve by Leon Cort, Cedric Evina, Lawrie Wilson, Dale Stephens, Danny Green and Church.

For the home team, making their Championship bow after promotion from League last term, there were debuts for Ward and Mohamed Coulibaly.

As well as right-back and skipper Francis, there was a second ex-Addick in their ranks in the shape of former Valley youth product Arter. Thomas and Grabban were up front and another new face, loan man Andrew Surman, was on the bench.

There was a fabulous atmosphere inside the ground as the action kicked off, with Charlton aiming to poop the Cherries party.

And from an early Gower corner from the left, Sordell connected but headed over, and Harriott outwitted Francis moments later, but sliced well wide from the edge of the box.

The Cherries showed for the first time when, after a long throw from centre-back Steve Cook, the ball was partially cleared and Coulibaly steered a shot wide of the right post.

Hamer watched it all the way and the Cherries enjoyed a good spell of pressure after that, forcing a clutch of corners in quick succession.

Neither proved fruitful, however, with Kermorgant a useful presence in the home box.

The Frenchman then supplied a glorious first-time volleyed pass in the direction of Harriott, with the winger, one-on-one with Francis, penalised for hand-ball.

Kermorgant’s curler flew well wide as the visitors searched for a foothold back in the game – but they were behind on 26 minutes.

Having offered Arter far too much space to work a short corner with Marc Pugh earlier in the game, the same combination reaped rewards.

Powell will be fuming that nobody picked up Arter second time round, and the midfielder had plenty of time to flight a cross for Grabban to rise and head home.

As the majority of the Goldsands Stadium rejoiced, the Addicks were faced with an early-season headache with Kermorgant booked for dissent before the game restarted.

And they might have been two down soon afterwards as Thomas got across his man to meet a low cross from Pugh and dab a shot inches wide of the near post.

Hamer saved a piledriver from Arter as the hosts continued to crank up the pressure while Gower wasted a good opportunity for Charlton, clipping a centre too high for Morrison at the far post when in space on the left of the box.

Then, after a good advantage from referee Andy D’Urso when Sordell was tripped, Harriott scampered away but could only drive wide of the right post on the run.

Grabban’s well-struck shot was saved by Hamer and the keeper was called into action again on 39 minutes, saving the striker’s curved effort after a good burst from Charlie Daniels.

Thomas’ dipping drive flew just over the bar and the whistle for the break would no doubt have been gratefully accepted for the visitors.

The second-half begun in far more fruitful fashion, however, as they drew level within four minutes thanks to a special strike from Kermorgant.

Gower picked out the raiding Wiggins on the left and his deflected cross looped up on the edge of the box, and Kermorgant swivelled sharply before executing a picture-perfect volley that seared past Allsop.

It was a fabulous strike, and worthy of winning a game, let alone levelling matters, and suddenly the Londoners were back in it.

And they ought to have claimed the lead two minutes later as a curling cross from Kermorgant picked out the onrushing Pritchard, but he held his head after nodding over from close in.

After getting the better of Morrison, Thomas’ deflected effort was pouched by Hamer with Coulibaly, injured after a full-blooded collision with Pritchard, was unable to continue as Ryan Fraser came on.

The sub’s bouncing effort from the far side flew across goal and wide soon after his arrival, and moments later he cut in from the right before seeing his stinging drive saved by Hamer.

Church entered the fray on 65 minutes for Sordell, but no sooner had he arrived than the hosts took the again.

It was another superb opening day strike too, with Grabban claiming a second of the afternoon in fine fashion.

Collecting a ball from the left, he span away from his marker and slammed a magnificent shot past Hamer and into the bottom left corner.

So the pendulum swung again and Daniels curled a free-kick just wide from the right side moments later as they searched for a third goal.

Powell sent on Green and Stephens for Hughes and Gower and Ward was well placed to clear a Pritchard header off the line, after a hesitation from keeper Allsop.

The midfielder was then sent packing seven minutes from time after catching Fraser as he surged through the middle.

Always likely to be second to the ball as the hosts broke quickly, his enthusiastic efforts to stop the Scot in his tracks left him writing on the turf and saw D’Urso quickly brandish the red card.

After Surman replaced Thomas, Pugh, unmarked, hooked a volley over from the left side of the box, and the 10-man Addicks almost levelled moments later as Dervite headed a Green corner inches over.

There were groans around the ground when the board went up for added time, announcing there would be six more, and Arter was booked in the first of them.

Harriott’s touch eluded him after a good ball from Stephens, and his eventual shot posed no problem for Allsop.

Hamer saved from late sub Brett Pitman and Surman floated an effort wide as the clock ticked down, and the Cherries held firm to start their season with a win.

Charlton: Hamer; Solly, Wiggins; Morrison, Dervite; Pritchard, Gower (Stephens 77), Hughes (Green 77), Harriott; Kermorgant, Sordell (Church 65).

Subs (not used): Pope, Wilson, Evina, Cort.

Goal: Kermorgant 49

Booked: Kermorgant 26 (dissent)

Sent off: Pritchard 83 (foul on Fraser)

Bournemouth: Allsop; Francis, Daniels, Cook, Ward; Coulibaly (Fraser 55), MacDonald, Arter, Pugh; Grabban (Pitman 90), Thomas (Surman 85).

Subs (not used): Flahavan, Elphick, Harte, O’Kane.

Goals: Grabban 26, 66

Booked: Arter 90 (dissent)

Referee: A D’Urso

Att: 10,108 (1,421 Charlton)

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