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Rams overcome Cherries as referee does an Attwell

30th September 2014

Derby County 2                                                    AFC Bournemouth 0

Will Hughes 81                                                    Sent Off – Lee Camp 67

Chris Martin 90

 Derby overcame a well organised Bournemouth team to climb up to 4th in the Championship at the iPro tonight only one point from the top of the table.

This game resembled last season’s match against the Cherries, a Tuesday night in February that saw the comfortable in possession visitors look like they were going to escape Derby with a point until Chris Martin lashed in a free kick with a few minutes to go to win the game.

The symmetry was almost complete in this game when Martin again stepped up to take a free kick from an very similar position in the second half only to see the ball hit the post with substitute keeper Darryl Flahavan beaten.

Why Flahavan was even on the pitch to admire Martin’s free kick is a mystery to all present apart from (presumably) referee Scott Mathieson who decided not to award a goal when the ball trundled into the Bournemouth net following an almighty collision between Jamie Ward, Lee Camp & a scrambling Cherries defender.

Our man in the middle instead decided to send off Camp for…….well; I’m really not sure whether it was deliberate handball or denying a goal scoring opportunity. Considering that the ball ended up in the net the denying a GSO seems daft, no matter the joy to be had in seeing Lee Camp’s sulky mug being red carded.

Bemusement was further increased by the fact that I, and many others around me, distinctly remember the ref pointing to the centre circle as the ball nestled in the net. So much for referees not changing their minds…..

In the five minutes of arm waving and head scratching that ensued on the pitch after the players realised that, contrary to overwhelming evidence, we had not in fact scored, I remembered Stuart Attwell….and that is never a good thing.

I was surprised to see Eddie Howe hook Calum Wilson to bring on Flahavan as Wilson would have continued to be a nuisance up front even with ten men; but the Cherries seemed to settle for trying to see out the last 20 minutes with everyone behind the ball, surrendering possession to us.

We should be getting quite used to this tactic from opponents, even with 11 men on the pitch, & there was a little frustration from some of those around me as we Arse-lona’d the ball around the penalty area in precise patterns of short passing looking for an opportunity

“Shoot…..just bloody shoot! “

Being one plaintive cry to be heard, but patience told as Will Hughes, who had an excellent game, picked up the ball in a packed penalty area and created enough space for a shot that found the net.

26,000 sighs of relief and even though Bournemouth changed tack and threw players forward to try and save a point we coped without (too many) worries wrapping things up nicely when Johnny Russell added to his growing list of goal assists by picking up a long ball on the left and racing on to clip the ball across the six yard line for Chris Martin to finish.

Craig Bryson was in full on perpetual motion mode buzzing about for the whole 90 minutes and some of Jamie Ward’s best work was to be found near our penalty area, particularly when he chased a break back and made the crucial tackle. Richard Keogh & Ryan Shotton had the odd stressful moment at the back but I can see the Stoke loanee playing an increasingly important role for us as the season progresses.

Cyrus Christie continues to look good on the right; sometimes our most potent attacking threat, his first goal cannot be far away, and it was really good to see Jeff Hendrick back too.

One year on from Derby County 4 Ipswich Town 4 the season is coming on very nicely….