Blackburn Rovers have become the first side to leave Bournemouth with a clean sheet after a frustrating afternoon for the Cherries ended in a goal-less draw at the Goldsands. Eddie Howe will be ruing missed chances as his side failed to capitalise on a dominating second half display.
Kick off was delayed by half an hour due to a nearby crash. After the delay the first half began with lively play from both sides with two early corners for the Cherries and Blackburn giving the home defence something to think about on one or two occasions. It was Rovers who took control early on looking more comfortable with the ball then Eddie Howe’s men who failed to get the ball moving forward when given the chance.
Bournemouth came back into the game after a lengthy Blackburn spell through Marc Pugh who had plenty of joy running at the Rovers right back Henley who provided little resistance. However a decent final ball constantly eluded Pugh who failed to create any clear chances for the Cherries.
It was the home side who had the better chances in the first half with Blackburn fans not having too much to cheer about apart from their up-coming tie with Liverpool. “We’re going to Wembley” and “bring on the Scoucers” were chants frequently heard from the travelling faithful.
The first half became ever more frustrating for both managers as they watched their sides waste countless corners. Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson twice broke down the right flank only to be judged to have fouled Rovers’ full-back Markus Olsson on both occasions, the latter of which was a rather contentious decision from the assistant referee.
The first half came to a close in a fashion which summed up the preceding 45 minutes as a tame header by Rovers’ Marshall was easily held by on loan keeper Artur Boruc.
The second half was a much livelier affair with Bournemouth dominating for the most part as Rovers chances were few and far between. The Cherries wound up the pressure as the half drew on and they looked much more threatening after the introduction of Matt Ritche in the 56th minute who made an instant impact by whipping the ball into the Rovers box but to no avail.
After an extensive spell of possession the Cherries dominance culminated in a looping header from Yann Kermorgant striking the bar in the 83rd minute after a decent ball in from Simon Francis. This turned out to be the best chance for the Cherries as they failed to find the crucial ball time and time again as the match moved into five minutes of extra time.
Gary Bowyer’s side had the last say as they won a corner late on and then following a slip from Bournemouth’s Francis, Jordan Rhodes’ cross found Rudy Gestede whose header just fired wide.
It was Gestede who stood out in the blue and white of Blackburn. He was a threat in the air every time Rovers moved forward and was extremely effective when forced to defend at set pieces.
The Cherries are now without a in five games in the Sky Bet Championship and will look to Tuesday’s game at home to Wolves to return to winning ways.
Rover’s boss, Gary Bowyer, said it was a good point and said his side were “tactically spot on and well organised” to have come away from the Goldsands with a clean sheet.
He was also full of praise for his opposite number Eddie Howe saying that he has managed to get Bournemouth playing “unbelievable football” and that Bournemouth are never given enough credit for the way they play.
Bournemouth Assistant Manager, called todays result “frustrating” for the club, players and fans but pointed to the fact that they have kept their first clean sheet for a while and club captain Tommy Elphick, told the press that it is a good point to add to their total “moving towards where we want to be.”