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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 14 Dec 13 at 17:30 PM

The Report: Bournemouth 0 Blues 2

Blues chalked up their third successive win on the road with a resolute defensive performance at the Goldsands Stadium.

Two examples of ruthless finishing in the first-half left the south coast hosts shell-shocked as goals from Andy Shinnie and Nikola Zigic gave Blues the lead at the break.

However, this victory was largely down to an impressive defensive shift as Lee Clark's side soaked up everything that Bournemouth threw at them.

As well as continuing a fine away record, Blues are now unbeaten in six and have lost just once in their last nine games in all competitions. 

The Cherries set out their attacking stall early on and it was a frantic start to proceedings. In amongst that frenzy came Shinnie's first league goal to silence the home crowd and delight the 1,388 travelling Bluenoses. 

Chris Burke and Olly Lee linked up well down the right for the latter to put the ball on a plate for Shinnie to fire beyond a hapless Lee Camp from eight yards.

Like a wounded animal, Bournemouth came storming back out the traps but try as they might, they just couldn't find their way past an in-form Darren Randolph and the sturdy backline of Paul Caddis, Dan Burn, Kyle Bartley and Paul Robinson in front of him.

As a series of corners bombarded the Blues box, one of Randolph's many highlights came in the 22nd minute as Simon Francis' right-wing cross picked out the head of Lewis Grabban but the Republic of Ireland international some how got himself across to claw away the effort at his far post.

Bournemouth's non-stop pressure continued but, in the 34th minute, Blues caught their opponents on the break with a slick attacking move. Lee stole the ball in the middle, found Jesse Lingard whose inch-perfect throughball fell into the path of Zigic to coolly finish.

Grabban missed a glorious opportunity to peg one bag for Bournemouth just before the break when he raced through for a one-on-one only to poke his effort across the face of goal and wide.

Randolph had to remain equally alert in the second-half as Bournemouth refused to relent. The 'keeper denied Marc Pugh, after his had brought down Francis' cross from the right, from six yards in the 55th minute and gathered a low Matt Ritchie free-kick four minutes later.

Ventures into the Bournemouth half were rare for Blues as they continued to soak up move after move. The luckless Grabban lofted an effort from a narrow angle over Randolph and wide in the 82nd minute.

However, Randolph saved his best until last with a sensational double save right at the death. With seconds remaining, the former Motherwell man got down well to keep out Eunan O'Kane's low drive and then was quick to palm away Grabban's follow up header.

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