Sat 25 Oct 14
at 17:00 PM
The Report: Blues 0 Bournemouth 8
It was dark day for Blues as they were crushed by a ruthless Bournemouth side at St. Andrew’s on Saturday afternoon.
Any hopes of matching the Cherries were dealt a major blow just seven minutes into the contest when they were reduced to ten men as David Edgar was shown a harsh red card.
There were four changes to the Blues starting XI, with Darren Randolph, Grant Hall, Lee Novak and Wes Thomas back in.
Blues made the worst possible start as they fell a goal behind in the third minute. Bournemouth launched a speculative long ball forward, but an off-balance Paul Robinson was only able to head it into the path of Brett Pitman who comfortably evaded Edgar and ran through before sliding the ball past a despairing Randolph.
Things went from bad to worse just four minutes later when referee Keith Hill adjudged that Edgar had pulled back Callum Wilson on the edge of his own box. The decision drew surprise and fury from the Blues fans in equal measure, as it looked like Wilson had already lost control of the ball and Randolph would have reached it first.
With Blues a man short and there being a need to shore things up, joint caretaker managers Richard Beale and Malcolm Crosby made the brave decision to bring David Davis on in place of Thomas after just nine minutes.
Despite being shell-shocked, Blues continued to seek a way back into the contest and Hall headed just over from David Cotterill’s corner.
Mid-way through the half, Randolph denied Callum Wilson, and from the subsequent rebound Pitman shot wide.
Blues’ next chance fell to Clayton Donaldson who tried his luck with an acrobatic free-kick from inside the area, but was several yards off target.
However, it was the Cherries that scored a second goal after 35 minutes in controversial fashion. Randolph failed to get any distance on his clearance and Matt Ritchie passed it into Callum Wilson, who was clearly in an offside position as he fired the ball home. Despite the valid protestations of the Blues players the referee paid no heed and awarded the goal.
It was as a good as game over after 40 when Bournemouth made it 3-0 when Ritchie cleverly chipped the ball over an on-rushing Randolph from 18 yards.
Blues then received a let-off in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the half as Wilson crashed an effort off the post.
There was a second change for Blues at the break as Callum Reilly replaced Stephen Gleeson in midfield.
Just minutes into the second-half Randolph was forced to produce a low diving save to deny Wilson from close-range.
Blues were given a glimmer of hope after 52 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Donaldson was hauled down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. But such is Blues’ luck at the moment that Paul Caddis saw his kick brilliantly saved by keeper Artur Boruc low down to his left.
With just over an hour played Blues fell further behind to a goal from Marc Pugh. Simon Francis crossed a deep ball in from the right and Pugh headed it past Randolph and into the back of the net.
Blues were in disarray now and on 69 minutes the same player headed home his second goal of the game to make it 5-0.
Another strange refereeing decision saw Blues concede a sixth goal after 83 minutes. Cotterill and Simon Francis were shoulder to shoulder in the box and the Bournemouth man appeared to slip, but the referee pointed to the spot and Tokelo Rantie slammed the resultant spot kick home for Bournemouth’s six.
The seventh arrived on 84 minutes when Pugh scored his hat-trick goal to make it 7-0 and Blues’ embarrassment was complete as Rantie diverted Ritchie’s low cross into the net to make it eight.
Blues must now regroup ahead of next Saturday’s local derby trip to Wolves, hopefully with a new permanent manager at the helm.