Sat 29 Mar 14
at 17:00 PM
The Report: Blues 2 Bournemouth 4
Blues were victims of their own misfortune as poor defending saw them comfortably beaten 4-2 by an impressive Bournemouth side at St. Andrew’s.
The Cherries raced into 3-0 lead before half-time and then added a further goal to their tally after 52 minutes. But Blues didn’t give up and a second-half brace from substitute Federico Macheda at least gave the scoreline some semblance of respectability
Lee Clark elected to go with the same starting XI that began the game against Millwall earlier in the week, although Paul Caddis was moved into a holding midfield position and Jonathan Spector to right-back.
The game kicked-off with St. Andrew’s bathed in glorious sunshine and Blues on the front foot. Jordon Ibe in particular was looking threatening on the left flank and causing his marker problems.
Blues came desperately close to taking the lead after just four minutes, but Caddis fired his long-range free-kick just inches wide of the goal, with Cherries keeper Lee Camp well-beaten.
Then on 11 minutes Blues won a corner. It was drilled low into the area where it deflected off Callum Reilly and onto the post before being cleared away from the danger zone.
Against the run of play Bournemouth took the lead two minutes later. It happened while Blues were temporarily down to ten men with Ibe was on the side of the pitch swapping his boots. Lewis Grabban crossed the ball to the far post where it found Matt Ritchie and he made no mistake as he fired it low across the front of Darren Randolph and into the back of the net.
The provider turned goalscorer after just 20 minutes when he fired the visitors into a 2-0 lead. Sloppy defending allowed Marc Pugh’s cross to bounce across the front of the Blues six-yard box and into the path of Grabban who had the simple task of tapping the ball home from four yards out.
Disaster struck for Blues after 28 minutes when they went three behind from the penalty spot. Yann Kermogant’s through ball found Grabban as he burst into the Blues area. He appeared to overrun the ball, but he still went down as he reached the on-rushing Randolph and the referee’s assistant flagged for the spot-kick. Grabban dusted himself down before taking the kick himself and blasting it into the top corner.
After 34 minutes, Clark made his first change of the afternoon when he sent on striker Macheda in place of Andy Shinnie.
Bournemouth continued to press and Grabban saw his left-footed volley sail just a few yards over the bar.
Right on the stroke of half-time Blues were a whisker away from pulling a goal back when Paul Robinson’s powerful goal-bound header was tipped over for a corner.
With 52 minutes on the clock Bournemouth found themselves four goals to the good through Ian Harte. The ball fell to the veteran full-back on the edge of the box and he curled a superb left-footed shot into the top corner
Macheda gave the St. Andrew’s faithful small reason to cheer when he pulled a goal back for Blues after 57 minutes. Reilly’s cross was headed on by Ibe and it dropped in front of Macheda who slid it home from close-range.
On 73 minutes Blues struck again through Macheda. Randolph launched the ball forward and it bobbled around before finding the Man Utd loanee, who hit a sweet low shot past a diving Camp from 25 yards.
Blues were really ramping up the pressure now and Jonathan Spector’s cross found the head of Novak but he wasn’t able to control the direction of it and it flew over the bar.
At the other end Randolph was forced to produce a brilliant save to deny Grabban, with the Bournemouth striker through on goal.
Ibe then went on a mazy run before unleashing a fierce low shot that went just the wrong side of the upright.
With six minutes of normal time remaining Randolph had be alert to push away Harry Arter’s powerful long-range shot.
Blues huffed and puffed in the remaining minutes but weren’t able to claim a third goal.