GREAT GRAB­BAN NEVER IN DOUBT

Two-goal re­turn is so timely

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Phil Jack­son To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

ED­DIE HOWE says he al­ways be­lieved in Lewis Grab­ban af­ter the striker ended a 14-game goal­less run with two strikes to give Bournemouth a win­ning start to Cham­pi­onship life.

The striker ended his drought with a first-half header, be­fore Yann Ker­mor­gant ac­ro­bat­i­cally equalised for Charlton min­utes af­ter the break.

But Grab­ban smashed a stun­ning long-range strike past Ben Hamer to make it 2-1 and Bradley Pritchard’s red card ended Charlton’s hopes of mount­ing a come­back.

The Cher­ries’ ex­cel­lent start to their first cam­paign in the sec­ond tier for 23 years leaves them third in the early ta­ble.

Though Howe says he was blown away by the ef­forts of his play­ers, he ad­mit­ted they will need to repli­cate their ex­cel­lent per­for­mance ev­ery week in a com­pet­i­tive league.

“We were im­mense and the play­ers gave ev­ery­thing for the cause once again,” said Howe.

“A lot of peo­ple get bogged down with stats, but we have al­ways be­lieved in Lewis.

“His work rate never drops. His con­fi­dence may have taken a knock last sea­son but they were two very spe­cial strikes to­day.

“We are de­lighted for him and he deserves it for his at­ti­tude

“We will have to be ruth­less in front of goal and wa­ter-tight at the back and show the ef­fort we did to­day in ev­ery game in this league.

“The only dis­ap­point­ing thing is con­ced­ing, but the pos­i­tive is we have re­sponded re­ally well and ended up win­ning.

“Charlton fin­ished very well last sea­son so we were un­der no il­lu­sions, but surely that win will give us great con­fi­dence that we can com­pete in this league.

“A win on the first day gives you that psy­cho­log­i­cal edge.”

Bournemouth took the lead when Marc Pugh’s quickly-taken cor­ner caught Charlton off guard in the 26th minute and Grab­ban met Harry Arter’s cross with a firm header.

The Cher­ries could have dou­bled their lead two min­utes later through Wes Thomas, who met an­other Pugh cross, but his ef­fort just missed Hamer’s left post.

The Robins hit back im­me­di­ately af­ter the in­ter­val, when a Rhoys Wig­gins cross de­flected off Shaun Mac­Don­ald, and Ker­mor­gant volleyed the re­bound past Ryan All­sop.

But, af­ter an hour, Grab­ban put the Cher­ries back in front with a pow­er­ful first-time ef­fort from 30 yards that flew past Hamer and into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Pritchard had an ef­fort cleared ex­pertly off the line by El­liott Ward af­ter All­sop had mis­judged his lofted cross.

But Pritchard was sent off with seven min­utes to go for a wild chal­lenge on the tricky Ryan Fraser and the Cher­ries eased to vic­tory.

Ath­letic man­ager Chris Pow­ell could only ad­mire Grab­ban’s win­ning goal but rued his team’s fail­ure to main­tain their mo­men­tum af­ter the equaliser.

“We had the mo­men­tum then and re­ally put our foot on the gas to put them un­der a lot of pres­sure,” said Pow­ell.

“We were right back in it but for an out­stand­ing win­ning goal. Should we have shut it down? We could have.

“We kept go­ing and had one cleared off the line but it was not to be. We started off quite slug­gish, but there were seeds and signs of what I want from them.

“I haven’t seen the send­ing off again, but my first reaction is that it didn’t look good.

“The ref­eree made his de­ci­sion and there’s no prob­lem, but it’s a shame re­ally when he was start­ing to get into the game.

“We dust our­selves down and go again.

“We have got the cup game next, which I can look to make a cou­ple of changes for.”

PIC­TURES: Denis MUR­PHY/TGSPHOTO

BACK ON SONG: Lewis Grab­ban is con­grat­u­lated by Bournemouth team mates

ALL SQUARE: Yann Ker­mor­gant equalises for Charlton

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