Cher­ries pick off For­est in style

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

AM­BI­TIOUS boss Ed­die Howe be­lieves ‘any­thing is pos­si­ble’ for im­prov­ing Bournemouth as they aim to build on a record-break­ing Cham­pi­onship sea­son.

The Cher­ries signed off their home cam­paign in em­phatic style by run­ning riot at Dean Court.

Im­pres­sive strike duo Yann Ker­mor­gant and Lewis Grab­ban net­ted two goals apiece as Bournemouth did enough to con­firm the high­est league plac­ing in their his­tory with a game to spare.

Howe’s emerg­ing out­fit have won many ad­mir­ers for their at­trac­tive brand of foot­ball and they are now likely to be viewed as gen­uine play­off con­tenders next term.

Asked what Bournemouth could achieve Howe said: “Who knows? Any­thing is pos­si­ble. That is a motto we have used in re­cent months.

“My brief is to make sure we come back bet­ter than we were this time last sea­son and at this mo­ment. My brief is also to push the play­ers on to new tar­gets and goals be­cause the mo­ment you stand still in this game, you go back­wards.”

Howe was re­cently voted Bournemouth’s great­est man­ager and he added:“I don’t think we are go­ing to put a la­bel on where we want to get to. It is a case of im­prov­ing and mak­ing sure we come back bet­ter pre­pared and mak­ing sure the lads look af­ter them­selves in pre-sea­son and come back fir­ing again.

“Go­ing into the sea­son, people didn’t ex­pect a lot from us but, now, people are talk­ing about us.”

While Bournemouth had been ruled out of the play-off race ahead of this match, For­est saw their chances dis­ap­pear as a re­sult of their chas­ten­ing de­feat.

And care­taker man­ager Gary Brazil said: “Bournemouth were a lot bet­ter than us and de­served the win.

“I have no com­plaints at all. We were well or­gan­ised and they did not re­ally hurt us (in the early stages) but to con­cede just be­fore half-time was re­ally dis­ap­point­ing.

“Bournemouth were a well or­gan­ised, set­tled team.There is a phi­los­o­phy here that you have to ad­mire. We wanted to take it to the fi­nal game but it is our fault that we didn’t.”

Fol­low­ing back-to-back vic­to­ries over Easter, For­est needed a win to re­al­is­ti­cally stay in the race hav­ing de­fi­antly fought back since the Billy Davies’ exit.

How­ever, the vis­i­tors rarely looked likely to re­turn from the south coast with their de­sired out­come as Bournemouth were slick and ac­com­plished.

Dom­i­nat­ing pos­ses­sion from the out­set and only kept at bay by For­est’s dogged or­gan­i­sa­tion in the early stages, Bournemouth per­sis­tently knocked on the door.

Af­ter a num­ber of near misses, Bournemouth’s neat build-up play even­tu­ally got its re­ward when right-back Si­mon Fran­cis de­liv­ered a lovely cross for Ker­mor­gant to head home.

The in­ter­val failed to in­ter­rupt the Cher­ries’ tempo and they wasted no time in doubling their lead through top­scorer Grab­ban.

Greg Hal­ford leapt high­est to give For­est hope but that proved short-lived. Grab­ban con­verted from the penalty spot af­ter sGon­zalo Jara tripped Marc Pugh be­fore Ke­mor­gant com­pleted the win with a su­perb fin­ish.

STEPHEN McLAUGH­LIN

SPOT ON: Lewis Grab­ban bags his sec­ond and Bournemouth’s third from the penalty spot

PIC­TURES: De­nis Mur­phy/TGSPHOTO

scores OPENER: Yann Ker­mor­gant

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