Draw enough to take the Cher­ries to ta­ble sum­mit

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Alex Crook

JAMES Vaughan may have struck Hud­der­s­field’s equaliser at Dean Court but Ter­ri­ers manager Chris Pow­ell was quick to point out his in­put at the other end was equally im­por­tant.

Vaughan can­celled out Yann Ker­mor­gant’s early opener to slow down Bournemouth’s charge to­ward the Pre­mier League and earn Hud­der­s­field a point.

But he also pro­duced a vi­tal in­ter­cep­tion on his own goal-line late on, deny­ing Cher­ries cen­tre-back Steve Cook a late win­ner and pre­serv­ing that point.

“James’ clear­ance off the line was as im­por­tant as the goal,” said Pow­ell. “That is what you need some­times be­cause you don’t al­ways rely on the de­fend­ers to de­fend and at­tack­ers to score.

“Some­times you will have to dis­play dif­fer­ent qual­i­ties and he did that. He is on a good scor­ing run and is show­ing some real will­ing to work hard and lead the line.

“It was re­ally pleas­ing to see. It was a dif­fi­cult propo­si­tion com­ing up against team fly­ing high but it was a lot of char­ac­ter dis­played.

“We needed that con­cen­tra­tion and dis­ci­pline and in the end we got our just re­wards.

“We knew we would come un­der pres­sure es­pe­cially af­ter we equalised. My play­ers put their bod­ies on the line at times and the de­fend­ers ex­e­cuted the game plan. The whole team did.”

But it was not just Vaughan who kept the hosts out, with Pow­ell re­serv­ing praise for goal­keeper Alex Smithies.

“He was very good,” added the for­mer Charl­ton boss.“He is a good young goal­keeper. He was very pos­i­tive com­ing off his line but also when he was called upon he made three or four great saves.”

Bournemouth knew a draw would be enough to take them back to the Cham­pi­onship sum­mit but came storm­ing out of the blocks.

Cook and Ker­mor­gant both headed over be­fore Hud­der­s­field goal­keeper Smithies saved ac­ro­bat­i­cally from Matt Ritchie.

Ritchie did not give the Ter­ri­ers de­fence a mo­ment’s peace in a first half dom­i­nated by the home side and played a part in the goal which opened the scor­ing on 16 min­utes.

Ritchie played in a cor­ner from

the right and Harry Arter’s clever step-over al­lowed Ker­mor­gant to lash home from 18 yards.

Apart from a smart save from Tommy Smith, Bournemouth goal­keeper Ar­tur Boruc had been a vir­tual spec­ta­tor un­til pick­ing the ball out of his net.

Jack Robin­son’s scuffed shot from the edge of the penalty area was go­ing harm­lessly wide un­til Vaughan di­verted it past a stranded Boruc with a poacher’s fin­ish.

Bournemouth piled on the pres­sure in the closing stages as Smithies took cen­tre stage.

Ker­mor­gant thought he had dou- bled his tally mo­ments af­ter Vaughan’s lev­eller only for Smithies to save his low shot with his legs.

Arter rounded off a fine pass­ing move with a long-range curler which Smithies some­how man­aged to turn be­hind for a cor­ner.

Cook ad­mit­ted he should have snatched the points with a header from a Ritchie cor­ner but Vaughan was on hand to res­cue Pow­ell’s men.

Cher­ries manager Ed­die Howe, whose side also threw away a lead against Derby on Tues­day, said:“We lacked a bit of a spark and were a bit neg­a­tive with our pass­ing.

“You can look at it in two ways; you can ei­ther say it is two points dropped or it could be an im­por­tant point at the end of the sea­son.

“If we had won that game three or four nil, which we should have done, ev­ery­one would be say­ing what a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance it was.

“We weren’t one of the favourites at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son and have never said we are go­ing to achieve any­thing.

“We are just go­ing about our busi­ness so I don’t see why the pres­sure should be build­ing.

“Hud­der­s­field came here to de­struct and de­fend and that is hard to play against.”

PIC­TURE: De­nis Mur­phy/ TGSPHOTO

ALL-AC­TION: James Vaughan cel­e­brates netting the eqaliser be­fore a goal-line clear­ance pre­served the point

OPENER: Yann Ker­mor­gant puts Bournemouth ahead, fir­ing past Alex Smithies

YANN THE MAN: Ker­mor­gant cel­e­brates the open­ing goal


IES Hudde


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