Press conference: Nigel Pearson and Zak Vyner preview AFC Bournemouth
Posted: Monday, March 1st 2021
Wednesday, March 3rd 2021
City conceded late in both halves as they were beaten 2-1 at home to AFC Bournemouth.
Tyreeq Bakinson’s looping header got Nigel Pearson’s home managerial debut off to a great start but a Dan Bentley own goal, after he failed to hold on to a Junior Stanislas effort, saw the Cherries level at half-time at Ashton Gate.
Despite an entertaining first half, chances were a premium after the break though Cameron Carter-Vickers would get the vital winning touch, however little he knew about it, following an 88th-minute corner to ensure a Bournemouth win.
City had gone toe to toe with Jonathan Woodgate’s men but unfortunately there was little time to find a way back, meaning their search for a first win at home since January continues.
Manager Pearson made one change to his team as Steven Sessegnon started at left-wing back ahead of Ryley Towler. That meant it was the same starting XI which began the second half in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Swansea City. On the bench, midfielder Henri Lansbury returned to the matchday squad.
Lloyd Kelly started for Bournemouth on his first return to Ashton Gate since leaving the Robins in the summer of 2019 and twice he had opportunities to score against his former club. The first saw the youngster blaze over the bar, before he forced Bentley into a low save.
Bentley was called into action again as the visitors enjoyed more of the ball in the early stages, this time the shotstoopper parried a strong strike from Jefferson Lerma, while Dominic Solanke was flagged offside as he battled with Adrian Mariappa on the follow-up.
But City were soon a force in this game and looked notably threatening from corners. They went closest when Famara Diédhiou saw a shot deflected wide, before a double stop from Asmir Begovic. First Bakinson forced Begovic into a low save and Diédhiou followed up but saw his effort blocked by the keeper who recovered at his near post.
Palmer was next to go close with a curling effort just a whisker away from the post but as their pressure grew, City finally broke the deadlock.
Palmer was involved again and did well to flash a cross low into the box but it evaded everyone until Jack Hunt arrived on the far side. His cross back into the penalty area was met by the looping header of Bakinson and the ball seemed to glide into the top right corner in slow motion.
It was a fine reward for their performance to this point but a mistake from Bentley just before half-time would undo those efforts.
The shotstopper did well to tip away a strong strike from Arnaut Danjuma but the goal would come from the resulting corner. City looked to heave dealt with the initial corner which was forced back out wide to Stanislas and the forward’s whipped effort was parried into his own net by the City keeper.
Hunt had taken a knock in the build up and would only last five minutes of the second half as Lansbury came on to replace him. It meant a shuffle in positions with Vyner dropping in to the right side of defence as Lansbury aided the midfield.
It was a more even encounter after the interval as the chances dried up at both ends, though Tomas Kalas tried his luck with a volley which sailed over, after a high cross which Begovic had to claim from under his own crossbar.
It felt as though City would have enough in them to push for a winner in this game but for a late Cherries goal which would seal the points for the South Coast side. It came from a corner inside the 88th minute, as Philip Billing lost Tyreeq Bakinson and headed the ball at the far post, which took a touch off Carter-Vickers’ back on its way past Bentley.
The loss leaves City 12th in the Championship, ahead of Saturday’s encounter against QPR (3pm KO), live on Robins TV.