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Club News

AFC Bournemouth 1 PNE 1

25 August 2012

Akpo Sodje scored his first goal for the Club as North End came from behind to take a point at Bournemouth.

The big forward powered home a header late in the game to convert Bailey Wright's cross after Tommy Elphick had opened the scoring for the ten men Cherries, who had Harry Arter sent off in the first half.

For North End’s second away trip in four days manager Graham Westley freshened the squad with David Amoo given his first start in an attacking role alongside Chris Beardsley and Bailey Wright getting a start at right back, Keith Keane moving into midfield alongside John Mousinho.

The opening ten minutes was anything but a pre-cursor to what followed, as it was a cagey start from both teams. However, North End sparked to life as some slick passing caused problems for the home side and David Amoo won the first corner of the game. Nicky Wroe fired over the ball and eventually it fell to Scott Laird who spun and shot over the cross bar.

The first chance at the other end came on 12 minutes as Cherries forward Wes Thomas found space in a right hand channel to collect Marc Pugh’s through ball. He was in on goal and fored low but saw his shot well saved by Stuckmann – not the last time on the afternoon the big pink clad German would deny the home side’s No.9.

On the 20 minute mark Scott Laird was livid in the North End box, as whilst he awaited a corner for the home side Paul Huntington was seemingly elbowed but neither official saw anything, leaving the North End full back seething.

Thomas ran clean through on goal at the midway point in the half after a slip in the right hand channel by North End and the forward was able to go one-on-one with Stuckmann, but the big keeper kept himself big and got down low to his left to make a fine save.

The heavens then opened at the Goldsands Stadium and with it a flurry of important action. Lee Holmes was taken out very late by Harry Arter in the left hand corner. After had already been booked just seven minutes earlier and referee Carl Berry had no choice but to give a second yellow card and send the Bournemouth midfielder off.

Holmes wasn’t to stay on the pitch much longer, however, as he suffered a terrible accidental injury ten minutes before the interval, colliding with a advertising board and cutting his knee open quite significantly, needing to be stretchered from the game – Jeffrey Monakana replacing him.

The home side took the lead on 53 minutes. Bailey Wright brought down Pugh on the right and was booked for his troubles. The former Burnley man dusted himself down and crossed the free kick into the box and Tommy Elphick rose highest to flick a near post header past Stuckmann into the top right hand corner.

Sodje and Buchanan were brought into the action with a little less than half an hour still left in the game as North End looked to get back level and the new left side combination of Buchanan at full back and Laird on the wing started to probe the home side.

It was a corner from Laird, an inswinger on the right that almost brought an equaliser on 73 minutes as his ball was met powerfully by Bailey Wright, but striker Wes Thomas made a brilliant block on the line to deny the Aussie.

And when the equaliser came, it was created by Wright. He fired a perfectly weighted cross from the right hand side and Akpo Sodje rose highest to send a towering header past Jalal into the top left hand corner.

Wright was a major attacking threat and on 83 minutes was inches away from giving the home side the lead, this time with a shot from the penalty spot after Laird's corner had been headed down by Chris Beardsley for the No.26 to have the effort.

Five minutes were added on as the heavens opened again and Scott Laird was brough down on the left hand side of the box in the second minute of the time allowed. Wroe delivered and Wright headed back across goal, but no one could convert.

: Stuckmann, Wright, Laird, Cansdell-Sherriff, Huntington, Wroe, Keane, King (Sodje, 64), Amoo (Buchanan, 64), Beardsley, Holmes (Monakana, 38). Subs not used: Simonsen, Robertson, Procter, Welsh.PNE Line-Up

: Jalal, Daniels, Francis, Thomas, Partington (Cook, 85), Addison, O’Kane (MacDonald, 58), Elphick, Pugh, Arter, Barnard (Grabban, 63). Subs not used: Flahavan, Tubbs, McDermott, Zubar.Bournemouth Line-Up

: Mr Carl BerryReferee

: 5,329 (348 away fans)Attendance

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