Steve Evans certainly got the better of Eddie Howe during yesterday’s encounter at Dean Court.  The Rotherham manager pinpointed the Cherries’ strengths and his side defended bravely against them.  This meant that the first half was extremely forgettable, as neither side tested the opposing keeper.  However, as the second half continued, it looked as if Bournemouth would run out winners.  Callum Wilson had 2 clear chances to put Bournemouth in front, losing his footing for one and hitting the post for the other. Eventually, Steve Cook made the breakthrough, heading in from a pinpoint Matt Ritchie cross. While the Millers did not have large spells of pressure, they did threaten from a teasing cross towards Alex Revell, which could not be converted, but a defensive mistake did let Rotherham back into the game.  Brett Pitman missed his header and Charlie Daniels lost Jordan Bowery for the ex Aston Villa man to head home. Andrew Surman forced a save late on but it was not enough, as Rotherham held on to a good point away from home.

AFC Bournemouth

Lee Camp – Didn’t have anything to do until the goal, which he could have done better with. Distribution was fine. 5.5
Simon Francis – Rotherham flooded the wings with defenders so it was difficult for him to get forward as he normally does. Defensively sound. 6.0
Steve Cook – Solid at the back and headed in well. Bournemouth’s best player. 7.5
Tommy Elphick – Defensively sound and dealt with Luciano Becchio very well. 7.0
Charlie Daniels – Does not look the player he used to. Defensively lacking and not as much of a threat going forward. Lost his man for Rotherham’s goal. Will be interesting to see if Ian Harte starts in his place on Tuesday. 5.0
Matt Ritchie – Good cross for the goal but made wrong decisions at crucial times. Too many shots at goal when Wilson could have been played in. With strong competition for places on wings, he may well not start on Tuesday. 5.5
Eunan O’Kane – Started the game very well, but did not dominate the midfield. His place in the side looks to be one of the few that is safe. 6.5
Harry Arter – His pace to pick out Matt Ritchie in the build up to the goal was one of the few pieces of quality in the game. However, he gave the ball away too easily at times and faded by the end. Expect Surman to start in his place on Tuesday. 6.0
Marc Pugh – Can slow the game down at times when it needs to be sped up. Stanislas will almost definitely start in his place against Leeds. 5.0
Callum Wilson – Caused problems for Rotherham’s defence but couldn’t convert two chances. Not his day in front of goal. 6.5
Yann Kermorgant – He is getting better, but still hasn’t hit the heights of last season. Did well to slip in Wilson for his first chance but was playing far too deep in order to pick up the ball. 6.0

Substitutions

Brett Pitman – Awful. Added nothing going forward and completely misjudged his header at the back for Rotherham’s goal. Shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team. 3.5
Ryan Fraser – Added pace at the end but was not enough when searching for a winner or to close the game. Booked for diving which is never good to see 5.5
Andrew Surman – Almost won it with a fierce shot at the end but was saved. Not much time to make any other impact. 6.0

 

Rotherham United

Adam Collin – Didn’t have much to do. Saved well from Surman at the end. 6.0
Joe Skarz – Matt Ritchie got in on his side in the build up to Bournemouth’s goal. Solid aside from that. 6.0
Craig Morgan – Struggled with Wilson’s pace at times but good in the air and dealt well with Kermorgant. 6.5
Karl Arnason – Similar to Morgan. Lost Wilson when he went one-on-one but got away with it when he hit the post. 6.5
Frazer Richardson – Lost Cook for the Bournemouth goal. Dealt well with Pugh and Daniels 6.0
Jonson Clarke-Harris – Strong and powerful but could not get the better of Francis. A frustrating day for him. 5.5
Richard Smallwood – Loses Ritchie for the Bournemouth goal. Did ok to stop any forward passes from midfield. 5.5
Paul Green – Added to the defensive effort but did nothing going forward. A good performance for the side. 6.0
Ben Pringle – Very disappointing. I heard good things and saw him at the play-off final but he couldn’t add anything going forward. Did not have the pace to hurt our full-backs. 4.5
Luciano Becchio – Didn’t look match fit. Caused no problems for the Bournemouth defence. 4.5
Paul Taylor – Rotherham’s best player. Worked tirelessly and got the assist for their goal. 7.5

Substitutions

Alex Revell – Headed well and was more of a threat than Becchio. Provided a much needed out ball. 7.0
Jordan Bowery – Got the goal and caused a few problems with his pace. Better than Clarke-Harris. 7.0
Matt Derbyshire – No real impact on the game. 6.0

 

Man of the Match

Steve Cook very difficult to choose between Paul Taylor and Steve Cook, but the former Brighton man dealt with all balls in the air and made some great takles throughout the game, as well as making the breakthrough for the home side. To have two defenders in Cook and Elphick who are as confident on the ball as they are is a huge blessing. Cook showed just why he attracted interest from Crystal Palace and QPR during the summer.
7.5

Highlights


About Author

Bournemouth season ticket holder and aspiring sports journalist. Writer for The Football Family as well as The72. Twitter: @98Jobo