FAN Report of the Millwall game from Matthew Reaks, @__mtthw
How do you go about starting to write about something as pleasing as today’s game? I predicted last week that Town would be 1-0 victors of this game, and i’m actually extremely pleased to say I was miles off with that prediction!
Coming into the game, newcomers Bournemouth had won their two League home games against Charlton and Wigan, but had also been spanked away from home at Vicarage Road; 6-1 they lost to Watford so it was fair to say their form was rather indifferent. That makes a prediction very difficult. They had also been tipped by a few bookies as ‘dark horses’ for the season, and I have to say, I agreed. I thought they signed very well over the summer and have a very good, young manager in Eddie Howe who likes to play the ‘proper way’.
However, Town have also started the season very well. With four points from a possible nine which included games against two of the widely tipped favourites to win the league, I went into the game in confident mood.
Robins named an unchanged 18 from the away trip at Millwall. Prior to today’s game, Vaughan was the only player to score this season so far for Town and during the week Robins had called on his players to take the burden from Vaughan and help chip in with some goals and deservedly, after quarter of an hour Adam Hammill was the first to do so. After a one-two on the edge of the area, he skipped into the box before poking his shot, via the post, past Bournemouth stopper Allsop! 1-0 to the Terriers.
Both Town and Bournemouth exchanged efforts in the following 20 minutes or so; Grabban going closest for the Cherries and Vaughan for Town before Town doubled their lead. The ever influential Hammill crossed for Vaughan to power home his fifth goal in as many games.
And just 5 minutes later, a lovely through ball from ‘Pato’ put Vaughan through one on one with Allsop, and did we ever doubt he’d make it three? I certainly didn’t. Vaughan obliged and Town went into the break three goals to the good. It’s a long time since i remember that happening. A lovely position to be in. A feeling I could get used to. On the other hand, does anybody remember the last time Town were 3-0 up at half-time? Does Bury away ring a bell? Let’s not go there.
Shortly after the restart, Vaughan had his chance to claim his hattrick, but his effort just went wide of Allsop’s far post. However, about 10 minutes later, he’d get the perfect chance to claim his hattrick. After Cherries defender Francis had fouled Jake Carroll in the area, Town were awarded a penalty. Vaughan stepped up to take it. I was having flashbacks of his penalty away at Ipswich last season which he missed, but he did the business this time and put Town 4 goals to the good, although I must add, I did think he’d missed it at first.
Despite the scoreline, Bournemouth didn’t stop playing their game and got their reward in the 68th minute when Marc Pugh headed in a Ryan Fraser cross. Surely only a minor consolation for the Cherries?
And that was all it was to be, just ten minutes later Adam Clayton made it 5-1 to Town with a thunderous strike from a good 25 yards out which flew into the top corner. It was the icing on the cake and topped off a near perfect performance from the boys in blue and white.
Despite the scoreline, I don’t feel the performance was as good as either the performance at Millwall or at home to QPR. This is probably the most pleasing thing. The fact we didn’t play as well as we did in previous matches, we managed to not just beat the opposition, but comfortably dispose of them. In terms of man of the match, there’s only one man it could go to, really. When a player scores three goals in a game, it’d be unfair not to award them the man of the match. But despite his goals, every performance he gives is a class above
In all honesty, he’s too good to be playing for us and be playing in the Championship. Had his career stayed injury free, I have no doubts he’d still be a Premier League footballer. However, despite Vaughan’s brilliant performance, I think it’s only right to mention how well Adam Hammill played. His performance is probably as close as you’ll get to competing a scorer of three goals for man of the match.
He’s a confidence player and at this moment in time his confidence is sky high, and he has every right to be playing with confidence. We all know how good an attacking player he can be, but playing as a wing back in a 3-5-2 formation, the defensive aspect of his game has come on leaps and bounds and it’s evident in his performances! With 2 assists and a goal this season after just four games, he can be more than happy with his return.
Smithies, Lynch, Gerrard (76, Woods), Clarke (c), Carroll, Norwood, Clayton, Hogg, Hammill, Paterson (80, Scannell), Vaughan (80, Stead).
Subs Not Used
Bennett (gk), Hunt, Gobern, Ward.
GOALS: Hammill (14), Vaughan (37) & (42) & (58 p), Clayton (78)
Allsop, Francis, Cook, Elphick (c), Harte, Fraser? Arter, MacDonad, Surman (46, O`Kane, 62, Hughes), Grabban, Pitman (59, Pugh).
Subs not used
Flahaven (gk), Daniels, Thomas, Addison.
GOALS: Pugh (68)
Alex Smithies 8
very little to do, what he needed to do he did well.
Anthony Gerrard 8
solid performance again, coped well with what came his way.
Peter Clarke 8
making his 200th Town start, can have no qualms
Joel Lynch 8
one of Town’s best performers so far this season, another strong game.
Adam Hammill 9
a cut above today and fully deserved his goal. A joy to watch.
Jake Carroll 8
improving with every game, getting forward more often, pleasing.
Jonathan Hogg 8
always looking for the ball, plays it simple and very effective. Class.
Oliver Norwood 8
playing with confidence, tackling well, some sublime passing
Adam Clayton 8
superb goal and always wanting the ball, steady performance.
Martin Paterson 8
runs and runs, got an assist, think he needs his first goal to really take off.
James Vaughan 9
work rate top notch as ever, hattrick hero. No arguments.
Calum Woods 7
making solid progress after his return from injury
Sean Scannell 7
Harried around in an energetic 10 minute cameo
NEXT MATCH PREDICTION
still looks short of match fitness, had one chance he blasted clean over.
“I though Adam Hammill is playing near to his best and that Adam Clayton`s goal was superb.”
“We were good from the first minute to the last.
“Bournemouth are a good side and we have managed to score five goals against them; the only blemish was the goal that we conceded. There were some very good performances today.
“The belief is growing game by game now and there were some outstanding goals scored today. It leads into a tough week before we have a break. The supporters and players have enjoyed themselves and it bodes well for the future.”
“It was brilliant today; great for the confidence. We look forward to playing this philosophy of football; getting on the ball and expressing ourselves,”
“The Manager has instilled confidence into us and given us the freedom to express ourselves. We`re playing attacking football, but we also look solid at the back and we`re looking good at the minute.
“When we switched to a 4-4-1-1 formation in the second-half, we looked just as dangerous and I think there is an element of surprise for the opposition – they`re not totally sure how we`re going to play.
“We can`t become complacent. We have to kick on and get more points on the board. It`s exciting for us and the fans that we are nowhere near the finished product. I can see us kicking on together.”
NEXT MATCH PREDICTION
Barnsley 1-3 Town (Paterson, Vaughan, Norwood)