Barnsley 0-1 AFC Bournemouth: Cherries get back to winning ways as they overcome rock bottom Tykes
BARNSLEY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: Jack Stacey, Jamal Lowe, Ben Pearson and James Hill applaud after their side's 1-0 win during the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and AFC Bournemouth at Oakwell Stadium on January 29, 2022 in Barnsley, England. (Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

Philip Billing’s first half header made the difference as Scott Parker’s AFC Bournemouth got back to winning ways against bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, Barnsley

Not a smooth ride. 

The going was far from easy however as The Cherries didn’t make it easy for themselves. Bournemouth keeper Mark Travers was called into action multiple times to deny The Tykes offensive, maintaining a clean sheet for his side in the end. Drama came late on too as former England and Chelsea centre back Gary Cahill was sent off for a second yellow card late on in the 87th minute. Switching to a back five and brining on James Hill in the dying moments however, saw the former Premier League side hang on and claim all three points at The Oakwell Stadium

Bouncing back was of the upmost importance

Bouncing back was indeed of the upmost importance Saturday for Bournemouth following failure to win in their previous two games. The Cherries had fallen victim to a poor run of form, losing to Hull City and Luton Town, falling to third place in the table.

Just a month ago they were opening up a nine point gap between themselves and third place, battling it out for the top spot with high flyers Fulham however, a short drop off in form and they found themselves fighting lower down in the table. Three points was the perfect result Saturday afternoon as they look to find their feet again and kick on in this second half of the season. 

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Billing makes the difference

Phil Billing’s header was the difference maker Saturday afternoon as his side claimed all three points. Barnsley’s keeper Brad Collins bizarrely came out of his box and failed to claim the ball before top scorer and striker for Bournemouth Domonic Solanke tipped the ball off his toe and looped a ball into the box. Billing rose highest to head it home before running off and celebrating taking the lead with his teammates. 

Dom Solanke had many chances to find the back of the net throughout the tie too however, the former Liverpool striker lacked composure in his finishing, firing high or wide on occasions. The 24 year old English striker has been in tremendous form this campaign so far, netting 18 times in the league and now with three assists to his name, Solanke must be at his very best if the south coast side are to achieve promotion again to the Premier League

Looking ahead to the FA Cup

Boreham Wood and Birmingham City are the next two sides to visit The Vitality Stadium on the 6th and 9th of February in the Emirates FA Cup and Sky Bet Championship respectively. 

The Cherries faithful will be hoping for an FA Cup run this season and there is no reason that National league side Boreham Wood should get in the way of that. 

Boreham Wood currently sit 4th in the National League and come into this tie in good form with three wins and two draws in their last five. This will by no means be an easy task for Bournemouth but, Scott Parker will be confident that his side can progress through from the 4th round. 

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Blues come to town

Birmingham City will be a tough opponent on February 9th as they make the long journey down to the south coast, in quest of three points. The Blues currently take up 19th place in the Championship table with only one victory in their last five. Two draws and two losses alongside that win reflect a poor run of form for Lee Bowyer’s side. 

Last time out, The Blues Drew 2-2 with Peterborough in a fantastic game where they came back from two down to level the game in the 88th minute. 

The Cherries will need to be at their very best yet again if they are to get back to back Championship wins.