Match Analysis: Bournemouth 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Sports Mole casts its eye over Saturday lunchtime's South-Coast Championship clash between Bournemouth and Brighton.

South Coast sides Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion played out a 1-1 draw at Goldsands Stadium this lunchtime.

Brighton, who went into the match on a three-game winning streak, started slowly and were behind at the break because of a Matt Ritchie free kick.

Ten minutes into the second half the Seagulls equalised thanks to Ashley Barnes's sublime half-volley on the spin that flew into the top corner from a narrow angle.

Chances were hard to come by in the final moments as the game finished level.

Here, Sports Mole picks apart the 90 minutes.

Match statistics:

Shots 16
On target 4
Possession 47%
Corners 6
Fouls 9

Shots 11
On target 3
Possession 53%
Corners 3
Fouls 13

Was the result fair?

Tough to say. Over the course of the 90 minutes Bournemouth were the stronger side but whether they did enough to win the game is up for debate.

Bournemouth's performance

Eddie Howe's side went into this match without a win in five but made it look like they were the side on a run of victories with a confident start to the match. After an uninspiring opening 20 minutes, the hosts began to look more dangerous and Ritchie, making his first start of the season, made their dominance count with a wicked low free kick. The Cherries should have perhaps scored more than one in the first half but they fell away in the second as both sides appeared to settle for a point.

Brighton's performance

Oscar Garcia must have been delighted when the half-time whistle blew as his men really offered hardly anything in the first half. They come out stronger after half time and equalised with a magnificent goal from Barnes. He collected a throw-in and very little seemed to be on until he juggled the ball before swiping home on the turn. Brighton might have been expected to go on and dominate the closing stages but they went back into their shell as Bournemouth shaded the final half-hour.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Matt Ritchie: The fact that Ritchie was making his first start of the season makes his performance all the more impressive. Aside from the goal, he was Bournemouth's biggest threat going forward as strikers Tokelo Rantie and Brett Pitman offered very little.

Biggest gaffe

No obvious gaffe today but we're going to pick on Pitman for his one-on-one miss in the second half. Ritchie picked him out with a perfectly-weighted through-ball but instead of chipping the onrushing Tomasz Kuszczak, Pitman prodded it straight at the Brighton keeper.

Referee performance

Jon Moss has a lenient record this season and continued that by showing just one yellow card to Matthew Upson in the final stages. The former England international could have actually been sent off for his rash challenge on Ritchie but escaped with a booking.

What next?

Bournemouth: It's perhaps the toughest game of the season on Tuesday for Bournemouth as they travel to Queens Park Rangers.

Brighton: Albion, meanwhile, have an easier game on paper as they host lowly Barnsley midweek.

Brighton boss Oscar Garcia on the touchline during a game with Burnley on August 24, 2013
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Bournemouth 1-1 Brighton - as it happened
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