See how the press reported our 3-1 defeat
MANAGER Eddie Howe felt a first-half shutout had been pivotal as Cherries stood firm to claim a hard-earned 3-1 victory over League One rivals Crewe yesterday.
Striker Brett Pitman took most of the plaudits as his hat-trick – including two penalties – lifted Cherries into fifth place and saw them close the gap on the leaders to seven points.
Together with Pitman’s goalscoring exploits, Howe said a solid defensive display in the first half had been key as Crewe took the game to the hosts for long periods.
Howe said: “I was really pleased because it was a difficult game for us. It was always going to be hard because we have had a lot of games and done a lot of travelling recently and Crewe had had a long time to prepare for us.
“The pitch was heavy and, physically, I thought we looked a bit leggy in the first half and didn’t have our usual spring in the step. To come in leading 1-0 was really pleasing because it would have been easy to come in 1-0 or 2-0 down on the back of that.
“Crewe played very well in the first half and caused us problems. We couldn’t read what system they were going to play as they have chopped and changed so that is always a strength. They played with their wide men very narrow and overloaded us in the middle of the pitch.
“Although we couldn’t get to grips with it in the first half, the good news was that we came in leading 1-0 and didn’t concede. I thought that was the deciding factor in the game.”
CREWE manager Steve Davis was left fuming after his side were beaten at Bournemouth.
The Alex were undone by Brett Pitman's hat-trick – his first treble since August 2010 – with youngster Ryan Colclough's maiden senior goal all the visitors had to show for their efforts.
Davis highlighted the performance of referee Iain Williamson as key to his side's demise, with the Berkshire official awarding the home side two spot-kicks, which were both converted by Pitman.
"We definitely feel hard done by," said the Crewe boss.
"The referee was their best player throughout. He changed the game in the first few minutes by giving a penalty and did it again in the second half.
"Bournemouth had the better of the second half, but that was only because of the goals they scored. We were the better team in the first half and kept going.”
BRETT PITMAN destroyed Crewe with his first hat-trick since returning to Dean Court.
Hitman Pitman demoralised the visitors with two penalties and a simple tap-in.
It was his first treble for Cherries since a farewell hat-trick against Peterborough in 2010, just before joining Bristol City.
Boss Eddie Howe said: “I’m really pleased for Brett because he’s worked hard and has a great attitude.
“His scoring record is up there with the best of them and hopefully there’s more to come.”
PItman has hit seven goals in nine league games since he returned from Ashton Gate.