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Scott Parker hails ‘perfect’ first half after Cherries continue strong start

Stoke City v AFC Bournemouth – Sky Bet Championship – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Scott Parker hailed Bournemouth’s “perfect” first-half performance as the unbeaten Cherries beat Huddersfield 3-0.

Dominic Solanke grabbed a first-half double, the first from the penalty spot, before captain Lloyd Kelly added a second in the second half to maintain  Bournemouth’s six-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Cherries manager Parker said: “I thought we were perfect in the first half. We executed the game plan in terms of what we wanted to be today against a side who are defensively very good.

“The first half ranks up there [as the best performance of the season] in terms of our all-round game. With the ball we understood the game and what we needed to do, and put the ball in the areas we needed to do.

“We worked this week on having a lot of the ball but we want to score goals and win games.

“I was very pleased how we risked the ball and then defensively I was very pleased with how we locked down any counter-threat.

“The first goal epitomised the risk of running off the back three and the good moments of the front three and the same happened with the second goal.

“We were everything I wanted us to be. With the ball we locked down any threat they imposed on us and suffocated them.

“The first half felt like a constant barrage from us, because of our positioning and how well we did in those moments.”

The Dorset side are one of only two teams still yet to lose in England’s top four tiers, Liverpool being the other.

And they also equalled the club’s best start to a league season – matching the 14-game unbeaten run the 1961-62 side managed in the Old Third Division.

Parker added: “We are heading in the right direction. Records are brilliant and pleasing but the constant message to this team is the processes of understanding what we need to do.

“The endeavour and work ethic has given us a platform to get results. At this moment it is 14 games and another win, so we are moving together.”

Solanke opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 10th minute after he had been tripped by Ollie Turton. He sent Lee Nicholls the wrong way before celebrating his 10th goal of the season.

He doubled his tally 11 minutes later when he rifled in, after former Huddersfield player Phillip Billing had chested down Ryan Christie’s pinpoint cross.

Centre-back Kelly added the third from a corner in the 64th minute, notching his second goal for the Cherries, and first of the season.

Huddersfield manager Carlos Corberan said: “In these types of games you need 90 minutes to win but in a few minutes you can lose. That is what happened today.

“The first two opportunities they had, they scored two goals. It made everything more challenging and more complicated.

“It was important to manage the game afterwards and create some opportunities and try and open the game and then they scored a third in the second half.

“They were much better than us in their options to unbalance us. We weren’t aggressive enough and the one goal changed the dynamic of the game.

“It is true, Bournemouth are in a good position in the table but they are still in our league.

“It is important that we compete against every opponent and I am the first to admit we need to improve.”

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