Bishop and Murphy on target in south coast thriller
Yann Kermorgant set the tone with a brilliant opener for Bournemouth and Blues were indebted to Bart Bialkowski for two top class saves to keep the scores down as the Cherries impressed in the first-half.
Teddy Bishop levelled for Blues though early in the second-half with his first goal for the Club but Bournemouth were back in front three minutes later from Matt Ritchie’s close range finish.
Town left the south coast with a point though, Daryl Murphy sending a thumping header into the net on 75 minutes to take his goal account to 11 for the season and leave Blues still very firmly in the promotion picture.
Town made three changes from the team that beat Watford last time out, the injured Stephen Hunt and Jonny Williams making way for Cole Skuse and Paul Anderson, while Luke Hyam returned to the side after suspension.
Bournemouth started like a team flying high in the automatic promotion places and Ritchie had already hit the bar before the Cherries went ahead in sensational style through Kermorgant’s overhead kick on two minutes.
Marc Pugh provided a real cutting edge down the left for the Cherries and he was denied by Bialkowski’s fantastic save after bursting into the Town box, the ‘keeper doing even better to get up quickly and save from Ritchie from the rebound as Bournemouth threatened clear daylight inside 10 minutes.
Blues were forced into an early change when Kevin Bru limped off with an ankle injury, Bishop his replacement.
Skuse had a shot deflected for a corner as Blues looked to get a foothold in the game, Christophe Berra’s header from the flagkick diverted away from danger, then Murphy’s header rattled the bar.
At the other end Ritchie exchanged passes with Andrew Surman but Berra was in the right place to clear as the Cherries continued to dictate the play, Callum Wilson almost getting in on Harry Arter’s pass.
Surman’s diving header from Simon Francis’s cross went straight at Bialkowski, the Polish ‘keeper in the right place to hold firm from Wilson’s cross.
Bournemouth’s Polish ‘keeper Artur Boru had to be alert to prevent David McGoldrick finding a way to goal, then was forced into a fingertip save from Berra’s header.
Bialkowski pushed away Pugh’s effort to keep the half-time deficit down to just a single goal in an entertaining first 45 minutes at the Goldsands.
It was Town who turned on the style five minutes into the second-half, Murphy released Tyrone Mings down the left and from his slide-rule cross, Bishop just guided the ball into the net.
Three minutes later Bournemouth were back in front, Blues missed opportunities to clear the danger before Wilson set up Ritchie who made no mistake from eight yards.
Berra picked up a fifth yellow card of the season that will see him suspended for next week’s trip to Charlton after blocking off Wilson’s run on the hour, the Cherries’ striker limping off soon after to be replaced by Tokelo Rantie.
The substitute was immediately in the action, bursting into the box and going down under Luke Chambers’ challenge but referee Michael Bull waved away the penalty appeals.
Rantie stayed grounded though and after lengthy treatment, was stretchered off after actually being involved in the game for little over a minute, Brett Pitman his replacement.
Town were level again on 75 minutes, Paul Anderson’s free-kick met by the head of Murphy who powered the ball into the roof of the net.
Pitman sidefooted wide, Mings then the third player to leave the field injured. Jonathan Parr coming on for the closing stages.
McGoldrick flashed a shot over the bar as Town pressed for the winner as much as the home side, Pugh also going close at the other end with a right foot effort.
The game entered 12 minutes of added on time with Tommy Smith keeping out Pitman eight yards out with a great challenge, the Cherries’ striker sending another close range effort over the bar before a final blast of the whistle brought an end to a thrilling game.
Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Surman, Pugh, Arter, Daniels, Wilson (Rantie 62, Pitman 70), Kermorgant, Ritchie. Subs not used: Camp, Gosling, Smith, Stanislas, Fraser. Booked: Ritchie, Kermorgant.
Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Mings (Parr 83), Hyam, Skuse, Bru (Bishop 16, Sammon 90), Anderson, McGoldrick, Murphy. Subs not used: Gerken, Tabb, Henshall, Bajner. Booked: Mings, Hyam.