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Cherries: Rovers snatch late win
CHERRIES lost further ground in the race for promotion when they were condemned to a 2-1 defeat by League One leaders Doncaster today.
Billy Paynter fired the visitors ahead midway through the second half, only for Matt Tubbs to level just four minutes from time.
But there was a nasty sting in the tail for Cherries when James Husband snatched a late winner for Rovers in the 88th minute.
Ryan Allsop was drafted in for his Cherries debut as boss Eddie Howe made three changes to his starting line-up.
Cherries made an enterprising start and twice went close to taking the lead inside the opening six minutes.
Firstly, Brett Pitman was denied by a save from Neil Sullivan, the veteran goalkeeper keeping out his close range header from a Marc Pugh cross.
And from the resultant short corner, another cross from Pugh was met by Steve Cook, the defender’s header coming back off the angle of crossbar and post.
Rovers also had a chance to draw first blood in the early stages when Allsop saved well after Chris Brown had let fly from 20 yards.
Allsop then made another decent stop in the 11th minute, the stopper diving to his left to push away David Cotterill’s angled drive.
Sullivan snaffled Grabban’s speculative long-range effort before the Cherries striker glanced a Matt Ritchie cross wide.
And Sullivan had to be at his best to tip a blistering drive from Pitman around the post, the 43-year-old getting down smartly to his right to divert the 30-yarder.
Cherries had a penalty appeal waved away after Pitman had gone to ground under a Cotterill challenge before Grabban headed straight into the arms of Sullivan following another Pugh centre.
Pitman’s free-kick at the start of the second half flashed past the upright before Cotterill’s 25-yarder was clutched by Allsop.
Cherries were rocked when Paynter opened the scoring against the run of play midway through the second half.
The Rovers targetman arrived at the near post to turn in a cross from the right by Cotterill with Allsop powerless to keep out the strike.
Grabban, set free by Pitman’s slide-rule pass and with just Sullivan to beat, saw the goalkeeper dive to his left to parry the striker’s shot as Cherries wasted a great chance to level.
Cherries drew level four minutes from time when Tubbs lifted the ball over Sullivan after Steve Fletcher’s flick had found him.
But just two minutes later, Husband finished from a tight angle to restore Doncaster’s lead and complete the scoring.
Cherries: Allsop, Francis, Cook, Seaborne, Ritchie, McQuoid (Fraser, 71), O’Kane, MacDonald (Fletcher, 78), Pugh, Grabban (Tubbs, 78), Pitman. Unused subs: Hughes, Fogden, Partington, Jalal (g/k).
Rovers: Sullivan, Quinn, Jones, McCombe, Spurr, Cotterill, Coppinger, Lundstram, Husband, Paynter, Brown (Hume, 89). Unused subs: Wakefield, Griffin, Howieson, Sinclair, Bennett, Maxted (g/k).
Booked: Coppinger, Husband.
Attendance: 7,178 (including 569 visiting supporters).
Referee: Fred Graham (Essex).