AFC Bournemouth: Proud dad Marc celebrates with winner against Tykes (WITH VIDEOS) (From Bournemouth Echo)
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AFC Bournemouth: Proud dad Marc celebrates with winner against Tykes (WITH VIDEOS)
MARC Pugh celebrated the birth of his second child and wet the baby’s head in style by firing Cherries to victory over Barnsley.
Pugh, who became a father for the second time when daughter Grace was born on Friday, settled the issue with a clinical strike in the 77th minute.
It was no more than Eddie Howe’s men had deserved having dominated for long periods and upped their game considerably in the second half.
The introduction of new signing Tokelo Rantie as a second-half substitute certainly enlivened proceedings, the striker going close to scoring just seconds after coming off the bench.
Boss Howe named an unchanged starting line-up as Cherries looked to bounce back following defeat by leaders Blackpool on Saturday.
Record signing Rantie, who arrived in England on Sunday and trained once with his new team-mates, was named among the Cherries substitutes.
Chances were at a premium during the early stages and, although Cherries had the lion’s share of possession, they struggled to break down a resolute Barnsley defence.
The only noteworthy incident during a cat-and-mouse opening 15 minutes was a booking for Tykes striker Chris Dagnall for crudely upending Brett Pitman near the halfway line.
Ryan Fraser had the first sight of goal around the 20-minute mark when he hooked his chance over the top after Steve Cook’s long throw had bounced across the 18-yard box.
Cherries had a huge double escape midway through the first half when Chris O’Grady and Steve Dawson both hit the woodwork within seconds.
Firstly, O’Grady stepped inside after finding some space on the left flank before seeing his rasping drive thud against the base of the post.
And after seizing on the loose ball, Dawson contrived to fire against the same upright with Allsop stranded and the goal gaping in front of him.
A long-range effort from Tomasz Cywka then just cleared the crossbar as the visitors again threatened to break the deadlock.
Cherries fashioned a couple of half chances with Brett Pitman glancing a header off target and Ryan Fraser firing tamely into the hands of Tykes goalkeeper Luke Steele.
A sharp turn from Dagnall on the edge of the box saw the striker create an opening, his half volley clearing the angle of post and crossbar.
Cywka’s low drive was saved by Allsop before Barnsley were forced to defend in numbers as Charlie Daniels delivered a couple of probing crosses into the danger area.
Cherries’ five-goal leading marksman Lewis Grabban squandered a glorious opportunity to fire Howe’s team ahead just seconds after the interval.
But the striker, invitingly teed up by Pitman’s clever pass, proceeded to carve his shot horribly wide with only Steele to beat from around 16 yards. Martin Cranie powered a header past the post before the biggest cheer of the night greeted the arrival of Rantie, who came off the bench to replace Fraser in the 55th minute.
And the South Africa international almost made a dream start, his first contribution being an angled drive which flashed narrowly past the upright.
Rantie’s arrival certainly seemed to provide a spark, the 23-year-old seeing another shot blocked before Elliott Ward fired wide after latching on to loose ball.
Grabban’s header from Pitman’s teasing cross was clutched by Steele before Dawson’s timely intervention took the ball off Rantie’s toes as he prepared to pull the trigger from close range.
Cherries finally found a way past Steele 13 minutes from time when Pugh rifled home an unstoppable left-foot strike from just inside the 18-yard box.
The winger showed some excellent close control to create the opening, his neat footwork leaving his marker flat footed and giving Pugh time to pick his spot.
Ward’s brave block prevented O’Grady’s strike reaching Allsop before Rantie raced clear down the left, his final shot bouncing well wide.
Kelvin Etuhu’s effort was saved comfortably by Allsop before Pitman clipped a shot just past the post following good work by Rantie.
Cherries: Allsop, Francis, Cook, Ward, Daniels (Elphick, 51), Fraser (Rantie, 55), MacDonald (Hughes, 86), O’Kane, Pugh, Pitman, Grabban.
Unused subs: McQuoid, Thomas, Harte, Flahavan (g/k).
Tykes: Steele, Wiseman, Ramage, Cranie, Kennedy (Lazarus, 80), Dawson, Perkins, Etuhu, Cywka (Jennings, 64), Dagnall (Scotland, 72), O’Grady.
Unused subs: Mellis, M’Voto, Rose, Dibble (g/k).
Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 7,574 (including 364 away supporters).
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