AFC Bournemouth: Late own goal earns Cherries first point at Middlesbrough (WITH VIDEO) (From Bournemouth Echo)
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AFC Bournemouth: Late own goal earns Cherries first point at Middlesbrough
JONATHAN Woodgate’s late own goal earned Cherries their first point at Middlesbrough in a Championship thriller at the Riverside.
The former England defender turned a cross from Elliott Ward past his own goalkeeper with just seven minutes remaining on the clock.
Earlier, Cherries had raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to two penalties from Brett Pitman, with Tokelo Rantie and Lewis Grabban in the thick of the action for the spot kicks.
However, first-half goals from Kei Kamara and Mustapha Carayol saw the hosts restore parity as the teams reached the interval on level terms.
And although Grant Leadbitter’s effort 15 minutes from time appeared to have won the day for Boro, Woodgate inadvertently claimed a point for Cherries.
The hosts were forced to play the final five minutes with 10 men after skipper Rhys Williams had been controversially sent off for a foul on Wes Thomas.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe made three changes to his starting line-up with recent recruit Tokelo Rantie handed his full debut. Richard Hughes and Tommy Elphick also came in.
Rantie started and finished the move which led to Cherries opening the scoring through Pitman’s third-minute penalty.
The South Africa international showed his strength to win the ball off Leadbitter near the halfway line before exchanging passes with Lewis Grabban.
And after galloping into the 18-yard box, Cherries’ record signing was upended by Boro skipper Williams as he prepared to pull the trigger.
Referee Graham Salisbury had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Pitman duly obliged when he drilled his effort straight down the middle.
As the hosts went in search of an immediate response, Cherries goalkeeper Ryan Allsop was forced to beat away a stinging drive from Jacob Butterfield.
But Cherries quickly doubled their lead when Pitman emphatically despatched another penalty after Frazer Richardson had handled Grabban’s header in the 12th minute.
Steve Cook’s rasping drive from 25 yards just cleared the crossbar before Boro halved the arrears through Kamara after 19 minutes.
The Sierra Leone striker, signed by Boro for £900,000 from Sporting Kansas City earlier this month, poked the ball home from close range following a frantic scramble. Although Cherries managed to weather a series of Boro attacks, there was little Allsop could do to prevent Carayol levelling after 32 minutes.
The former Torquay, Lincoln and Bristol Rovers winger tried his luck from distance, his effort cannoning off Cook and wrong-footing Allsop before it looped over his head.
Cherries mounted a couple of swift counter-attacks towards the end of the first half, although Rantie was denied by blocks from George Friend and Jonathan Woodgate after he had taken aim.
Carayol arrived at the far post to clip an effort over the crossbar at the start of the second half before Williams headed a Leadbitter free-kick just past the post.
Cherries appealed in vain for a third spot kick after substitute Wes Thomas had gone to ground under a Williams challenge midway through the second half.
Allsop made a sharp save from a venomous effort from Butterfield before a drive from Leadbitter rolled past the upright.
However, Leadbitter displayed great composure to fire Boro ahead after 75 minutes, the midfielder finishing coolly at the near post after latching on to Kamara’s incisive pass.
Cherries drew level seven minutes from time when Woodgate turned the ball past his own goalkeeper following great work by defender Elliott Ward.
Boro were then reduced to 10 men when skipper Williams received a straight red card after being judged to have fouled Thomas as the striker looked to go clear on goal.
And from the resultant free-kick, Pitman saw his effort fly past the post from 25 yards before Allsop denied Kamara a dramatic winner when he tipped the striker’s header over the crossbar deep into stoppage time.
Cherries: Allsop, Elphick, Ward, Cook, Francis, O’Kane, Hughes (MacDonald, 76), Pugh, Pitman, Grabban, Rantie (Thomas, 60).
Unused subs: Harte, McQuoid, Fraser, Addison, Flahavan (g/k).
Booked: Pugh, Allsop, Cook.
Boro: Steele, Richardson, Woodgate, Williams, Friend, Leadbitter, Whitehead (Jutkiewicz, 90), Adomah (Varga, 90), Butterfield, Carayol (Gibson, 86), Kamara.
Unused subs: Hoyte, Halliday, Smallwood, Leutwiler (g/k).
Booked: Kamara, Leadbitter.
Sent off: Williams.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).
Attendance: 13,617 (including 340 away supporters).
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