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AFC Bournemouth: Pugh strikes late to earn a point at Forest
MARC Pugh’s dramatic late equaliser earned Cherries a share of the spoils from a City Ground thriller against Nottingham Forest today.
Winger Pugh swept home the leveller from a tight angle in stoppage time to cancel out Henri Lansbury’s first-half wonder goal for the hosts.
It earned Cherries a deserved share of the spoils and, although they rode their luck at times, Howe’s men were worthy of a precious point on the road.
The match, however, was marred for the visitors by injury to loan goalkeeper Stephen Henderson who was carried off after just 11 minutes.
Boss Eddie Howe made one change to the Cherries starting line-up with Andrew Surman drafted in to replace Ryan Fraser who was ruled out by a hamstring injury.
Cherries forced the first chance of the contest when Lewis Grabban’s low cross was sliced into Karl Darlow’s hands by his own defender Jack Hobbs.
Tokelo Rantie was presented with a gilt-edged opportunity to open the scoring after seizing on Andy Reid’s poor backpass in the seventh minute.
But despite only having Darlow in front of him, the striker was unable to convert with the Forest goalkeeper haring off his line to smother at Rantie’s feet.
Cherries were rocked when goalkeeper Henderson was stretchered off following an accidental clash with Forest striker Simon Cox after just eight minutes.
The West Ham loan star immediately signalled for help after Cox had caught him as he attempted to follow up Henderson’s save from Djamal Abdoun’s shot.
Medical staff from both dugouts rushed to his aid before Henderson, who appeared to have damaged his shoulder, was carried off, wearing an oxygen mask.
Play resumed following a five-minute delay and Lansbury was caught cold, the midfielder dragging his shot horribly wide with the goal at his mercy.
Rantie’s left-foot piledriver from 20 yards was beaten away by Darlow before Cox fired wide when it had looked easier to hit the target.
Lansbury’s atoned with interest for his earlier miss when he put the hosts ahead with a stunning strike six minutes before the interval.
The former Arsenal man, who was in acres of space, picked his spot from 30 yards, his thunderous effort fizzing past Ryan Allsop and into the back of the net.
Cherries went close to levelling on the stroke of half-time when Grabban’s effort came back off the base of the post after Steve Cook’s long throw had caused mayhem inside the Forest six-yard box.
Charlie Daniels replaced Ian Harte for the start of the second half before Jack Collison was booked for a foul on Forest playmaker Andy Reid.
Abdoun’s surging run into the 18-yard box ends with his effort being deflected for a corner before Cook nods Darius Henderson’s header out for a flag kick.
Cox’s snapshot was saved by Allsop before Henderson missed an open goal, the striker firing wide having round the Cherries goalkeeper after 61 minutes.
Henderson’s header, which found the back of the net from Reid’s corner, was chalked off for a foul before Pugh failed to make good contact at the far post after Cook’s throw had fallen to him.
Pugh also had the ball in the net, only for his 77th-minute effort to be ruled out for offside, before Harry Arter’s strike narrowly cleared the crossbar as the contest drew to a close.
Cherries grabbed the goal their second-half endeavours had deserved when Pugh swept home from a tight angle after being fed by Rantie in the first minute of stoppage time.
Abdoun, Forest’s star man by a country mile, almost snatched a dramatic winner when his right-foot shot just cleared the angle of post and crossbar.
Cherries: S Henderson (Allsop, 11), Francis, Ward, Cook, Harte (Daniels, h-t), Pugh, Arter, Collison, Surman (Pitman, 73), Grabban, Rantie.
Unused subs: Elphick, O’Kane, Thomas, MacDonald.
Booked: Collison, Pugh.
Forest: Darlow, Jara, Collins (Wilson, 45), Hobbs, Cohen, Abdoun, Lansbury, Majewski (Mackie, 64), Reid, D Henderson, Cox (Derbyshire, 72).
Unused subs: Harding, Halford, Paterson, De Vries (g/k).
Booked: Cox, Lansbury, Hobbs, Darlow.
Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands).
Attendance: 28,070 (including 1,067 away supporters).
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