CHERRIES' remarkable run of form since the beginning of March has taken the Championship by storm, their late surge helping to blow wide open the race for the play-offs. 

But much like their charge to automatic promotion last season, there have been key moments throughout the campaign which have led to this pivotal point. 

Here we look at 10 potentially crucial points in the season which could yet have a bearing on Cherries' destiny. 

1. Starting the season with a win. 

Cherries' 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic on the opening day, which came courtesy of Lewis Grabban's brace, gave the Dean Court crowd a real sense of belief that their team belonged back in the second tier. 

Bournemouth Echo: See all our pictures from AFC Bournemouth's first game of the season in the Champsionship against Charlton at the Goldsands Stadium on August 3, 2013

2. Ryan Fraser's goal prompting the majestic fightback against Millwall

Three without a win after a steady start, Cherries were expected to see off the struggling Lions but found themselves two down inside 10 minutes.

Up stepped 'the Wee man' with a goal two minutes before the break to inspire a resounding 5-2 victory in one of Dean Court's most memorable matches of the season. 

Bournemouth Echo: All our pictures from AFCB v Millwall on Saturday October 5, 2013

3. The unfortunate injury to loan keeper Stephen Henderson 

As unpleasant as the West Ham custodian's shoulder injury at Nottingham Forest was, it meant boss Eddie Howe had to return to the loan market for another stopper.

He borrowed Lee Camp, signed him permanently in January and Cherries have scarcely looked back since. 

Bournemouth Echo: All our pictures from Nottingham Forest v AFC Bournemouth at The City Ground on Saturday, October 19,2013

4. Matt Ritchie's return to action 

The former Swindon winger made his long-awaited comeback from a persistent thigh problem while Cherries were in the midst of a bleak November. 

Despite a 1-0 home defeat to Derby County, Ritchie's presence got the Dean Court faithful on their feet after coming on as a second-half substitute and has gone on to produce some stellar displays from wide positions.

Bournemouth Echo: All our pictures from AFC Bournemouth v Derby County at Goldsands Stadium on November 23, 2013

5. Eunan O'Kane's starring role at Reading 

Seven without a win and away to a former Premier League club chasing a play-off spot, not many gave Cherries much hope prior to their 2-1 win at the Madejski Stadium in December. 

However, a 4-1-4-1 shape with O'Kane (left) unexpectedly providing the platform as anchor man helped Cherries to one of their most notable victories to date. 

Bournemouth Echo: Reading v AFC Bournemouth at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, December 7th

6. Lewis Grabban staying put 

There was unrest as Brighton & Hove Albion triggered a release clause in top scorer Grabban's contract during the January transfer window. 

He seemed set for a switch to the Amex having discussed personal terms but Cherries swooped in with a last-ditch contract renewal to retain the former Rotherham United hitman's services, a shrewd piece of business with both clubs now well-and-truly in the race for the top six. 

Bournemouth Echo: Lewis Grabban celebrates his goal

7. The arrival of Yann Kermorgant

Not content with one in-form striker, Cherries boss Eddie Howe completed a £400,000 deadline day deal for 'the beast from Brittany' who has brought out the best in strike partner Grabban. 

To date, the duo have netted 11 goals in their six Championship starts together. 

Bournemouth Echo: Pictures from AFC Bournemouth v Doncaster on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Goldsands Stadium.

8. Cherries 5 Doncaster Rovers 0 

Having been undone by a dubious free kick at promotion-chasing Derby seven days before, Cherries consummately put to the sword the team that beat them to the League One title less than 12 months previously.

But despite dishing out the thumping, even the most ardent of Cherries fans would have struggled to predict what was to follow. 

Bournemouth Echo: Pictures from AFC Bournemouth v Doncaster on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Goldsands Stadium.

9. Revenge over Leeds United

Defender Simon Francis revealed how a quick history lesson from Howe helped to inspire Cherries to their 4-1 larruping of Leeds. 

United were the team to relegate Cherries from the second tier in 1990 with a 1-0 win at Dean Court amid scenes of violence in the town which were attributed to visiting supporters. 

Bournemouth Echo: All our pictures from AFC Bournemouth v Leeds United an Dean Court on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

10. Victories in a crucial double header

Wins over struggling or out-of-form sides are one thing, trumping two teams pushing for an immediate return to the Premier League is another matter. 

Harry Redknapp's expensively assembled QPR and play-off chasing Reading were in the top flight last season but on the crest of a wave, Cherries got the better of both.

With chairman Jeff Mostyn doing his best audition for Strictly and a shot at the Promised Land within touching distance, who knows where the next list of achievements will lead... 

Bournemouth Echo: Check out all the action from AFC Bournemouth v Queens Park Rangers on Saturday April 5, 2014 at Goldsands Stadium


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