GUTSY Cherries got back on track in the Premier League with a clinical 3-1 home victory over fellow strugglers Brighton.

Harry Wilson and Callum Wilson both struck either side of an own goal from Pascal Gross to end a four-game losing run for the Dorset club and boost their hopes of top-flight survival.

Aaron Mooy’s late strike proved consolation for the visitors at Vitality Stadium.

Cherries made two changes from the side which fell to a gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat at bottom side Norwich last time out.

Steve Cook, sent off in that fixture, was suspended meaning Simon Francis came in at centre-half to captain the side. Dominic Solanke was also recalled with Dan Gosling dropping to the bench.

There was also a return for defender Lloyd Kelly among the substitutes for the hosts, having not been named in a Premier League squad since November due to a thigh injury.

The hosts started with high intensity but it was Brighton who fired the first shot in anger on 13 minutes.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who netted when the sides met last month, found space to see his deflected strike dip just over the crossbar.

Cherries then earned their first opening from a set-piece, Diego Rico’s back-post free-kick was met by the outstretched left foot of Philip Billing. But his effort was easy for Maty Ryan in the away goal.

With Brighton seeing far more of the ball, home keeper Aaron Ramsdale came to Cherries’ rescue just short of the half hour.

After Mooy’s precise chip forward, striker Neal Maupay was denied by the outstretched right palm of the stopper, with Nathan Ake on hand to block the follow up.

Eddie Howe’s men then came to life and should have gone in front. Neat work from Callum Wilson allowed him to find Solanke.

The striker’s cutback fell to an unmarked Diego Rico, but the Spaniard could only find the side netting from inside the box.

Moments later, Cherries’ high press then allowed them win back possession – Harry Wilson’s curling strike was deflected wide off a defender.

But Liverpool loanee Wilson was not to be denied as Cherries took the lead on 36 minutes.

Solanke teed up the winger to drill past Ryan and the covering defenders – the Dorset club’s first goal in 451 minutes of top-flight football.

And just five minutes later, the hosts had a second. Rico’s dangerous corner appeared to flick off Gross, who was under pressure from Callum Wilson, and fell into the net.

Cherries were given a timely reminder by the Seagulls just three minutes into the second half.

Iranian Jahanbakhsh surged at the home defence and his strike drilled off Ake, falling just wide of Ramsdale’s right-hand post.

Harry Wilson then almost added his second of the night. After a burst of pace from Fraser, his cross found the Wales international, whose low drive was blocked by Lewis Dunk.

Dunk then almost had an impact at the other end rifling the ball at goal from Mooy’s corner – but Ramsdale spread himself to thwart the effort.

The keeper then flew to his left to keep out a fierce shot from Maupay and an effort with finesse from dangerman Mooy.

But the contest was wrapped up 16 minutes from time. Callum Wilson took the ball round Ryan and slotted home to end his 15-game scoring drought.

Brighton did hit back through Aussie ace Mooy on 81 minutes – his rasping volley flying in off the post.

But it was not to matter, as Cherries picked up a vital three points in their bid to beat the drop.

Cherries: Ramsdale, Smith, Francis, Ake, Rico, H Wilson (L Cook, 89), Lerma, Billing, Fraser, Solanke (Gosling, 85), C Wilson.

Unused subs: Simpson, Kelly, Surman, Surridge, Boruc (g/k).

Booked: Lerma.

Brighton: Ryan, Alzate, Webster, Dunk, Bernardo (March, 60), Propper, Stephens, Mooy, Gross (Trossard, 60), Maupay, Jahanbakhsh (Connolly, 60).

Unused subs: Duffy, Murray, Schelotto, Button (g/k).

Booked: Bernardo.

Referee: Kevin Friend.