KIEFFER Moore proved to be the late hero for the second week in a row to seal Cherries’ return to the Premier League in dramatic fashion.

Seven days on from his brilliant brace at Swansea City, the striker was introduced in the second half of the winner-takes-all contest against Nottingham Forest.

And the Wales striker was on the spot again, slotting into the bottom corner after a cleverly disguised Philip Billing free-kick seven minutes from time, to earn Cherries the 1-0 victory which ends their two-year spell outside the top flight.

Knowing victory would put them in the driving seat for automatic promotion, starting the day three points behind Cherries, Forest had the better of the first half. Sam Surridge struck the crossbar as well as perhaps being unfortunate not to earn a penalty after a tight offside call went against him.

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But Cherries improved after the restart, Moore slamming home on 83 minutes to leave his mark in the club’s history.

Both Cherries and Forest named unchanged sides from those which recorded big wins at the weekend. The only switch for Cherries came on the bench, where Ethan Laird replaced Jamal Lowe.

That meant a first return to Vitality Stadium for both Steve Cook and Surridge, following their departures earlier this season.

Cherries carved out the first opening of the night. Steve Cook’s strong challenge on Dominic Solanke fell at the feet of Billing, who was denied by a diving Brice Samba.

But Surridge almost went one better at the other end on nine minutes. Having been played in on goal by Djed Spence, the former Cherries striker broke the offside trap, before slamming against the crossbar left-footed.

The game was delayed shortly afterwards when Nat Phillips clashed heads with Steve Cook following a corner, the latter requiring treatment due to a heavy cut.

When play resumed, the lively Brennan Johnson struck over from 20 yards, before then being denied by Jordan Zemura on the line, having been found in space at the back post.

Another big flashpoint of the first half arrived on 41 minutes. Surridge broke through one-on-one having run off Adam Smith, but having been tripped by Mark Travers in the box, play was pulled back as Constantine Hatzidakis had lifted his flag for a tight offside call.

Philip Zinckernagel was denied by Travers as the half ended goalless, with Forest on top.

Cherries made a strong start to the second period, working the ball well around the box before Ryan Christie fed a ball through to Solanke, who fired into the side netting.

The hosts were forced into their first change of the night on the hour mark as Jefferson Lerma hobbled off holding his hamstring. Moore was introduced as his replacement as Solanke moved out wide.

It was Parker’s men who looked the more likely scorers midway through the half with Billing picking the wrong option in the box, before Christie saw his shot well blocked.

Moore then teed up Jaidon Anthony as he broke into the box, but Samba was alert to swat away the effort.

With the tension rising as the game entered its closing 10 minutes given what was at stake for both sides, Cherries struck the killer blow.

After Jordan Zemura was fouled on the edge of the box, Billing opted against a shot, instead teeing up Moore to curl into the bottom corner and send Vitality Stadium into raptures.

Eight minutes of added time were indicated, but Cherries saw out the victory, sparking a pitch invasion as celebrations into the night began.

Cherries: Travers; Smith, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura; Lerma (Moore, 59), L Cook, Billing; Christie (Pearson, 88), Anthony (Mepham, 88), Solanke.

Unused subs: Laird, Brady, Dembele, Woodman (g/k).

Booked: Travers, Solanke.

Nottm Forest: Samba; Worrall, S Cook (Lolley, 84), McKenna; Spence, Yates, Garner, Colback (Laryea, 84); Johnson, Zinckernagel (Mighten, 84); Surridge.

Unused subs: Figueiredo, Cafu, Silva, Horvath (g/k).

Booked: McKenna, Spence.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.