DAN Gosling bagged a brilliant brace as Cherries moved top of the Championship table with a comfortable 3-1 win over Coventry City.

Dominant Cherries moved ahead early on through Jefferson Lerma's fierce drive, but the lead was wiped out by half-time courtesy of a Matty Godden penalty.

However, two goals within 15 minutes of the restart from Gosling, the second of which a 25-yard screamer, secured maximum points for the visitors at St Andrew's.

Coventry's night then got even worse when Gustavo Hamer was given a straight red card for striking Cherries skipper Steve Cook in the face.

And from there, Jason Tindall's men eased to the final whistle to maintain their unbeaten start to the Championship campaign.

Cherries arrived at St Andrew’s having never lost at the ground in 10 previous visits, although all of those were against Birmingham City. Their last Championship trip came in 2014, where Eddie Howe’s side romped to an 8-0 win over Blues on their way to promotion.

Coventry came into the game unbeaten at their temporary home since October 2019, after an impressive run of form on their way to promotion from League One.

Tindall made two changes from Sunday’s victory over Norwich. Match-winner Arnaut Danjuma missed out with a minor calf injury, allowing Sam Surridge in for his first league start for Cherries. The other change saw Gosling replace Philip Billing, who dropped to the bench.

Both Joshua King and new signing Rodrigo Riquelme travelled to the Midlands, but did not feature in the matchday squad. King withdrew late on due to a migraine, while Riquelme was unable to feature with his international clearance not coming through in time, meaning Cherries named just six substitutes. They included David Brooks, who recovered after missing last weekend’s game with illness.

The visitors got off to a flying start. Shortly after Diego Rico’s searching ball found Dominic Solanke in the box, who couldn’t quite get the shot away, Cherries were in front.

Gosling charged down a clearance from the resulting goal-kick and after receiving the ball again, brilliantly flicked it into the path of Solanke, who teed up Lerma to smash home from 20 yards.

Cherries were on top, but Coventry did test Asmir Begovic with Hamer’s effort from distance saved low by the Bosnian.

Back came Cherries, almost doubling their tally when a deep cross from Jack Stacey was met by Adam Smith. The wing-back could not make a meaningful connection under pressure from the defence, but the loose ball led to a goalmouth scramble with both Gosling and Surridge efforts hacked away.

Solanke went close with half-time approaching, nipping around goalkeeper Marosi and firing goalwards, but a sliding Dom Hyam got back to clear off the line, colliding with the post in the process.

Despite being on the back foot for large spells, Coventry snatched an equaliser before the break. A clumsy challenge from Lewis Cook on Ben Sheaf in the box led to a penalty, which in-form Godden clinically dispatched past Begovic.

Coventry made a double switch at half-time, introducing both Michael Rose and Jamie Allen.

But it was Cherries who started the second half strongly, with Smith's header held by Marosi. From the next attack, Surridge laid the ball back to Gosling on the edge of the box, who really should have hit the target but fired over the bar.

However, moments later the midfielder made amends. Lewis Cook played in the marauding Stacey down the right, whose low cross was turned on by Solanke on the stretch to Gosling free in the box, and he lifted it over Marosi and beyond a covering defender to restore the advantage.

Surridge almost turned scorer soon after, heading towards the top corner only to be denied by a superb flying save from Marosi. The succession of corners continued, with Steve Cook next to meet Rico's delivery, but he couldn't direct his effort on target.

There was no let-up from Cherries and their pressure paid off thanks to a howitzer from Gosling.

Clearly still brimming with confidence from his earlier strike, the 30-year-old let fly from 25 yards, lashing a rising effort which flew past Marosi to notch his first brace for Cherries since a League Cup win at Cardiff in 2014.

Surridge then almost got in on the act, with Marosi getting down to claw his shot away from the bottom corner.

Already trailing by two goals, things went from bad to worse for Coventry midway through the second half when Hamer inexplicably struck Steve Cook in the face, leaving referee Jarred Gillett with little choice but to send him off.

Tindall introduced Billing, Jack Simpson and Nnamdi Ofoborh from the bench late on as Cherries cruised through to victory.

Cherries: Begovic; Mepham, S Cook, Rico (Simpson, 84); Stacey, Lerma, Gosling (Ofoborh, 90+1), L Cook (Billing, 77), Smith; Solanke, Surridge.

Unused subs: Brooks, Anthony, Travers (g/k).

Booked: Smith, S Cook, Gosling.

Coventry: Marosi, Dabo, McFadzean, Ostigard (Rose, h-t), Hyam, Giles (McCallum, 87), Hamer, Sheaf, Shipley (Allen, h-t), O’Hare, Godden.

Unused subs: Kelly, Bakayoko, Walker, Billsom (g/k).

Booked: Ostigard.

Sent off: Hamer.

Referee: Jarred Gillett.