CHERRIES completed a stirring comeback to win a feisty encounter with Sheffield United and return to the top of the Championship table.

All three goals arrived within 10 crazy second-half minutes. Morgan Gibbs-White fired the Blades in front, only for Cherries to reply courtesy of a Dominic Solanke penalty and Philip Billing strike.

Sheffield United almost grabbed a share of the spoils at the death, with former Cherries striker Lys Mousset heading against the post from two yards out.

The 2-1 victory ensures Cherries move three points clear at the top of the standings, heading into the two-week international break.

Scott Parker made three changes to the side which drew 0-0 at Peterborough in midweek, reverting to the XI which beat Luton last Saturday.

That meant Adam Smith, Ben Pearson and Jaidon Anthony were all recalled, with Jack Stacey, David Brooks and Morgan Rogers dropping back to the bench.

Former Cherries strikers Mousset and David McGoldrick were named among the substitutes for Slavisa Jokanovic’s Blades.

After West Brom’s defeat to Stoke on Friday night, Cherries were the only unbeaten side remaining in the EFL this season, and knew a point would be enough to take them back top of the table.

Sheffield United, who turned Cherries around to unusually defend the South Stand in the first half, made a lively start through Ben Osborn down the left. His ball in towards the near post was turned behind by Mark Travers.

Robin Olsen was then called into action at the other end. After John Fleck had been booked for tripping fellow Scot Ryan Christie, Billing stepped up and aimed his free-kick towards the top corner. But Olsen was there to dive across and parry away.

Olsen then denied a Jefferson Lerma header before surviving a nervy moment. The goalkeeper inadvertently cleared straight to the feet of Billing, whose rushed shot went straight back to a grateful Olsen.

Cherries then almost carved out a brilliant opener midway through the half. Lloyd Kelly’s diagonal pass found Christie, who in turn spread the play out to Anthony. The youngster’s wicked low cross just evaded Jordan Zemura in the centre as the Blades survived.

The hosts were then granted a massive let-off in the clearest opening of the half. After a mistake from Kelly allowed the ball to bobble over his foot in the box, Billy Sharp was in on goal, but fired over the crossbar.

Liverpool loanee Ben Davies then headed over the crossbar for the visitors before Christie and Anthony curled efforts did not test Olsen as the half ended goalless.

But Cherries should have broken the deadlock just seconds after the restart.

Billing threaded a ball through for Zemura in the box, who in turn teed up Solanke. The striker’s initial shot was blocked, before his follow-up was well saved by Olsen. Anthony got to the loose ball, but his headed effort was also blocked before Sheffield United cleared.

The contest was becoming increasingly feisty, culminating in both Smith and Osborn booked for an off-the-ball scrap.

Minutes later, Cherries fell behind. A long ball over the top found Sharp, who had run off Zemura. The 35-year-old crossed low for Wolves loanee Gibbs-White to slide in and score at the near post, notching his fourth goal of the campaign.

It was the first time Cherries had fallen behind in the league all season, but the hosts responded in incredible fashion. However, it did take a controversial decision to level the contest. As Solanke broke through on goal, he was tripped by a sliding Enda Stevens. Sheffield United were convinced the foul occurred outside the box, but after some deliberation, referee Robert Jones pointed to the spot. Solanke stepped up himself after receiving some treatment, coolly dispatching past Olsen.

Just three minutes later, Cherries led. Solanke picked out Christie on the right, who crossed low for the arriving Billing to slide in and score for the sixth time this season.

Jokanovic turned to his bench, introducing strike duo Mousset and Oli McBurnie.

But it was Cherries who almost added another goal. Solanke’s delightful flick sent Zemura into the box, but the left-back fired into the side netting.

Six minutes of added time were shown and the Blades came agonisingly close to equalising at the death, substitute Mousset heading against the post from two yards out.

Cherries: Travers; Smith, Cahill, Kelly, Zemura; Lerma, Pearson, Billing (Mepham, 86); Christie (Lowe, 88), Anthony, Solanke (Stacey, 90+5).

Unused subs: Marcondes, Brooks, Rogers, Nyland (g/k).

Booked: Pearson, Smith.

Sheffield Utd: Olsen; Baldock (Basham, 49), Egan, Davies, Stevens; Norwood, Fleck; Gibbs-White, Ndiaye (McBurnie, 73), Osborn; Sharp (Mousset, 73).

Unused subs: Hourihane, Brewster, McGoldrick, Foderingham (g/k).

Booked: Fleck, Osborn.

Referee: Robert Jones.