CLINICAL Cherries produced a classic smash-and-grab performance to return from Coventry City with three points, beating the Sky Blues 3-0.

First-half strikes from Jamal Lowe and Dominic Solanke came from just two forays forward, before Solanke added another shortly after the break with his side’s first attack of the second-half.

The result poured cold water on Huddersfield’s win away at Middlesbrough in the lunch-time kick-off, restoring the gap to four points.

Boss Scott Parker made two changes to the side held by Middlesbrough on Friday, with Jamal Lowe and Jaidon Anthony handed starting berths.

Lowe and Anthony came off the bench in Friday’s stalemate to prompt a change in shape to Cherries’ usual formation.

It appeared to be a similar story in the Midlands, with Lowe operating up top, beyond Dominic Solanke who dropped into the hole.

The added attacking impetus may not have immediately shown as both sides struggled to control an end-to-end match, but Lowe quickly justified his selection.

Anthony’s backheel on the left-flank found Adam Smith, who drove into the box on the by-line to supply Lowe with a cross.

The Jamaican international guided his header home via the bar to give his side the lead in the 12th minute.

Whilst the opener stunned the home crowd and allowed Cherries a foothold into the game, the Sky Blues would soon regain control of proceedings.

Mark Travers was kept busy in the away goal with a string of saves to keep his team’s lead intact.

Prior to the opener the Irishman had kept scores level by tipping Viktor Gyokeres’ drive beyond the far post.

Callum O’Hare was the next to be denied by the 22-year-old, with Travers blocking his countryman’s effort from close range.

Despite the near constant pressure from Coventry, it would be Cherries who would grab the second goal.

Much like the first, the second came against the run of play.

Travers’ long punt did not quite reach Lowe, but Jefferson Lerma was alert to stab the loose ball forward, into the path of Solanke.

Cherries’ leading goalscorer managed to get a shot off, which deflected off a defender to loop over Simon Moore’s head and into the net.

10 minutes into the second period Solanke grabbed another to effectively kill the game off.

The away side went direct again, with Ryan Christie fashioning in the former Liverpool and Chelsea man to lash past Moore with Cherries’ third shot of the game.

Deflated by conceding three times from just three shots, Coventry slowed in their pursuit of a consolation.

In an effort to knock more confidence out of the hosts, Cherries merely pinged the ball about the pitch in a concentrated effort to retain possession.

Substitute Martyn Waghorn came closest to beating Travers when he sweetly struck a volley inside the box, but the Irishman was on hand to flick the effort over the bar.

Victory for Cherries leaves them on 77 points after 41 games played, securing at least a play-off berth.

Cherries: Travers, Laird (Mepham, 64), Phillips, Kelly, Smith, Cook (Pearson, 84) Lerma, Lowe (Billing, 58), Solanke, Anthony, Christie

Unused subs: Woodman (g/k), Mepham, Cantwell, Brady, Dembele, Pearson

Coventry: Moore, Rose, Allen (Waghorn, 60) O’Hare, Sheaf, Hyam, Bidwell (McFadzean, 62), Gyokeres, Maatsen, Kane, Hamer (Kelly, 76)

Unused subs: Wilson, Jones, Tavares, Howley

Match official: Matthew Donohue

Attendance: 24,492 (2,342 away)