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Posted Sat 08 Mar 14 at 16:50 PM

Grabban goals seals consecutive wins

The Cherries recorded back-to-back victories for the second time this season with a 1-0 win over Blackpool.

Lewis Grabban scored his 14th goal of the campaign early on in the second half to ensure the Cherries returned to the south coast with all three points.

Eddie Howe’s team created a number of chances in the first half, with Matt Ritchie twice going close, and perhaps should have been in front at the break.

But Tangerines goalkeeper Matt Gilks brought down Grabban just minutes into the second period before seeing the striker squeeze his spot kick past him and into the side-netting.

The Cherries were never truly troubled after taking the lead and had chances to extend their advantage through Ritchie and substitute Marc Pugh.

However, Grabban’s effort from 12 yards proved to be enough for the men in red and black, as well as the 600 travelling supporters who made the long journey north.

Howe was without the goal scorers from last weekend’s win over Doncaster Rovers, with Yann Kermorgant and Harry Arter ruled out through injury.

Their absence meant a start for Eunan O’Kane, while Brett Pitman was recalled to the starting line-up for the first time since December.

Blackpool may have gone in to the game without a win in 16, but Lee Camp had to be alert to push away Stephen Dobbie’s powerful strike from distance after ten minutes.

However, the Cherries were making their own fair share of chances and Ritchie cut in from the right to test Gilks with two powerful efforts in the space of a few minutes.

The visitors created further openings for Ritchie and Grabban as they shaded the first half at Bloomfield Road.

There was then one final chance before the break for Ian Harte, who couldn’t find a way past the Tangerine wall from a promising position a few yards outside the area.

But the Cherries did take the lead just moments after the restart as Grabban converted a 48th minute penalty.

The top scorer was brought down by the on rushing Gilks, who was subsequently booked, and then squeezed his spot kick past the goalkeeper.

Howe’s side were firmly in command and had another opportunity to emphasise their dominance with a free-kick on the edge of the area, which Pitman smashed narrowly over the angle of post and bar.

Further opportunities fell for Ritchie and Pugh, but the search for a second goal to make for a more comfortable ending to the game continued.

In the end, Grabban’s penalty was the difference, handing the Cherries a well deserved victory.

Blackpool: Gilks, Foley (Cathcart 78), Broadfoot, MacKenzie, Halliday, Osbourne, Basham (Haroun 73), Perkins, Dobbie, Keogh (Davies 65), Fuller.

Unused substitutes: Angel, Bishop, Grandin, Goodwillie.

Booked: Perkins, Gilks, Broadfoot

Cherries: Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Harte, Ritchie, O'Kane, Surman, Fraser (Pugh 59), Pitman, Grabban. 

Unused substitutes: Allsop, Smith, Hughes, MacDonald, Coulibaly, Rantie.

Goal: Grabban (pen 48)

Attendance: 13, 043 (including 612 Cherries supporters)

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