The Cherries were knocked out of the Capital One Cup this evening following a 2-0 defeat to Watford.
Eddie Howe’s team exited the competition in the second round after an early own goal from Elliott Ward and Cristian Battocchio’s stunning second half strike handed the Hornets victory at Vicarage Road.
Brett Pitman, Shaun MacDonald and Ward all came close to scoring for Eddie Howe’s side, but were unable to find a way past Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, who pulled off a number of important saves.
Eight of the players who started last weekend’s fixture at Huddersfield were named in the starting line-up, while Marc Pugh, Richard Hughes and Ward were brought into the team.
New signing Tokelo Rantie, who joined the club from Swedish side Malmo just a few hours before kick-off, was unavailable and didn’t travel with the squad for the League Cup tie.
The game had a much more subdued feel compared to the league meeting just over two weeks ago, but Watford took an early lead through Ward’s unfortunate own goal.
Forestieri, the only member of the Hornets’ squad to start the previous encounter, sent in a cross towards the back post, which the defender inadvertently guided past Ryan Allsop and into his own net.
The Cherries responded with efforts from Tommy Elphick and Pitman midway through the first half, and only the woodwork and some brave defending prevented the visitors pulling themselves back on to level
Pitman saw his low free-kick turned on to the post by Bond before the Cherries captain guided a shot over the bar from close range from the following corner.
However, it wasn’t all one way traffic and Javier Acuna went close to extending Watford’s lead with a strike from 25 yards.
Andrew Surman then had the visitors’ best effort of the half when he arrived late into the box and met Marc Pugh’s inswing cross, only to glance his header just wide of the post.
The Cherries kept the pressure on after the restart and they were unfortunate not to force an equaliser in the early stages.
MacDonald raced clear of the defence and had his shot saved by Bond before sidefooting the rebound wide as Howe’s team enjoyed their best spell of the game.
However, Watford moved closer to a place in the third round when Battocchio scored with a sublime chip from the edge of the area.
With Mohamed Coulibaly and Wes Thomas sent on as substitutes, the Cherries still showed plenty of attacking intent and Bond pulled off another important save when he pushed away Ward’s header from point blank range.
Watford: Bond, Brown (Angella 62), Belkalem, Ekstrand, Faraoni (Anya 72), Battocchio, Smith, Murray, Pudil, Acuna, Forestieri.
Unused substitutes: Almunia, Fabbrini, Ikpeazu, O’Nien.
Goals: Ward OG (13), Battocchio (65)
Cherries: Allsop, Francis, Elphick, Ward, Harte, Pugh (McDermott 83), Surman, Hughes, MacDonald (Thomas 62), Fraser (Coulibaly 62), Pitman.
Unused substitutes: Flahavan, Cook, Addison, Grabban.
Attendance: 9,824 (including 509 Cherries supporters)