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Match Report

 

Posted Fri 26 Dec 14 at 16:50 PM

AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Watford

AFC Bournemouth remain top of the Sky Bet Championship following a 2-0 win over Fulham on Boxing Day.

Having briefly been knocked off top spot by Ipswich Town in the lunchtime kick-off, the Cherries returned to first place thanks to Brett Pitman’s early goal and Harry Arter's injury time finish.

Pitman made it two goals in his last two games, heading home from Matt Ritchie’s corner in the ninth minute.

The Cherries had further chances in the opening period and Pitman missed a penalty just after half-time.

Meanwhile, Fulham produced an improved performance after the interval and almost found an equaliser through Ross McCormack, with Hugo Rodallega and Brian Ruiz failing to get a touch on the strike which went just wide.

But it was Pitman’s finish and Arter's fantastic drive which proved to be decisive and kept the Cherries’ unbeaten league run, which now stands at 13 matches, going.

The Cherries made an electric start, with Pitman going close before Nikolay Bodurov awkwardly cleared behind for a corner into the sidenetting.

But Pitman made no mistake as he darted to the near post and glanced Ritchie’s inswinging corner beyond the goalkeeper.

Eddie Howe’s team kept up the pressure and Marc Pugh’s penalty appeal was soon followed by a long range effort from Callum Wilson.

Fulham couldn’t get out of their own half, with Marcus Bettinelli producing a full stretch save to push away Ritchie’s powerful free-kick and then getting up again to prevent Wilson setting up a tap in for Pitman.

A well worked move then created space for Arter and he guided his shot over in one of the hosts’ best openings in the first half.

The early exchanges of the second period went Fulham’s way as McCormack sent a strike just wide and Pitman missed a penalty.

Referee Keith Stroud had pointed the spot for Jack Grimmer’s foul on Wilson, only for Bettinelli to read Pitman’s plans and block the finish with his legs.

It was the away side who dominated after the restart and on loan stopper Artur Boruc could only watch on as Scott Parker’s long range shot rolled just wide of the post.

However, it was Parker’s brother-in-law who ended up on the winning side as the Cherries held on to their win to make it four straight league victories.

In fact, it was Arter who had the last word, finding the bottom corner at the end of an incisive counter attack in injury time.

Cherries: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie (Smith 90), Arter, Surman, Pugh, Wilson (Kermorgant 90), Pitman (Gosling 86).

Unused substitutes: Camp, Cargill, O’Kane, Fraser.

Booked: Pitman

Goals: Pitman (9), Arter (90)

Fulham: Bettinelli, Grimmer, Bodurov, Hutchinson, Stafylidis, Parker, Christensen (Williams 67), Fofana, Ruiz (Roberts 79), McCormack, Rodallega (Woodrow 87).

Unused substitutes: Kiraly, Zverotić, Hyndman, Burn.

Booked: Williams

Attendance: 10,926 (including 1,382 Fulham supporters)

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