Kenwyne Jones scored just three minutes after coming on for his AFC Bournemouth debut to give the Cherries a point against Ipswich Town.
Jones was introduced as a 78th minute substitute at Portman Road and headed Matt Ritchie’s corner beyond Bartosz Bialkowski with just nine minutes remaining, meaning the travelling supporters saw his trademark celebration on his first appearance.
The goal ensured the Cherries took a well-deserved point back to the south coast, after Freddie Sears had opened the scoring with a tap-in from close range after just seven minutes.
Callum Wilson recovered in time from the injury he suffered against Middlesbrough to make the starting XI, with Brett Pitman favoured to partner him up front.
Marc Pugh, on the other hand, wasn’t as fortunate as the knock he took in the same game forced to watch from home, with Ryan Fraser taking his place on the left.
The onus was on the Cherries to maintain their impressive recent form, with all the other teams in the top six, barring Derby County and Watford who played in the late kick-off, winning their games earlier in the day.
However the hosts had the lead inside 10 minutes, with Sears finding space inside the Cherries penalty area and tapping home beyond Boruc from inside the area.
As if it needed any ammunition to be a hotly contested game, the early goal meant the tempo was increased further.
And in an attempt to find an instant response, Pitman came close to meeting Charlie Daniels’ cross with Ritchie picking up the rebound – only for his lay off to Harry Arter to be blasted over the bar.
End to end, the game’s next chance fell to Town, with Zeki Fryers, who signed for Town on loan from Crystal Palace last week, picking up the ball on the edge of the area and blasting the ball over the bar.
Pace was the Cherries’ main weapon and Fraser, who started for the first time since the defeat at Nottingham Forest in February, was at the heart of many of their attacks.
As well as drawing the Town players into fouls with his blistering pace, he also set up and almost finished a number of attacks, with his first real impact being to cut in and beat Chambers before playing the ball to Wilson, only for the frontman’s shot to be blocked.
Six minutes later and fellow Scotland international Ritchie looked to get the Cherries back into the game, but his shot from distance flew comfortably over.
Straight down the other end Town went and it was Steve Cook who was called into action as he was forced into a sliding tackle on Luke Varney – despite losing his boot in the build-up.
Fraser continued to have an impact and the save he drew from Bialowski on the 37th minute saw the home crowd rise to their feet in appreciation, with the stopper forced to tip over his goalbound effort from the edge of the area.
And the scotsman was final AFC Bournemouth player to come close in the opening period, as he blasted over the follow-up after Bialowski had parried a long distance Ritchie effort.
Goalscorer Sears carved out the first opening of the second half, but he dragged his effort wide of Artur Boruc’s goal before Bishop forced the stopper to gather his low shot at the near post just seconds later.
The Cherries’ first real attempt of the half fell to Arter, but he failed to get the connection he wanted with his shot trickling into the arms of Bialowski.
Fraser then came close, with a ball into the box rebounding out to him on the edge of the area – however his shot cannoned back out off of Chambers, before Ritchie’s effort just moments later also suffered a similar fate, deflecting behind for a corner.
The Cherries continued to push men forward but Mick McCarthy’s men proved stiff opposition as they looked to protect their slender lead.
As a result, chances were harder to come by than they had been during a more open first half and Varney was forced to have Town’s next effort from 35 yards as the Cherries remained on top.
Wilson and Ritchie looked to have found a way through a stubborn Town defence on the 69th minute as Wilson holds the ball up in the box, only for the hosts to somehow scramble the ball clear.
There was a brief scare for the Cherries on the 80th minute as Varney charged down Elphick as he made a clearance and with the rebound falling kindly to him, Boruc was called into action to block with his feet.
However a double substitution from Howe, which saw Adam Smith and Jones introduced, on the 78th minute proved decisive.
Earning themselves another corner, Ritchie picked out Jones inside the area and as he has done so many times in his career, the target man rose highest to place the ball into the far corner.
And it could have been even better for the Cherries as Ritchie took another corner in the game's final move- but this time Yann Kermorgant saw his header tipped away from goal by a scrambling Biawolski.
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith,Berra, Skuse, Murphy, Fryers, Varney, Tabb, Sears (Wood), Bishop (Chaplow).
Substitutes: Gerken, McGoldrick, Anderson, Clarke, Williams.
Goal: Sears (7)
Cherries: Boruc, Francis, Cook (Jones), Elphick, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Fraser (Smith), Pitman (Kermorgant), Wilson.
Substitutes: Camp, Ward, MacDonald, Gosling, Jones.
Goal: Jones 81