Fraser the hero as Cherries beat Toffees
- Lee Probert
Ryan Fraser struck twice as AFC Bournemouth finished 2017 on a high with a well-deserved win over Everton.
Fraser rose to acrobatically volley home Joshua King's centre after 30 minutes in a half dominated by the Cherries.
With the hosts not managing to notch a second, Everton levelled through Idrissa Gueye after the break - and following the equaliser the winner the home side's play deserved didn't look like coming.
Then with time running out, Fraser popped up again to win the game, via a deflection, and give the home fans the end to the year they craved.
The Cherries were unchanged from their Boxing Day West Ham draw, though buoyed by the return of left-back Charlie Daniels to the bench. In Daniels' absence Adam Smith continued in an unfamiliar left flank role from the off.
Making a positive start, Steve Cook had a chance for the Cherries but he couldn't quite get over Fraser's set piece with his head.
Smith lost possession then tracked back well to pinch the ball off a marauding Aaron Lennon in the box, before Fraser's pace saw him bearing down on goal; his slipped ball through just too pacey for the advancing Callum Wilson.
The lively start continued with the hosts looking the more menacing. Wilson shrugged off grappling arms to wriggle through on goal, hitting a bouncing ball his shot was close enough to Jordan Pickford to be parried away.
Jordon Ibe received possession with his back to goal, turned back on himself and with his left-footed strike forced Pickford into a good low save.
The goal that had been coming finally came just beyond the half hour and it was a brilliant team goal finished wonderfully by Fraser.
The Toffees gave the ball away cheaply and Wilson was sharply into it and feeding King down the right. The Norwegian's ball in was good but just behind Fraser who adjusted and finished with a special volley to break the deadlock.
Smith's under-hit backpass put visiting striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin in on goal, but the 20-year-old hesitated when he needed to be decisive and the recovering Bournemouth defence smuggled the ball behind for a corner.
Eddie Howe's men were dealt a blow before half time when King slumped to the turf, unable to continue his was immediately replaced by Benik Afobe.
The Toffees brought on Wayne Rooney at the interval, and the former England captain was soon in and amongst the action. He raced onto Gylfi Sigurdsson's pass but was flagged offside before he could finish.
Pushing the other way a Smith surge saw the full-back beat men to reach the byline, his centre diverted to safety by an outstretched defensive leg. Wilson soon got a shot away, but stumbling it went three yards wide.
Oumar Niasse - who scored the two goals to turn matters around in the corresponding fixture at Goodison Park earlier in the season - was introduced, while Rooney soon fizzed a low drive a foot wide of Asmir Begovic's post.
Momentarily Everton were level, Gueye with a good finish to tie the scoreline.
Steve Cook gave possession away down the right and the ball was speedily worked to Niasse, laying off in turn to Gueye, who ran onto the ball and finished well first time.
Pickford was at his very best to repel the hosts after some classic wingplay from Simon Francis, Wilson pounced on the skipper's centre eight yards out and must have thought he'd re-established a Bournemouth lead, only to be denied by Pickford's excellent diving save.
The attacking drive was being cranked up again by the hosts, the effervescent Fraser continuing his drive towards goal down the left flank.
Niasse causing problems again for the home backline, substitute Yannick Bolasie fired a half volley over, while Afobe couldn't make the most of his opportunity after being played in on goal by a defender.
The breakneck pace next saw Wilson getting a shot away. Deflected, Pickford was able to hold on to the effort. The Bournemouth man fired in again minutes later, this time pulling wide from 22 yards.
Ibe couldn't have come much closer to his maiden Cherries goal with ten minutes to go. First his powered strike was saved by Pickford and moments later the winger shot again this, time clipping the crossbar from 18 yards.
Lys Mousset replaced Wilson in attack with five minutes remaining, with Ibe soon then thrusting forwards again before firing over.
The goal the home fans were desperate for finally arrived with the clock ticking down, man of the match Fraser scoring again.
Smith had bustled past Jonjoe Kenny and played Fraser into space down the left. The Scot cut inside and shot low, the ball taking a kind but deserved deflection off Phil Jagielka's heel ahead of nestling into the unguarded side of the net.
Into five minutes of added time Afobe was unable to get a meaningful shot away when in the clear, but it mattered not as the Cherries preserved their lead to the last and gathered all three of the points on offer.