Cherries claim crucial points with first away win
- Lee Probert
Free flowing in the first half and sturdy in the second AFC Bournemouth earned a vital 2-1 win at Stoke City.
Two magic minutes in the first half had the Cherries two goals ahead - a precise Andrew Surman finish from the edge of the box and Junior Stanislas' penalty putting the visitors in control.
After half time, Mame Diouf pulled one back for Stoke with a scruffy finish off his thigh and via the crossbar, but the away side secured their first away win of the Premier League campaign with a solid late defensive effort.
Lys Mousset and Benik Afobe came in up front for the Cherries, with Joshua King and Jermain Defoe both missing out on the squad, the former striker through illness and the latter due to a hamstring injury.
Donning their black and green third strip for the first time, the Cherries pressed in the opening minutes. Stanislas robbed defender Kurt Zouma and crossed low but the hosts were able to hack clear.
Stoke relying on counter attacks, Nathan Ake needed to be sharp to intercept a low ball in from Glen Johnson.
The visitors claimed the lead on 16 minutes, Surman giving the Cherries the lead.
A slick ball through the defence found Lewis Cook who pulled back for Stanislas, in turn Surman was teed up and the midfielder's stroked finish was calmness personified from 20 yards.
Within 90 seconds the lead was two, as Stanislas' spot kick doubled the lead.
Afobe was clumsily bundled over in the box by Ryan Shawcross and Stanislas made no mistake from 12 yards, firing down the middle past Jack Butland.
The fixture suddenly thrust into life, Charlie Daniels bravely blocked Johnson's angled shot as the hosts searched for a quick response.
The Cherries sprung a break on 26 minutes, Ake expertly finding Jordon Ibe down the right, the former Liverpool man's first-time cross agonisingly ahead of the onrushing Mousset.
Past the half-hour mark and former Potters 'keeper Asmir Begovic was involved in his first save, a simple one as Jese's deflected shot looped up into his grasp.
Seconds later Begovic had a much tougher save to make, standing up strongly to palm away Diouf's powered near-post shot.
The lead was nearly three as Stanislas threaded the needle and Ibe was set through on goal, the winger stepped inside his defender but his shot deflected and was kept out by Butland's rapid reactions.
Maxim Chuopo-Moting headed inches wide for the hosts, and Shawcross prodded just the wrong side of the other posts as Bournemouth looked to keep the clean sheet intact at the break.
Into the second period and Stoke were soon setting about finding a foothold in the game; a cross hastily bundled clear as Diouf looked to shoot.
Joe Allen fired wastefully wide ten yards from goal after some slick Stoke build up, the Welshman knowing he should have done better with a rare clear opening.
Bournemouth were coming under increasing bombardment as the game clicked in the final 30 minutes, Peter Crouch coming on for the Potters to add an aerial attacking dimension, the away side looking to counter the move with the introduction of Steve Cook.
Stoke had their goal and a way back into the game in the 63rd minute, Diouf netting with his thigh from six yards after a crossed ball was played back into his path by Choupo-Moting.
Jese felt his side should have been awarded a penalty following Adam Smith's tackle by the byline in the box, referee Lee Probert instead signalling for a corner as the home charge continued.
The Cherries were holding firm into the final ten minutes at the bet365 Stadium, but the Stoke attacks were consistent and direct.
Energy still in the tanks as the match approached added-on time, a Stanislas-led break culminated with Adam Smith driving a shot a couple of yards wide.
Five minutes of additional time were bolted on at the end of the game and despite increasingly-fraught attacks from the Potters the visitors held their nerve and their grip on the all-important three points right to the final whistle.