Matt's stunning finish denies Cherries
- Mike Dean
AFC Bournemouth old boy Matt Ritchie netted a dramatic injury-time equaliser to earn Newcastle a share of the spoils following a Vitality Stadium thriller.
Ritchie's stunning volley was virtually the last kick of the game and prevented the Cherries from hitting the 40-point mark in the Premier League.
Earlier, Salomon Rondon had fired the visitors into the lead with a superb free-kick from 25 yards in first-half stoppage-time.
But Joshua King levelled from the spot three minutes into the second half after Nathan Ake had been fouled by Federico Fernandez.
And King added his 11th goal of the season to give the Cherries the lead nine minutes from time before Ritchie popped up to level late on.
Nathaniel Clyne and Jordon Ibe were drafted into the Cherries starting line-up as boss Eddie Howe was forced to make two changes.
Adam Smith and Andrew Surman, who both featured in the Cherries’ 2-0 win at Huddersfield seven days ago, were ruled out due to respective hamstring and calf injuries.
Charlie Daniels was handed the captain's armband and became the fifth player to skipper the Cherries in the Premier League this season.
Artur Boruc saved comfortably from Isaac Hayden as the visitors fashioned the first shooting chance before Rondon caught the Cherries goalkeeper’s left hand as he chased down a through ball.
Ayoze Perez collected the first yellow card of the contest after leaving Ryan Fraser in a heap following a sliding tackle in the ninth minute.
Fraser, teed up by Joshua King, then went within a whisker of opening the scoring when his low drive struck the base of Martin Dubravka’s left-hand post.
Ritchie received a warm round of applause from home supporters housed in the Vitality Steve Fletcher Stand as he went across to take a corner, the winger repaying the compliment.
Boruc got down smartly to his right to snaffle Perez’s well-struck shot in the 18th minute before Lerma had his name taken by referee Mike Dean for a foul on the Newcastle man.
Fraser required a lengthy spell of treatment after being accidentally caught on his left ankle by Hayden, the Scotsman managing to run off the knock.
Chris Mepham, who had Rondon lurking behind him, climbed well to nod clear a dangerous cross from Miguel Almiron before Callum Wilson fired wide after being set up by Fraser.
Ibe was booked for a flimsy challenge on Almiron as Newcastle’s record signing tried to go it alone following a Cherries corner on the stroke of half-time.
And from the resultant free-kick, Rondon lifted the ball over the Cherries wall and past the despairing dive of Boruc from 25 yards.
Nathan Ake made a timely tackle on Almiron as he was about to pull the trigger early in the second half before the Cherries were awarded a penalty three minutes after the restart.
Referee Dean had no hesitation in pointing to the spot after Federico Fernandez had manhandled Ake as the players jostled for position at a Fraser corner.
And having scored and missed during the Cherries’ 1-1 draw with Wolves, King made no mistake, drilling his penalty past Dubravka to restore parity.
Mepham went close to adding a quickfire second when his far-post header from another Fraser dropped inches the wrong side of the upright.
Ritchie failed to make good contact after Rondon’s deflected shot had found him at the far post before Lerma’s header drifted over the crossbar following Fraser’s free-kick.
Lerma, who netted his first goal in England when the teams met at St James’ Park earlier this season, then saw his 30-yarder curl the wrong side of the post.
Wilson went close to heading the Cherries into the lead after 71 minutes, only to see his effort acrobatically hooked off the line by Paul Dummett after Clyne had lifted the ball into the mix.
Dom Solanke replaced Ibe with 16 minutes remaining before Lerma tried his luck with a 25-yard volley, his strike fizzing past the post.
King added his and the Cherries’ second nine minutes from time, the goal owing much to the persistence and skill of teammate Solanke.
The England under-21 star initially stole the ball from Fernandez before holding off three Newcastle defenders with some neat footwork.
And after spotting King arriving on the edge of the box, Solanke rolled the ball invitingly into his path and the Norwegian clinically swept it past Dubravka and into the back of the net.
However, Ritchie, a hero of the Cherries’ Championship-winning squad of 2014/15, had the final say when his stunning volley from DeAndre Yedlin's cross salvaged a point for Newcastle.
PENALTY KING JOSHUA HOLDS HIS NERVE
Joshua King was the coolest person inside Vitality Stadium as he stepped forward to take his second-half penalty.
The Norway international, who had missed his last spot-kick in the 1-1 draw with Wolves last month, showed no nerves as he confidently despatched his effort past Martin Dubravka.
And just for good measure, King bagged a delightful second with an assured finish nine minutes from time - his sixth goal in his past five home league matches.
WEEMAN IS MADE OF STRONG STUFF
Clobbered heavily twice in the first half, Ryan Fraser recovered well to turn in an excellent display and gave the Newcastle defence plenty to ponder.
The Scotsman delivered a series of probing crosses and corners and always looked likely to create an opening with his surging runs and attacking intent.