Cherries defeated in the Midlands
- Simon Hooper
In an open game, Wolverhampton Wanderers' scored early and late to seal the points as AFC Bournemouth went down 2-0 away at Molineux.
Raul Jimenez scored the opener which was crucial in changing the complexion of the game as he was left free to convert at the back post just past the ten-minute mark.
Junior Stanislas struck the woodwork with a trademark free-kick after half time and the Cherries had plenty of possession hunting for an equaliser, but substitute Ivan Caverleiro added a very late second as the Cherries hurled numbers forward in the hunt for an equaliser.
Jordon Ibe and Tyrone Mings came into the side in Eddie Howe's two changes from the match with Liverpool seven days ago, with Simon Francis missing through injury and David Brooks taking up a place on the bench.
In arctic conditions and amidst driving rain, inside three minutes Joshua King had a golden opportunity, played in beyond the last man by captain Andrew Surman. The striker went clear and took his time before he drilled an effort into the out-rushing Rui Patricio, the ball then looping up and over the crossbar.
But on 12 minutes the home side had the lead despite the Cherries' dominant start.
Charlie Daniels' pass inside his own half was picked off by Diogo Jota who quickly pushed into the area. Mis-hitting a shot, the ball rolled perfectly into the path of Jimenez who couldn't miss six yards out and unmarked.
There was a further setback for the visitors as Mings challenged for a ball with Jota and stayed down holding his back. While the former Ipswich man tried to continue, after seeking help twice from the physio he was forced to come off with Diego Rico coming on as his replacement.
Jota ran into space beyond the defence chasing a through ball but following Steve Cook out-muscled the Wolves midfielder with referee Simon Hooper waving away home-supporter shouts for a foul on their man.
Jefferson Lerma tested Patricio's handling with a swerving effort from 30 yards, but as the half-time whistle blew Wolves still had their lead in hand.
Into the second period and Bournemouth were continuing to see plenty of the ball, Surman cutting in a low shot from 25 yards that passed just wide of the post.
However, Wolves had the game's next big chance after substitute Helder Costa was sent sent sprinting towards goal from the halfway line, the Portuguese got within shooting range in the box still unchecked but then miscued horribly to shank a strike into the home fans and not the back of the net.
Back on the attack, Stanislas hit the crossbar with a wicked free-kick from an uninviting angle with the 'keeper well beaten, though Patricio was able to intervene and hold another Lerma long-ranger moments later.
Into the attack from the bench, Callum Wilson made himself a chance with a deft spin, but his shot was blocked, the Cherries making good approaches but not finding the killer balls or touches around the area they required.
Costa blasted a shot that Begovic fisted away at his near post, Cook at the other end firing on a cross that missed the far post by a couple of yards.
Joshua King got a shot away close in but typically it was blocked by some more solid Wolves defending, and while the Cherries looked to sling balls into the box and test the home defence to the last a breakthrough just wouldn't come.
With seconds remaining the misery was compounded when Wolves sprinted away on the break to wrap things up when substitute Cavaleiro marched through and finished clinically.
Battling the circumstances
The wet a wild Molineux weather confirming, if it were needed, that we are now well into the winter season, Bournemouth also had to contend with their own injury list hampering Howe's preparations and game management.
Francis' absence led to a reshuffle with Ibe taking up an unfamiliar role at right-back, the 23-year-old facing the role well, with Mings' injury further complicating the set up and forcing Daniels into the back three.
A positive came with Wilson's return from injury in the final half hour, but while the away side huffed an puffed they were never able to find their way level.