Cherries beaten in Barnsley roller coaster
- John Brooks
AFC Bournemouth trailed, led but ultimately lost a see-saw battle in a 3-2 home defeat to play-off rivals Barnsley.
The Tykes took an early lead when Michal Helik arrived at the back post to convert from a corner, though the Cherries were soon level following a blistering counter started by Asmir Begovic, crafted by Junior Stanislas and finished by Arnaut Danjuma.
The Cherries becoming ever more threatening, Dominic Solanke completed a first-half turnaround as he scored from Danjuma's low ball in, the hosts ahead after 45 minutes.
Not taking their chances to increase their advantage, the home side were pegged back when Dominik Frieser converted a cross, before Carlton Morris changed the complexion of the game again when he headed in from a free-kick with ten minutes left.
The fifth goal was the final one with Barnsley the victors at Vitality Stadium.
There was just one change for the Cherries from the off in the first of four straight home matches, Shane Long coming in for the luckless Lewis Cook, who will spend a long spell on the sidelines with an ACL injury picked up at Preston last weekend.
The players passed on their best wishes to the midfielder as they trained in 'Stay strong Lew' t-shirts in the warm up. The personnel switch also facilitated a tweak to the formation, with two up front against Barnsley's physical threat and high line.
Bright sunshine, swirling winds and rain showers had all been seen in the half hour leading up to kick-off, with the ball first rolled under a sudden downpour again, the hosts attacking the Ted MacDougall Stand in the first half.
The wind had a near-immediate impact when Tykes 'keeper Brad Collins dropkicked and the ball dropped down barely 20 yards ahead of where it was struck from, though Long was unable to control when he might have been in on goal.
Barnsley's long throw prowess enabled Conor Chaplin to get in a shot that was well blocked, and in the 16th minute the away side nudged their noses in front.
A near-post corner from the left was flicked on by Mads Andersen with his central defensive partner Helik alive at the far post to volley home from close range.
The visiting lead was shortlived however, as the Cherries struck back with a lethal counter attack just six minutes later.
Begovic claimed a hanging ball and was alert to quickly launch an archer's throw past halfway with Stanislas launching onto it. The attacker stepped inside his defender and laid the ball off for Danjuma who slotted home from eight yards.
Stanislas came close to adding a goal to his assist, volleying in Jefferson Lerma's smart deft chip, a slight touch from Collins tipping the strike onto the crossbar and behind for a corner.
Lerma ran onto Adam Smith's cutback to shoot, his effort desperately deflected wide by a defender with the home pressure growing.
A lunging late tackle earned Andersen a yellow card and ended Smith's afternoon, the full-back hopping down the tunnel and replaced by Jack Stacey in the Cherries' first change.
From the set piece Dominic Solanke got to the ball with his header but guiltily headed well wide, making up for it seconds later as he gave the hosts a half-time lead.
Bournemouth exposed Barnsley's high line again with a ball dropped over into space for Danjuma, who stood up Toby Sibbick before lancing in a low centre that Solanke finished first time from a central position.
Barnsley made two changes ahead of the restart as they looked to reassert themselves and keep their ten-game unbeaten run intact.
Begovic was down to his left to save and hold onto a skidding 22-yard half-volley from Tykes captain Alex Mowatt.
The advancing Collins had two major let offs in quick succession in his role as sweeper 'keeper. First Long beat him to the ball with only a desperate recovering tackle from the stopper thwarting the forward.
Then Solanke nicked the ball off from the next ball forwards and with a near impossible angle rolled the ball goalwards but cruelly along the line and not across it, where a defender was able to recover and clear.
The visitors were level on the hour mark, the ball work in from the right with Frieser flicking home from ten yards into the far corner for 2-2.
Woodgate made a double substitution as Sam Surridge and Philip Billing entered the action with just over a quarter of the match remaining.
Andersen headed wide from a cross for Barnsley, before Collins completed a hat-trick of lucky escapes at the other end as he misread when Surridge rushed onto a long ball, it dropped to Danjuma but he was unable to finish from the very width of the box.
Herbie Kane tested Begovic with a free-kick that the Bosnian palmed away, both sides continuing their assaults on the three points, Barnsley grabbing the fifth goal of the game with ten minutes remaining.
Billing was judged to have fouled his man 25 yards from goal, Mowatt delivering a ball that substitute Morris rose to glance into the top corner and re-establish the away advantage.
Stanislas rode two tackles but not a third with Danjuma waiting to pounce to his left as the Cherries pushed to level again.
Four minutes of added time were signaled, though despite home pressure there was no way through as the Bournemouth were dealt a blow in their push for promotion.