Stanislas double uproots Forest
- Simon Hooper
Two goals from Junior Stanislas gave AFC Bournemouth their third straight Championship victory in a 2-0 home win over Nottingham Forest.
The winger grabbed the lead for the home side inside three minutes after racing onto David Brooks' brilliant pass forwards, the winger later having the best chance for a second before the break, though the Cherries returned to the dressing rooms with just a one-goal advantage.
After the restart, Stanislas showed his dead-eye skills from the spot to make it two, the away side pushing up until the final whistle but unable to get past the resolute Cherries backline.
The win moved the Cherries up to 26 points and strengthened their early-season hold on one of the top two spots in the table.
There were two changes, both in defence, from the Cherries' weekend starting line up, Adam Smith and Chris Mepham in from the off in front of the Sky Sports cameras - former Dean Court men Harry Arter and Lyle Taylor starting for the opposition in their away blue livery for the evening.
After their team huddle, the hosts kicked-off in still and relatively mild November conditions, Arter setting aim with the game's initial opening but firing well over from outside the area.
However, parity lasted only seconds and it was the Cherries who seized the early advantage.
Brooks picked up the ball on the right flank, lofting a mesmeric ball over the Forest backline with his left foot for Stanislas' run, good control and an assured finish past the hesitant 'keeper opening the scoring in scything style.
Taylor slid in but headed his stooping effort over the bar as Forest looked to strike back, Arnaut Danjuma stealing through moments later past his man but seeing his shot saved from a tight angle by Brice Samba.
Lewis Cook's low shot was a yard wide, the match open and flowing evenly between each end; Sammy Ameobi having a shot blocked by Steve Cook, making his 350th appearance for the Cherries.
Confidence clearly flowing, Brooks turned, forced the defence back and pushed a 20-yard effort just wide, while in defence Asmir Begovic comfortably saved from Cyrus Christie after the visiting full-back cut inside and tried his luck.
Into added time at the end of the first half the Cherries came within a scramble of a second. Some further Brooks magic on the byline led to a low centre ad Stanislas on hand to strike from eight yards, Scott McKenna clearing the ball off his own line when it was almost halfway over.
Without any of the five changes permitted made, the second half got under way. Brooks and Stanislas linked up again on the edge of the area, the latter firing a low shot wide.
The Cherries had an even better chance when Forest captain Jack Colback needlessly fouled Dominic Solanke in the very corner of the box, referee Simon Hooper pointing to the spot.
Stanislas took responsibility and characteristically struck the ball home comfortably to double the Bournemouth lead.
Begovic gathered from Ryan Yates' 25-yard shot, the Cherries clearing a number of corners as Forest pushed increasingly for a foothold in the match.
Ameobi threatened from range, Begovic at full stretch to tip over, and Yates soon had the visitors' best chance yet, meeting substitute Anthony Knockaert's cross with his head close in but not able to find the target.
It was Ameobi in the thick of the attacking action again as he skewed a volley wide, the offside flag raised to spare his blushes slightly, the Cherries retaining their two-goal lead into the final ten minutes at Vitality Stadium.
Forest were enjoying possession in the final third, but pushed back and denied chances by the organised and determined Bournemouth defensive unit.
As the match clicked in three minutes of additional time the hosts looked to control the game, Solanke appealing a second penalty, this time not given, as he appeared to have his heels clipped in the box, again by Colback.
The Cherries saw their win out none-the-less, continuing their promotion push and maintaining their unbeaten home record 13 games into the Championship season.