Cherries make point at Rotherham
- Geoff Eltringham
AFC Bournemouth took the lead, fell behind and came away with a 2-2 draw against Rotherham United on Saturday.
Junior Stanislas scored his third goal and second penalty of the week with a 20th-minute spot kick to give the Cherries the lead, though the Millers pulled level before the break when Freddie Ladapo pounced in the box.
Ladapo scored his and his side's second with cross that audaciously deflected up, over Asmir Begovic but under the crossbar, Dominic Solanke levelling proceedings with a header just past the hour mark.
The visitors had chances to complete their comeback late in the game but fell short of a fourth straight win with a draw in South Yorkshire.
There were two changes from the off at the New York Stadium, Dan Gosling and Philip Billing coming in with Lewis Cook (knock) and Arnaut Danjuma (hamstring) missing from the squad.
Kicking-off in drizzly South Yorkshire conditions, Dominic Solanke cut right in the box, getting his shot away but seeing it blocked as the Cherries - in their blue and turquoise away kit - aimed to make the early running.
The Millers grew into the contest, but were nearly undone when Stanislas clipped a smart ball inside the area with Solanke looking to profit, but he was foiled by sprawling 'keeper Jamal Blackman at his near post.
However, the 'keeper was soon at fault and gifted the visitors a spot kick. Lloyd Kelly's low ball in was controlled by Solanke, whose second touch took the ball away from Blackman, who desperately clipped his ankle with the striker heading away from goal.
Stanislas stepped up for the second time this week and calmly dinked a finish down the middle to open the scoring.
Begovic kept the away side in the lead with a stunning save as he tipped Jamie Lindsay's header athletically over the bar, Michael Smith off target from the resulting corner.
The hosts were level on the approach to the interval, however. Ladapo sneaking between defenders to divert the ball home from ten yards following a bouncing cross from the left.
Ladapo then headed wide under pressure from Adam Smith, Stanislas sent through at the other end and seeming to be pulled back by defender Matthew Olosunde as he reached the area, the winger frustrated as no decision came in his favour.
Kelly was booked for a mistimed tackle on the left touchline, while in the first minute of added time at the end of the first half the away side won a free-kick with the opportunity to deliver a telling ball into the box.
Instead, Stanislas looked to catch Blackman out, forcing the 'keeper into a scrambling save at the near post to recover the situation without conceding, the scoreline equal at the interval.
A fine ball found Stanislas in space wide left, his pull back unable to be turned home, with Begovic soon at his best again to repel a Rotherham shot.
There was to be no denying Ladapo for a second time in the 50th minute. Fielding a cross he drove to his left and looked to clip a ball back into the danger zone, only for the ball to deflect off Adam Smith and somehow squeeze over the 'keeper but under the bar to give the Millers their first lead of the afternoon.
A double Cherries change on the hour introduced Diego Rico and Sam Surridge, and it was the Spaniard at the centre of his side's equaliser moments later.
Billing's pass released Rico and his mid-range centre allowed Solanke to jump and plant home a header that Blackman got his fingertips to but couldn't keep out.
Begovic was the hero again, reacting magnificently to stop Angus MacDonald's scissor kick, the rebound nestling in the net but ruled out by the assistant's offside flag.
Two chances in a minute came and went for Bournemouth, increasing their push for a winner as the game entered the closing stages.
First Solanke was set free but stopped by Blackman as he attempted to round him, Billing then blasting over when teed up in a promising position in the box.
Jefferson Lerma tried to catch the 'keeper out with a free-kick from the halfway line, the worried Blackman backpedaling but relieved to see the opportunistic effort land on the roof of the net.
Surridge swiped but couldn't connect cleanly with a David Brooks cross, four minutes of added time signaled from the touchline.
There was to be no late winner for either side, both being forced to settle for a hard-fought point in the testing conditions.