Parker's class of 2021 equal 60-year club record
- John Brooks
Scott Parker’s class of 2021 equalled a long-standing club record as Dominic Solanke’s first-half double provided the springboard for a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
Victory, cemented by Lloyd Kelly’s first goal of the season, extended to 14 games the Cherries’ unbeaten start to the season, a feat achieved in 1961 when the club were in the third tier.
Eight wins and six draws saw Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic top the table 60 years ago, the Cherries going on to finish third behind Portsmouth and Grimsby.
It was player-manager Bill McGarry’s first full season at Dean Court, the England international having joined the club after spending ten years at Huddersfield.
The current Cherries crop can lay claim to a better return, their win against the Terriers making it ten victories adding to four draws.
Parker’s team have taken 34 points from their first 14 games, a club-high since three points for a win were introduced in 1981, and are eight ahead of third-placed Fulham.
Solanke opened the scoring in the tenth minute, the striker netting from the penalty spot after he had been tripped by Ollie Turton.
And Solanke doubled the Cherries’ lead just 11 minutes later when he finished emphatically after being teed up by a combination of Ryan Christie and Phil Billing.
Kelly put the icing on the cake when he netted to earn the Cherries a fifth successive home win and an eighth victory in their past nine games.
Head coach Parker named an unchanged starting line-up and bench following the Cherries’ 1-0 win at Stoke City on Tuesday.
Naby Sarr’s stray backpass gifted the Cherries an early corner but the big Huddersfield defender was on hand to head clear from Christie’s delivery.
Fraizer Campbell looked to seize on a slip by Gary Cahill but Lloyd Kelly recovered to force the Town striker wide and away from danger.
Cherries drew first blood when Solanke, tripped by Turton for a penalty, sent Lee Nicholls the wrong way from the spot.
Referee John Brooks had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and the in-form striker coolly rolled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner, the goalkeeper diving in the opposite direction.
Jefferson Lerma blazed wide from a tight angle before Solanke glanced a header from Billing’s cross narrowly past the upright.
Mark Travers was forced to punch clear an inswinging corner from Sorba Thomas before the hosts doubled their lead through Solanke in the 21st minute.
Huddersfield old boy Billing neatly cushioned a Christie cross into the frontman’s path, Solanke rifling a low drive past the despairing dive of Nicholls for his 11th goal of the season.
Thomas lifted a free-kick high into the Steve Fletcher Stand before Cahill’s fierce drive from long range was pouched by Nicholls.
Lerma climbed above two Huddersfield defenders to meet Gavin Kilkenny’s hanging cross, his header drifting over the crossbar.
An audacious piece of skill from Christie, the Scotsman backheeling the ball to Lerma, set up another opening but Solanke was eventually closed down by a defender.
Solanke’s neat turn and pass created an opportunity for Christie, the Scotsman denied by Nicholls after cutting in from the wing and taking aim at the start of the second half.
Campbell dispossessed Lerma before seeing his shot blocked by Cahill, one of few shooting chances for the visitors in the first 60 minutes.
A sweeping move started by Jordan Zemura and continued by Anthony, ended with Tom Lees nudging ahead of Solanke to beat the striker to Billing’s low cross.
But the reprieve was only temporary for the visitors, Kelly hooking home Christie’s cross midway through the second half to make it 3-0 with his first goal of the season.
Christie, who received a deserved standing ovation when he left the pitch in the 70th minute, provided the assist having been put free by Anthony with Kelly’s shot taking a slight deflection off Thomas on its way into the back of the net.
Huddersfield thought they had reduced the arrears when substitute Danny Ward headed home after Josh Koroma’s thunderous strike had come back off the crossbar, the effort ruled out for offside.
As the Cherries went in search of a fourth goal, Jonathan Hogg cleared off the line after substitute Morgan Rogers had tried his luck, fellow replacement Junior Stanislas putting the rebound wide.
AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Stacey, Kelly, Cahill, Zemura, Lerma (Stanislas, 70), Kilkenny, Billing, Christie (Lowe, 70), Solanke (Rogers, 79), Anthony.
Unused subs: B Pearson, Mepham, Marcondes, Nyland (g/k).
Booked: Anthony, Kilkenny.
Huddersfield Town: Nicholls, M Pearson, Lees, Sarr (Sinani, 56), Turton, Hogg, O’Brien, Toffolo, Thomas (Ward, 70), Campbell (Holmes, 62), Koroma.
Unused subs: Aarons, Ruffels, High, Bilokapic (g/k).
Referee: John Brooks.