Moore strikes late to clinch promotion to Premier League
- Stuart Attwell
Kieffer Moore was the goal king of Vitality Stadium as AFC Bournemouth sealed a return to the Premier League thanks to a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
Moore struck seven minutes from time to settle in the Cherries’ favour a pulsating contest on another memorable night for the Dorset club.
Victory over their closest pursuers for the second automatic promotion place left Scott Parker’s team six points clear with one game remaining.
Parker joined an illustrious group of managers to have led the Cherries to promotion, it coming seven years and a day since Eddie Howe guided the club to the top flight for the first time in its history.
Head coach Parker named an unchanged starting line-up following the Cherries’ impressive showing during their 3-0 win at Blackburn on Saturday.
Forest included former Cherries pair Steve Cook and Sam Surridge, the striker having netted a first career hat-trick in their 5-1 victory over Swansea at the weekend.
Brice Samba was forced to parry Phil Billing’s shot after the ball had fallen to him following a break into the 18-yard box by Dominic Solanke inside the fourth minute.
Surridge went close to drawing first blood for the visitors when his effort from a Djed Spence pass came crashing back off the crossbar in the ninth minute.
Steve Cook required a lengthy spell of treatment following a clash of heads with Nat Phillips as the pair duelled for a James Garner corner.
Brennan Johnson’s hopeful effort flew over the crossbar before Steve Cook did well to cut out Jordan Zemura’s low cross.
Another lengthy delay saw Steve Cook receive more treatment with Forest’s medical staff again attending to the defender’s head injury.
Jack Colback nipped in front of Ryan Christie to beat the Scotsman to Zemura’s centre, the Cherries defender then putting his defensive skills to good use.
Zemura was in the right place to hack away Johnson’s first-time shot after Philip Zinckernagel’s cross had found him at the far post in the 30th minute.
Johnson fired straight down the throat of Mark Travers from the edge of the box before Lewis Cook just failed to pick out Jaidon Anthony with a cross.
Forest appealed in vain for a penalty after claiming a Cherries defender had handled Garner’s corner before Zinckernagel’s shot through a crowd of players was saved by Travers on the stroke of half-time.
Solanke’s 20-yarder was blocked at the start of the second half before the striker found the side netting after Christie’s delightful pass had found him.
The Cherries were forced into a change after 59 minutes with Moore replacing Lerma after the Colombia international had taken a knock.
A slip by Ryan Yates gave Billing an opportunity but the angle was too tight and his effort was saved by Samba before Christie’s shot flicked off Steve Cook’s head which took it off target.
Moore blazed an effort well wide before his pass teed up Anthony whose first-time shot was punched away for a corner by Samba.
Yates prodded wide from a Garner cross before Forest defender Scott McKenna picked up the first booking of the contest for tripping Zemura on the edge of the box.
And from the resultant free kick, cleverly disguised by Billing, Moore raised the roof at Vitality Stadium when he made the breakthrough.
The big striker showed great composure to pick his spot, curling a right-foot shot into the bottom corner and past the despairing dive of Samba.
AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Smith, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura, L Cook, Lerma (Moore, 59), Anthony (Mepham, 88), Billing, Solanke, Christie (Pearson, 88).
Unused subs: Brady, Dembele, Laird, Woodman (g/k).
Booked: Travers, Solanke.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Worrall, S Cook (Lolley, 84), McKenna, Spence, Yates, Garner, Colback (Laryea, 84), Zinckernagel (Mighten, 84), Johnson, Surridge.
Unused subs: Figueiredo, Cafu, Silva, Horvath (g/k).
Booked: McKenna, Spence.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.