Christie leveller takes Cherries back into second
- Gavin Ward
Ryan Christie’s equaliser earned AFC Bournemouth a share of the points from a 1-1 draw with Peterborough United and took them back into second place in the Championship.
Scotland international Christie netted his third goal in his past seven appearances to cancel out Jack Marriott’s first-half opener for the Posh.
Scott Parker’s team had a number of presentable chances during a keenly-fought contest but were forced to settle for what could prove to be a valuable point.
Siriki Dembele was restored to the AFC Bournemouth starting line-up as head coach Scott Parker made three changes following the 2-1 defeat at Preston on Saturday.
Dembele, who joined the Cherries from Peterborough in January, was recalled along with fellow frontman Christie and defender Jack Stacey.
Stacey came in for Adam Smith, who served the first of a three-match ban, while Dembele and Christie replaced Jaidon Anthony and Jamal Lowe who were named on the bench.
Dembele and Christie fashioned the first shooting chance after just 90 seconds, the Scotland international curling his effort narrowly past the post having been picked out by his team-mate.
Cherries goalkeeper Mark Travers saved comfortably from Marriott before Posh appealed in vain for a penalty after Jonson Clarke-Harris had gone to ground under a Stacey challenge.
A neat exchange of passes between Christie and Stacey ended with Dominic Solanke hooking his effort past the post, a difficult chance for the striker with the ball behind him.
Solanke then fired inches past the upright after his clever one-two with Todd Cantwell had opened up the Posh defence before Phil Billing’s header from Lewis Cook’s cross went just wide.
Jeando Fuchs’s effort found the side netting before the Posh midfielder required a lengthy spell of treatment following a collision with Jordan Zemura.
A well-worked corner in the 19th minute saw Nat Phillips have two chances, the first striking a defender, the second flying over the crossbar.
Billing clipped his effort over the top after Solanke had teed him up around 12 yards from goal with Christie again supplying the cross.
Peterborough took the lead in the 30th minute when Marriott found the bottom corner of the net after Joe Ward’s cross had deflected off Lloyd Kelly and fallen invitingly for him.
Christie climbed at the far post to meet Dembele’s hanging cross, his header finding the side netting before David Cornell smothered Billing’s low drive at his near post.
As the first half drew to a close, Kelly arrived to meet Cantwell’s corner, the Cherries captain’s header clearing the crossbar.
Christie restored parity seven minutes into the second half with Phillips and Solanke playing key roles in the Scotsman’s third goal for the club.
Phillips won a brave header before Solanke rolled the ball into the path of Christie who prodded home past Cornell following a driving run into the 18-yard box.
Solanke’s shot was blocked following a mazy run and cross from Dembele before Phillips threw himself in front of an Oliver Norburn piledriver, diverting it for a corner.
Billing’s shot from distance flashed past the post before the Danish midfielder flicked a dangerous free kick from Burrows behind for a corner.
Solanke danced across the box and let fly with a ferocious drive which was charged down before Zemura’s effort curled past the upright.
Kelly turned Ward's shot behind for a corner with the Cherries unable to find a winner in the closing stages.
AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Stacey (Anthony, 80), Phillips, Kelly, Zemura, Billing (Lowe, 87), Cook, Cantwell, Christie, Solanke, Dembele (Marcondes, 87).
Unused subs: Cahill, Mepham, Pearson, Woodman (g/k).
Booked: Zemura, Billing.
Peterborough United: Cornell, Knight, Edwards, Kent, Ward, Fuchs, Norburn, Jack Taylor (Szmodics, 65), Burrows, Marriott (Jones, 68), Clarke-Harris (Joe Taylor, 78).
Unused subs: Beevers, Grant, Mumba, Blackmore (g/k).
Referee: Gavin Ward.