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Cherries suffer last-gasp Luton blow

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Leigh Doughty

AFC Bournemouth were left dented after conceding a last-gasp winner to Luton Town at Kenilworth Road in an enthralling Championship encounter.

The Cherries weren't at their best in a frenetic first-half, with Lloyd Kelly unfortunate to concede an own goal before Allan Campbell doubled their lead in a period spiked with controversy. 

Scott Parker's side rallied in the second half, Emiliano Marcondes continuing his fine goalscoring form with a good header before substitute Morgan Rogers rifled home with his first touch. 

However, a last-gasp winner by Kal Naismith ensured the points stayed with the home team in a raucous atmosphere. 

Parker made eight changes to the side that beat Yeovil Town in last week’s FA Cup third round tie, with Gary Cahill, Dominic Solanke and Ryan Christie among those to return to the starting line up. Marcondes also kept his place following his hat-trick at Huish Park last week.

The Cherries started brightest and forced the first save of the match from Luton goalkeeper James Shea, as Leif Davis’ deep cross found its way to Christie who prodded goalwards, but Shea got down well to push away from danger.

Mark Travers was tested twice in the space of a minute shortly after, first rising well to punch a dangerous long throw clear of danger, before getting down sharply at his near post to block a shot from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

But Travers was powerless to stop the hosts taking the lead on the half hour mark through a Kelly own goal.

A deep cross found its way to Adebayo inside the box, who cut inside and shot low. Travers got down well to save, only for the ball to rebound back into the shins of the helpless Kelly and into the corner.

The Hatters thought they had doubled their lead after 35 minutes when a corner ricocheted off Adebayo and into the path of Cameron Jerome who side-footed into the net from an offside position. After lengthy protestation from the Cherries and consultation with the assistant referee, the goal was disallowed.

The controversy led to a frantic final ten minutes going into the break, in which the hosts did double their lead through Allan Campbell’s powerful 20 yard shot which flashed past Travers into the corner.

Parker's side had it all to do going into the second half and made the ideal start as Marcondes pulled one back with his fourth goal in two games on 51 minutes.

Jack Stacey did brilliantly to retrieve a loose ball on the halfway line, before powering clear on the right flank and picking out Marcondes whose diving header gave Shea no chance.

That superb assist from the full-back inspired the visitors, who continued to look threatening and came close to levelling after 56 minutes as Jefferson Lerma rose highest to head a Marcondes corner goalwards, but Shea did well to tip over.

However, as the hosts began to settle and the half drifted on it began to look as if the Cherries might have missed their best opportunities to equalise.

That was until the introduction of Morgan Rogers on 75 minutes. The Manchester City loanee smashed home with his first touch following Lowe's low cross into the box, his first goal for the club. 

After an excellent second half, the Cherries would have been delighted to return to the south coast with a point and Travers continued to impress between the sticks. Jordan Clark controlled a long ball forward and despite protestations of handball, struck a powerful shot at goal which required an acrobatic save from the Irish shot-stopper.

However, in the final moments, Luton snatched the win. The Cherries failed to clear a ball into the box and Naismith struck a low effort into the bottom corner, a blow to Parker's side who had done so well to get back into the game. 

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2021/22 highlights

Extended | Action from Kenilworth Road

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20th August 2022 5:30 PM

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