Moore the merrier as Cherries stage dramatic comeback
- Darren Bond
Kieffer Moore came off the bench to spark a dramatic comeback as AFC Bournemouth claimed a potentially-priceless point from a 3-3 draw with Swansea City on Tuesday.
Scott Parker’s team were trailing 3-0 with just 18 minutes remaining following Joel Piroe’s first-half double and a goal from Cyrus Christie at the Swansea.com Stadium.
The introduction of Moore, who was returning after a lengthy injury layoff, proved a major turning point as the Wales international netted twice, his brace sandwiching a Dominic Solanke penalty.
Cardiff City old boy Moore silenced the Swansea faithful when he bagged the equaliser in the final minute to cap a stirring second-half showing from the Cherries.
Moore reduced the arrears when he headed home Jaidon Anthony’s 72nd-minute corner before Solanke added his 28th league goal of the season from the penalty spot nine minutes from time.
Although Moore was foiled by a stunning save from Swans goalkeeper Andy Fisher, he made no mistake when he prodded home the leveller after Solanke’s header had been saved.
Parker’s team laid siege to the Swansea goal for long periods in the second half and, but for the heroics of Fisher, could have headed back across the Severn Bridge with all three points.
A share of the spoils saw the Cherries maintain a three-point lead in the second automatic promotion berth with just three games remaining.
Former Swansea striker Jamal Lowe was restored to the Cherries starting line-up as head coach Parker made one change following the 1-1 draw with Fulham on Saturday.
Lowe, who netted 14 times to help the Swans reach the Championship play-off final last season, replaced Phil Billing who was forced off against Fulham with a back injury.
Ethan Laird, who was on loan to Swansea from Manchester United during the first half of the season, kept his place in the back four alongside Lloyd Kelly, Nat Phillips and Adam Smith.
Goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who enjoyed two fruitful loan spells with Swansea from Newcastle, was named among the Cherries substitutes, as was two-goal hero Moore.
Wales international Moore returned to the squad for the first time since suffering a broken foot during his debut for the Cherries against Birmingham in February.
The Cherries paid the ultimate price for conceding possession near the halfway line on two occasions as Swansea forged 2-0 ahead inside the opening 12 minutes.
Firstly, a stray pass was eventually worked to Cyrus Christie whose driven low cross was parried by Cherries goalkeeper Mark Travers.
But after the loose ball had been seized on by Piroe, the Dutchman made no mistake and rifled home the opener from around ten yards in the sixth minute.
A slip by Lowe allowed Ryan Manning to thread a pass to Michael Obafemi who picked out Piroe near the edge of the 18-yard box.
And his venomous left-footed strike gave Travers no chance as it arrowed into the bottom corner of the net to leave the Cherries facing an uphill task.
As the Cherries looked for a quick response, Lewis Cook’s long-range effort was saved by Fisher before some delightful footwork from Ryan Christie created an opening for Solanke, only for his shot to be blocked by Joel Latibeaudiere.
Solanke arrived at the far post to meet a corner from Anthony which had been flicked on by Nat Phillips but his effort was saved by Fisher midway through the first half.
Lowe was booked for a foul on Ben Cabango before Ryan Manning picked out Obafemi whose rising drive from 20 yards narrowly cleared the crossbar.
A swift counter-attack started by Solanke ended with Lowe’s angled drive from an Anthony pass being turned past the post by Fisher.
And from the resultant corner, taken by Anthony, Jefferson Lerma saw his glancing header flash past the upright.
On the stroke of half-time, Solanke met Anthony’s hanging cross, his header failing to trouble Fisher as it sailed high over the crossbar.
Lloyd Kelly’s long throw was cleared only as far as interval substitute Phil Billing, his rasping drive cannoning off Kyle Naughton and going out for a corner at the start of the second half.
And just seconds later, Fisher scrambled across his line to block with his left boot after Anthony had ghosted in at the far post to get on the end of Solanke’s centre.
However, Cyrus Christie added a third goal when he lashed the ball into the roof of the net following a break involving Piroe and Obafemi in the 58th minute.
Anthony’s free kick led to a frantic goalmouth scramble with Lerma having two headed attempts, neither of which tested Fisher.
Solanke’s snapshot found the side netting before Moore, on as a 62nd-minute replacement for Lowe, reduced the arrears nine minutes after coming off the bench.
The former Cardiff City frontman powered home a header from close range after getting on the end of Anthony’s corner into the danger zone.
Referee Darren Bond, on the advice of his assistant, pointed to the penalty spot after Manning had handled Laird’s cross.
And Solanke, who netted a crucial spot kick against Fulham on Saturday, again showed nerves of steel to convert from 12 yards, the striker finding the bottom corner despite Fisher guessing correctly and diving to his right.
Solanke's 46th league goal for the club saw him join Phil Boyer and Trevor Morgan in 17th place on the list of all-time leading scorers.
The Swans were indebted to Fisher for making a top-drawer save to keep out Moore’s effort, the goalkeeper spreading himself to deny the striker a second seven minutes from time.
But Moore had the final say in the last minute, the striker prodding home the loose ball at the far post after Solanke’s header from a Robbie Brady cross had been parried by Fisher.
Fisher heroically saved with his legs from Lerma after Travers’s precision kick had started an attack before the Swansea goalkeeper tipped Anthony’s 20-yarder over the top during eight minutes of added time.
AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Laird, Phillips, Kelly, A Smith (Billing, h-t), Cook, Lerma, Anthony, Lowe (Moore, 62), Solanke, R Christie (Brady, 65).
Unused subs: Mepham, Pearson, Dembele, Woodman (g/k).
Booked: Lowe, Anthony, Phillips, Billing, Lerma, Solanke.
Swansea City: Fisher, Cabango (K Smith, 49), Naughton, Latibeaudiere, C Christie, Grimes, Downes, Manning, Piroe (Joseph, 90), Wolf (Fulton, 82), Obafemi.
Unused subs: Ogbeta, Congreve, Cotterill, Hamer (g/k).
Booked: C Christie, K Smith.
Referee: Darren Bond.