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Report: AFC Bournemouth 2-3 Preston North End - Cherries exit EFL Cup

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

In a topsy-turvy tie, the Cherries came from behind to lead thanks to a Lewis Grabban penalty and Dan Gosling’s tidy finish from close range.

But the match-winner on the night was Preston’s Danish striker Simon Makienok, whose hat-trick and ultimately decisive goal came in the second period of extra time.

Eddie Howe made a total of 11 changes to the starting line-up that had three days earlier tasted defeat at Manchester City.

Arguably the most notable name on the teamsheet was that of Tyrone Mings, who was in for his first competitive start for the Cherries after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

And despite Bournemouth dominating possession early on, it was the visitors who drew first blood on 11 minutes.

It was the game’s first meaningful and after some clever link-up play between Chris Humphrey and Makienok, Ben Pringle’s initial shot was blocked. The loose ball found its way back to Makienok, who from the left channel rifled a low shot past a couple of Bournemouth defenders and beyond an unsighted Adam Federici.

Again, Bournemouth continued to see more of the ball, but for all their possession in the final third Preston goalkeeper Chris Maxwell remained relatively untroubled.

That was until the half-hour mark. Brad Smith played a neat give and go with Benik Afobe inside the area, before seeing his shot diverted around the post by a smart reflex save.

At the interval Lys Mousset was introduced in place of Marc Wilson, as the Cherries reverted to a flat back four.

But it was the visitors who engineered the first opening of the second half.

Makienok latched onto a long ball over the top before dragging a right-footed effort wide of the far post.

But Bournemouth responded and immediately upped the tempo. Brad Smith was a constant option whilst motoring up and down the left flank whilst the visitors struggled to track Max Gradel’s runs infield.

And a deserved equaliser duly arrived on 52 minutes. 

Gradel’s shot cannoned into the hands of a Preston defender inside the area, with referee Simon Hooper pointing to the spot. Grabban stepped up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way from 12 yards out.

It was seemingly one-way traffic from there on in. Gradel came close to registering on the scoresheet himself minutes later, bending a 25-yard free kick over the wall and marginally wide of the near post.

Brad Smith then saw a shot from distance deflect and loop narrowly over the bar, before on 73 minutes the Cherries went in front for the first time on the night.

Grabban held off the attentions of a Preston marker to work his way to the byline, before then centring into the path of Gosling who prodded home from six yards out.

Just as it seemed there would be no way back for the visitors, with five minutes remaining Makienok netted his and his side’s second of the evening heading a cross from the right into the ground and into the far corner.

Into extra time the game went, as Bournemouth continued to look the more likely. Mousset was next to work Maxwell with his low drive from an acute angle cleared by the goalkeeper’s feet.

But in the second period of extra time and arguably against the run of play, Makienok netted his third and the game-winning goal.

The towering striker steadied himself inside the penalty before flicking a bouncing ball over Federici and into the empty net.

Bournemouth rallied late on and threw men forward in an attempt to send the game to penalties, but there was to be no further goalmouth action.

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