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First team

Kane nets late to sink Cherries

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Todd Kane’s late winner condemned caretaker-manager Jonathan Woodgate to a first defeat as AFC Bournemouth went down to QPR at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Kane settled a ding-dong affair in favour of the hosts when he fired home from close range seven minutes from time.

Earlier, the Cherries had fought back to level with Shane Long cancelling out Stefan Johansen’s 58th-minute opener.

It was Long’s first goal since February 2020, the Southampton loan man denied by QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng after going clear in the first half.

Chris Mepham, Jack Wilshere and Long returned to the Cherries starting line-up as Woodgate made three changes following the 1-0 win over Rotherham.

Mepham joined Cameron Carter-Vickers and Lloyd Kelly at the back while midfielder Wilshere slotted in behind Southampton loan striker Long.

Phil Billing created the first shooting chance after fastening on to Wilshere’s pass but his effort from a tight angle was pushed past the post by QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng in the sixth minute.

Lewis Cook’s dangerous cross was headed behind by Rob Dickie, with referee Darren Bond failing to spot a blatant push by Yoann Barbet on Mepham after the ball had been hoisted into the box.

Long was foiled by Dieng after Jefferson Lerma’s pass from deep had put him clean through on 18 minutes, the striker’s firing straight into the goalkeeper’s midriff from close range.

Cook rode a couple of challenges and made his way to the edge of the box, the midfielder dragging his shot narrowly wide midway through the first half.

Barbet was booked for hauling back Billing before Lee Wallace escaped unpunished after going through the back of Adam Smith who needed a spell of treatment.

QPR rarely troubled the Cherries defence during the opening stages of the first half, with a low drive from Ilias Chair blocked by Lerma after 35 minutes.

Cameron Carter-Vickers prevented Charlie Austin’s shot from troubling Asmir Begovic before Chair was booked for pulling back Wilshere.

Billing gave the visitors a scare when he landed awkwardly in the 38th minute but the Dane was able to continue following some treatment.

Cook went close to drawing first blood for the Cherries when his venomous drive from 20 yards flashed past the upright following a well-worked free-kick routine on the stroke of half-time.

The Cherries had a let-off at the start of the second half when Geoff Cameron’s bullet header from a Chair free-kick came crashing back off the crossbar.

But as play quickly switched to the opposite end, Smith saw his effort from close range at the far post go wide after Kelly’s low, driven cross had found him.

Dieng was in the right place to pouch Billing’s flick after Lerma had picked out his team-mate before the hosts made the breakthrough in the 58th minute.

Johansen seized on a misplaced pass from Mepham inside his own 18-yard box and calmly rolled the ball past Begovic from around 12 yards.

Sam Surridge, on as a 67th-minute replacement for Wilshere, had an immediate impact when he supplied the assist for Long to equalise in the 68th minute.

Surridge outjumped the QPR defence to meet Junior Stanislas’s hanging cross and headed it across the face of the goalmouth where Long was on hand to bundle it into the back of the net.

And as the visitors went in search of a quick second goal, Stanislas’s free-kick was deflected into the grateful arms of Dieng.

Stanislas also tried his luck from another free-kick, his effort flying wide of the target before the hosts regained the lead seven minutes from time when Kane drilled home at the far post after Chris Willock’s cross had found its way to him.

Substitute Macauley Bonne should have made it 3-1 in the closing stages but could only hit the post with the goal gaping before the same player was denied by Begovic’s fine save with his legs.

AFC Bournemouth: Begovic, Mepham, Carter-Vickers, Kelly, Smith, Lerma, Wilshere (Surridge, 67), L Cook (Danjuma, 86), Billing, Stanislas, Long.

Unused subs: Zemura, Rico, Kilkenny, Pearson, Riquelme, Anthony, Travers (g/k).

Booked: Mepham.

QPR: Dieng, Dickie, Cameron, Barbet, Kane, Ball, Johansen (Willock, 59), Wallace (Hamalainen, 59), Chair (Adomah, 72), Austin (Field, 59), Dykes (Bonne, 72).

Unused subs: Kakay, Bettache, Kelman, Lumley (g/k).

Booked: Barbet, Wallace, Kane.

Referee: Darren Bond.

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