Bournemouth effectively up

Date published: Monday 27th April 2015 9:30

A point for Bournemouth at Charlton on Saturday will mathematically secure their place in the top flight for next season, but, with a goal difference significantly better than closest rivals Middlesbrough, only an fantastical final-day scenario of a Bournemouth defeat at Charlton and a Middlesbrough win at Brighton with a 19-goal swing will deny the Cherries.

Bournemouth, who have never played in the top flight of English football, opened the scoring through Marc Pugh (29).

Matt Ritchie beat his man on the right and clipped over a cross for Pugh at the far post and he then worked himself some space before hammering a shot in off the far post.

And with just a minute to go to half-time, Ritchie capped off a fine passing move as he powerfully sidefooted Yann Kermogant’s pass home to give the Cherries a 2-0 lead.

Dorian Dervite was sent off for Bolton on 70 minutes after bringing down Wilson when he was through on goal, but Kermogant fired the resulting penalty over the bar.

But the hosts were not to be denied a third goal and Wilson (78) smashed in his 20th league goal of the season with a neat turn and right-foot finish into the bottom corner as the celebrations began for the home fans.

Having shown signs of nerves in a forgettable first half against Sheffield Wednesday last time out, Bournemouth wasted no time in attempting to break down their visitors.

Wilson weaved his way into the box inside the opening two minutes only for the legs of Adam Bogdan to deny him and the Hungarian goalkeeper then made a smart save to deny Ritchie from an angle.

Bolton, whose disgruntled fans who were quick to sing of their frustration at being forced to make the cross-country trip on a Monday night, were seeing plenty of the ball with Emile Heskey linking up well with in-form strike partner Adam Le Fondre. The pair both had sniffs of goal inside the first 25 minutes but could not only fire at Artur Boruc.

His opposite number then made two terrific saves in quick succession to deny the Cherries a 29th-minute opener. First he managed to get a hand to the ball as Wilson went to round him and then when the former Coventry forward pulled the ball back to Ritchie, Bogdan made a smart one-handed save low to his right.

Kermorgant and Tommy Elphick both missed chances before Bournemouth’s top flight dreams moved a step closer to reality with an opener six minutes before the break.

And it was a goal to remember for the disbelieving supporters who had to be held back by the stewards after Pugh dragged Ritchie’s cross to his left-hand side at the back post before smashing it across goal and into the top corner for his ninth of the campaign.

Premier League supporters tuning in to see what the fuss is all about ahead of August will have witnessed a 44th-minute goal that sums up when Bournemouth are all about. Wilson clipped a cross to the back post which Kermorgant effortlessly knocked down for Ritchie to drive, first time, into the bottom corner.

Their ecstatic fans were singing the Match of the Day theme tune and they were almost celebrating a goal fit to grace the show’s goal of the season highlight reels when Kermorgant noticed Bogdan off his line 35 yards from goal but the keeper managed to tip the Frenchman’s effort over.

Any hopes of a Bolton comeback were then put to bed with 20 minutes to go when Dervite saw red for hauling down Wilson inside the box as Bournemouth won their 16th spot kick of the season.

Fellow forward Kermorgant stepped up and smashed the resulting spot-kick into the stands but Wilson would get the goal his display deserved with 11 minutes to go. Andrew Surman’s driving run ended with a cut back which Wilson gleefully converted to complete their stunning achievement.

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