Bournemouth maintain charge

Date published: Friday 10th April 2015 9:56

Kermorgant hit a stunning 70th-minute free-kick to put the Cherries ahead before Wilson’s clinical finish gave the visitors their sixth victory from their last nine games.

Bournemouth sit at the summit of the Championship with 80 points but have Norwich, Watford and Middlesbrough hot on their heels.

A third-straight defeat for Brighton means they are not out of danger towards the bottom of the table and remain nine points from safety.

The Seagulls were guilty of poor finishing and it is now seven hours 50 minutes since a Brighton player last found the net.

Chris Hughton’s men had hustled and harried a tentative Bournemouth out of their stride and had the best of the early exchanges.

Influential playmaker Joao Teixeira, on loan from Liverpool, jinked past Steve Cook and blasted an angled drive narrowly over the crossbar.

Defender Bruno had a cross blocked when well-placed with striker Leon Best unmarked in front of goal, and Inigo Calderon failed to make contact with a Dale Stephens corner with the goal at his mercy.

The promotion-chasing Cherries went into the game with just one win on the road in their previous five matches but went close when Matt Ritchie tested keeper David Stockdale with a deflected left-footed drive.

After soaking up the home side’s early pressure with a defence spearheaded by former Seagulls defenders Tommy Elphick and centre-back Cook, Bournemouth started exerting a threat of their own.

Stockdale, who successfully shook off a knock incurred in the defeat to Rotherham to start in goal, thwarted the on-rushing Charlie Daniels after an intelligent exchange with Wilson.

And winger Ritchie should have hit the target after a smart lay-off by Wilson with space and time 15 yards from goal.

Brighton, meanwhile, are not out of the woods towards the bottom of the Championship after suffering back-to-back setbacks over the Easter period.

The Seagulls have found goals hard to come by since the summer departure of last season’s top scorer Leo Ulloa and Bournemouth have scored more goals on the road than Hughton’s men have managed all season.

They went close to breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute, however, when Stephens lashed a curling effort from the edge of the 18-yard box narrowly over the crossbar.

The game opened up and two minutes later Stephens went close from the edge of the box again – this time guiding his effort wide of Artur Boruc’s right-hand post after Best’s pull-back.

Former Newcastle man Best then missed a golden chance to put the home side ahead two minutes before the hour mark.

The on-loan Blackburn striker produced a marvellous touch to control David Stockdale’s long pass and escape defender Simon Francis, but shot straight at Boruc from 10 yards with time to pick his spot.

Free-scoring Bournemouth went into the game needing just a single goal to eclipse a club record of 104 goals scored in all competitions set back 1928-29 and 1956-57.

That goal eventually arrived in the 70th minute in stunning fashion when Kermorgant curled a fabulous 25-yard free-kick into the top right-hand corner for his 16th goal of the season.

Wilson wrapped up the points for the visitors nine minutes from time with his 21st goal this term. The striker raced past a weak Greg Halford challenge and slotted coolly past Stockdale to give Bournemouth a four-point cushion at the top of the Championship.

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