Bowery’s beauty stuns Cherries
JORDAN BOWERY’S stoppage-time equaliser came as a “killer blow”, according to Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.
Rotherham snatched a draw at the Goldsands Stadium following an injury-time scramble in the Cherries’ penalty area, cancelling out Steve Cook’s headed opener for the Cherries on the hour.
Howe was left to reflect on what might have been after feeling his side deserved all three points.
He said:“It’s a tough one to take for us because, when you work so hard for your goal, dominate the ball like we did and there’s seconds left to go, you expect to win.
“I don’t think they’ve had a shot on target before that and, for all those reasons, it’s a killer blow for us to concede.”
Bournemouth made the livelier start, with top scorer Callum Wilson bursting away down the left after just three minutes, but his cutback was just off the mark, evading three onrushing red and black shirts.
But Steve Evans’ men are a well-organised side and, backed by a strong vocal support, they dug in and stifled the Cherries’ numerous attempts to break through, with Richard Smallwood, in particular, impressing in front of the back four, forcing Bournemouth to attack down the flanks.
Having weathered the early storm, the Millers began to grow in confidence and carved out the clearest opening of the first 45. A Paul Taylor free-kick was clipped into the area and met by Craig Morgan, who nodded down for centre-back partner Kari Arnason, but the Icelander could only slice his off-balance effort over the crossbar.
Howe confirmed his unhappiness with his side’s display in the opening 45 minutes.
He said:“I was disappointed because we are at home, the onus is on us to take the game to Rotherham and, although we dominated the ball, we want to be more efficient.
The Cherries responded after the restart and nearly broke the deadlock on 51 minutes when Marc Pugh found room down the left and cut the ball back to Wilson, but he fluffed his lines under pressure from Arnason.
The former Coventry man came even closer just a couple of minutes later.
After being set through by Kermorgant, Wilson burst beyond the defence but saw his shot cannon back off the post.
The Cherries faithful did not have much longer to wait, though, for the opener. Cook, who performed admirably at the back throughout the game, met a deep Ritchie cross to sneak a header just inside the post.
The match appeared to be drifting towards its conclusion, only for Bowery to pop up with the dramatic strike, which just evaded the hand of Lee Camp.
It sparked wild celebrations in the away end and Evans revealed he could have made a mistake in his starting line-up.
“When we were coming down on the coach, Luciano Becchio was going to be on the bench, but then I thought again because he has needed game time. I brought Bowery and Alex Revell on and we were definitely a better side after that,” he said.
“I was going to bring Jordan on after 60 minutes and I am so pleased that he has got a goal.You could see what it meant to the young man.
“He tries incredibly hard and you saw that from his reaction, the way he ran over to the bench.”
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