Bow­ery’s beauty stuns Cher­ries

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Tom Crocker

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.”

PIC­TURES: De­nis Murphy/TGSPHOTO

lev­els LATE SHOW: Jor­dan Bow­ery

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