Brett the hitman delights Eddie
BRETT Pitman might have grabbed a hattrick but Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was just as pleased with his striker’s selflessness as the Cherries coasted past basement-boys Blackpool.
Pitman scored a first-half hat-trick inside 40 minutes as the Cherries condemned the Tangerines to a fifth consecutive defeat.
Bournemouth dominated from start to finish as they secured their third straight victory to regain top spot in the Championship.
Blackpool came in search of their first win in eight matches but any hopes were dashed after just ten minutes. Pitman was afforded time and space to run past a sea of Tangerine before slotting past goalkeeper Elliot Parish.
Nathan Delfouneso then backheeled for skipper Andrea Orlandi, who scooped his wayward effort over after 31 minutes and a minute later Tom Aldred cleared the ball after Matt Ritchie teed up Pitman inside the box.
But Pitman was not kept at bay long and scored two goals in two minutes to complete his hat-trick. The Cherries striker first headed back across goal from a Ritchie cross before drilling low past Parish from a free-kick routine.
Bournemouth secured victory four minutes into the second-half when Orlandi tripped winger Marc Pugh inside the box and Bournemouth top-scorer Callum Wilson stepped up to score his 19th of the season from the resulting spot-kick.
Howe said: “We were everyone’s banker of the day and that added pressure but the players were professional.
“We were well aware that we were expected to win and we scored some good goals.
“Brett has scored goals all through his career. He took his goals very well and it is no surprise to us.
“The unselfishness he showed in letting Callum take the penalty was great to see. The designated penalty-taker was Brett but Callum showed a real desire to take it.
“Brett more than played his part with the goals and was considerate enough to let him take it.
“I knew Brett in the youth team as a young lad and he has always had a knack of scoring goals.
“He has never lost that ability but he has added a lot to his game and he has more than just goals.”
Bournemouth were in cruise control with manager Howe opting to withdraw skipper Tommy Elphick after just an hour.
Substitutes Junior Stanislas and Adam Smith did combine with the latter’s effort forcing Parish into a smart save with 15 minutes to go.
The Tangerines are the lowest scorers in the division and failed to register a single shot on target.
Blackpool striker Delfouneso went closest when he headed wide on 78 minutes after Orlandi whipped in a free-kick.
Blackpool boss Lee Clark said: “I said earlier in the season that I think they are the best team in the division. They possess quality all over the pitch.
“I hope Eddie, his team and staff become successful because they will become a real credit to the Premier League next season.
“We came here to try and be positive which is why I set up with a 4-4-2. We did not show enough belief or the characteristics to win a football match.
“It is still mathematically possible but we are going to have to obliterate the league if we are to stay up.”
HEADING ON UP: Brett Pitman nods in his and Bournemouth’s second goal
celebrates SPOT ON: Callum Wilson