Cher­ries sec­ond af­ter late lev­eller

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Alex Crook

BOURNEMOUTH boss Ed­die Howe de­manded an apol­ogy from ref­eree Paul Tier­ney as his Pre­mier League pro­mo­tion chasers suf­fered stop­page time heartache.

The ten-man Cher­ries looked to be head­ing back to the top of the ta­ble af­ter a Yann Ker­mo­gant header and Matt Ritchie’s su­perb 25-yarder five min­utes from time can­celled out Kieran Lee’s opener.

Wed­nes­day were gifted a draw when Chris Maguire slot­ted home a penalty five min­utes into in­jury time af­ter Bournemouth sub­sti­tute Adam Smith had hauled down At­dhe Nuhiu.

But it was Tier­ney’s de­ci­sion not to award Bournemouth a penalty of their own for Lewis Bux­ton’s chal­lenge on Cal­lum Wil­son which left Howe seething.

Wil­son was clean through on goal af­ter latch­ing onto a Kewnyne Jones flick and round­ing goal­keeper Chris Kirk­land when he hit the deck un­der Bux­ton’s tackle.

Howe said: “It was the most clear cut penalty I have seen this sea­son and a red card and I can’t un­der­stand why it has not been given.

“If the ref­eree looks at it like he should do I should be get­ting a let­ter of apol­ogy.”

Howe even hinted at a con­spir­acy against for­mer Coven­try hit-man Wil­son. He added: “Whether the num­ber of penal­ties Cal­lum has got has worked against him who knows? But for me a penalty is a penalty.

“If there is a limit on the num­ber of penal­ties that should be given the Foot­ball League should let us know.

“If the ref­eree looks at it like he should do I should be get­ting a let­ter of apol­ogy.”

Wed­nes­day took the lead nine min­utes be­fore half-time when Lee leapt to nod Bux­ton’s cross past Ar­tur Boruc at the far post.

The Owls could have dou­bled their ad­van­tage on the hour as Maguire’s sweetly-struck free­kick hit a post and Caolan Lav­ery blazed the re­bound over with the goal at is mercy.

It took un­til the 69th minute for Ker­mor­gant to equalise with a tow­er­ing near-post header from Ritchie’s cen­tre. Bournemouth found them­selves a man light when Simon Fran­cis was sent off af­ter be­ing shown a sec­ond yel­low card for a mist­imed tackle on Lav­ery.

Ritchie put the hosts ahead with a 25-yard left-foot rocket af­ter An­drew Sur­man had tapped a free-kick into his path.

But there was still more drama to come from a thrilling game as Smith tripped Nuhiu and Maguire slammed his spot-kick be­yond Boruc and into the bot­tom left cor­ner.

Wed­nes­day manager Stu­art Gray felt his side de­served a share of the spoils, es­pe­cially af­ter los­ing three key play­ers to in­jury.

Gray said:“It started badly for us yes­ter­day. We set off from Sh­effield at 9am and it took us sixand-a-half hours to get down.

“I lost my goal­keeper Kieren West­wood in the warm-up, Sam Hutchinson with a ham­string in the first half and at half-time I lost Kamil Zay­ate with what could be a frac­tured cheek­bone.

“We went 1-0 up with a great goal and did not de­serve to be 2-1 down. If we had left with noth­ing I’d have been dis­ap­pointed.”

Gray felt ref­eree Tier­ney was cor­rect not to rule against Bux­ton.

The for­mer Southamp­ton boss added: “I have spo­ken to Lewis and he is adamant he got a touch on the ball.

“Bournemouth have had about 15 penal­ties this sea­son so they must be do­ing some­thing right in terms of get­ting the ball for­ward.”

Bournemouth are sec­ond in the ta­ble and know vic­to­ries in their fi­nal two games will seal au­to­matic pro­mo­tion.

Gray pre­dicted: “I think it will go to the 92nd minute of the last day of the sea­son.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

LET’S DANCE: Sh­effield Wed­nes­day's Kieran Lee cel­e­brates scor­ing

TIMELY EF­FORT: AFC Bournemouth’s Yann Ker­mor­gant scores for the pro­mo­tion chasers

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