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Bournemouth 2-0 Fulham Cham 23 1415 SkySports

last updated Monday 29th December 2014, 6:25 PM
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Bournemouth (1) 2-0 (0)Fulham

A ninth minute header by Brett Pitman and a goal in stoppage time by Harry Arter gave AFC Bournemouth a 2-0 win over Fulham and maintained their position as Sky Bet Championship leaders.

Cherries dictated the game for long periods and with better finishing - Pitman missed a second half penalty - would have won by a wider margin.

Fulham were on the back foot from the start as they struggled to cope with Bournemouth's high tempo game.

Playing neat intricate football, full of sharp passing, Cherries stretched the visitors on both flanks, with Simon Francis rampaging down the right touchline while Marc Pugh and Charlie Daniels linked on the left.

Pitman and Callum Wilson went close, but in the eighth minute Bournemouth took the lead, the goal being fuelled by one of Francis's raids down the right.

Bournemouth forced a corner on the right and from Pugh's short ball, Matt Richie picked out Pitman to send a glancing header into the top corner past Marcus Bettinelli.

Bournemouth pressed forward, with Wilson having a shot saved and then Bettinelli flung himself low to his left to make a superb double save.

He initially blocked a fierce low 25-yarder from Ritchie and then made a key follow-up save as Wilson moved in.

Fulham gradually began to get a foothold, with Lasse Vigen Christensen becoming more involved on the right.

But Bournemouth continued to look impressive and, on the balance of play, deserved more than their one-goal half-time lead.

Significantly, Bournemouth failed to kill Fulham off and in the opening minutes of the second half the Whites might well have equalised.

Ross McCormack, playing a deep lying role, cut in from the left and fizzed a low shot into the danger zone, but neither Hugo Rodallega nor Bryan Ruiz were able to get a crucial final touch.

Five minutes after the break Bournemouth wasted a gift-wrapped chance to double their lead from the penalty spot.

Wilson's pace took him in from the left before Jack Grimmer bought him down.

However Pitman drilled his spot kick straight at the sprawling Bettinelli, who blocked the shot before Fulham cleared the danger.

Fulham, enjoying a better second period, responded with Scott Parker sending a low deflected shot behind for a corner, but as the half progressed so Bournemouth look the sting out of the visitors' threats.

Kit Symons rang the changes for Fulham, using all three substitutes, but Arter clinched the points in stoppage time.

The midfielder picked up a loose ball and ran deep into Fulham territory before sending a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

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