Gutsy Blues beaten by Bournemouth

Pompey winger Miles Storey goes on the attack against Bournemouth    Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Miles Storey goes on the attack against Bournemouth Picture: Joe Pepler
Jack Whatmough in action at Bradford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Whatmough: Pompey play-off hopes still alive

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A second-half fightback couldn’t stop Pompey going down 3-2 to Bournemouth tonight.

The Championship side grabbed a victory with three first-half strikes at Fratton Park.

Some sloppy play at the back was to blame for those errors.

But Andy Awford’s men will take heart from their display after the break – as he made nine changes.

A superb volley from James Dunne reduced the arrears before Jed Wallace converted a penalty with seven minutes left.

Pompey had defensive errors to blame for the first-half goals which put Bournemouth in the ascendancy.

It took three minutes for Eddie Howe’s side to open the scoring, as Tokelo Rantie’s early volley caught Paul Jones off guard and the ball trickled home through his legs.

The Cherries doubled their advantage after 21 minutes as Brett Pitman easily headed home, as he held off Alex Wynter to convert Blues old-boy Matt Ritchie’s cross.

It took until 25 minutes for Pompey to muster their first decent chance as Danny Hollands’ deep run saw him reach Andy Barcham’s pass, but he couldn’t beat keeper Benji Buchel.

Jones then saved well from Shaun MacDonald before Buchel denied Miles Storey, as he tipped over his drive.

Bournemouth got their third nine minutes before the break, and it was a mistake from Hollands which gifted them the goal.

Rantie caught the former Cherries man on the ball and rolled it to Harry Arter, who accepted the present.

Pompey brought on all of their nine subs at the interval with only Wallace and Adam Webster remaining from the first-half

And the Blues were bright following the restart with Joe Devera heading Wallace’s free-kick across the face of goal.

Craig Westcarr then held off two players but fired wide from 20 yards.

The second half was proving a balanced affair – and Pompey pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion with 15 minutes left.

There looked to be nothing on as the visitors cleared a cross, but James Dunne unleashed a howitzer of a volley which screamed in via the post.

That gave the majority of the 4,061 crowd something to cheer – and a glimpse of Dunne’s quality.

And they were celebrating a second with seven minutes left as Jack Maloney was hauled down by Eunan O’Kane.

Wallace was as cool as you like firing low to Buchel’s left. That was the last major action of an encouraging second 45 minutes from Awford’s side.