Town 3 AFC Bournemouth 0
Town: Weale, Grandison (Goldson, 75), Jacobson, Summerfield (McAllister, 63), Richards (c), Morgan (Asante, 58), Taylor, McGinn, Mambo, Eaves, Hurst.
Subs: Anyon, Purdie, Parry, Goldson, McAllister, Wildig, Asante.
Bournemouth: Allsop, Francis, Cook, Pugh (McQuoid, 84), Arter, Daniels, Elphick (c), Grabban (Hughes, 76), Ritchie, O’Kane (MacDonald, 90), Pitman.
Subs: Jalal, Seaborne, Fogden, MacDonald, McQuoid, Tubbs, Hughes.
Goals: Pitman (pen,5, 53), OG (63)
Referee: Mr. P. Tierney
Assistants: Mr. G. Hart & Mr. I. Siddall
Fourth Official: Mr. M. Perry
Attendance: 6,047 (935)
Town succumbed to their biggest League defeat of the season after a double master-class from Brett Pitman and an own goal gave promotion chasing Bournemouth a 3-0 victory at the Greenhous Meadow.
Graham Turner restored Jermaine Grandison to the starting 11 for the first time since mid-Janaury after recovering from injury in the only change from the 2-1 defeat at Yeovil.
With their first attack, the high-flying Cherries took the lead from the spot after just five minutes. Former Shrew Marc Pugh played a neat one-two in the box before falling over John Taylor’s outstretched leg and the in-form Pitman stepped up to dispatch the penalty to maintain his seven-game scoring run.
Town came back into it, pumping a number of dangerous crosses into the Cherries box, but it was the away side who almost doubled their advantage on 15 minutes. The lively Pitman found space 20-yards out and rifled low just past Weale’s post to a gasp of relief from the home support.
A mix-up in the Town defence between Mambo and Grandison almost allowed Pitman in to double his, and the Cherries’ advantage on the half hour. But, luckily, the striker missed his kick allowing Weale to collect.
Half-time: Town 0-1 Bournemouth
Town came within a whisker of drawing level six minutes after the break. A clever cross field ball from Luke Summerfield released James Hurst down the right who crossed first time and Matt Richards rose highest to head against the top of the bar.
But just two minutes later, Town’s resurgence was crushed by a belter from Pitman. The League One player of the month for March took aim 25-yards from goal and Weale could only dive in despair as the ball nestled in the top corner.
The Cherries turned the screw again and added a third to their tally on 63 minutes. A corner was flicked on at the near post by Pitman and Grandison at the back post should’ve cleared , but he got it all wrong and agonisingly watched as the ball sliced off the underside of the crossbar and bounced past a helpless Weale.
Town almost pulled a goal back 19 minutes from time after a lofted free-kick fell to Mambo. The centre-half swivelled on the volley but saw his effort fly just past the post.
Marc Pugh forced Weale into a sprawling save with 12 minutes to go and then the visitors were content to run out the clock to leave Town waiting for another day to secure their League One survival.