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Cherries: Howe's men claim derby spoils (with video)
SECOND-half goals from Lewis Grabban and Marc Pugh helped Cherries see off struggling Portsmouth at Dean Court today.
Grabban bagged his 13th goal of the season to settle any nerves among an expectant home crowd midway through the second period.
And Pugh broke Pompey’s brave resistance with a second 13 minutes from time as Cherries moved to within a point of the League One summit.
Matt Ritchie was drafted in for his full Cherries debut as boss Eddie Howe made one enforced change to his starting line-up.
Ritchie replaced injury victim Tommy Elphick and was deployed at left-back with Dan Seaborne moving across to partner Steve Cook in the centre of defence.
Pompey made no fewer than six changes with Therry Racon, Patrick Agyemang and John Akinde all handed debuts after joining the club this week.
Although Cherries made most of the running during the opening period, they found chances hard to come by as Pompey defended in numbers.
Lewis Grabban headed wide after being picked out by a Marc Pugh cross, the Cherries winger poking the ball through the legs of Yassin Moutaoakil to set up the opportunity.
A scissors kick from Agyemang trickled harmlessly wide before Harry Arter’s thunderous drive from 25 yards was charged down by a defender.
The paucity of the finishing was highlighted when Therry Racon wriggled free down the left, only to balloon his shot high over the crossbar.
Although Brett Pitman’s lofted pass over the Pompey defence found Grabban, he was unable to convert from the tightest of angles.
Shwan Jalal helped Adam Reed’s effort around the post before Cherries carved out the clearest opportunity on the stroke of half-time.
Simon Francis centred after working an opening down the right flank and Pitman saw his glancing header come back off the underside of the crossbar.
Pitman flicked another Francis cross past the post at the start of the second half before Jalal raced off his line to beat Agyemang to a Johnny Ertl through ball.
Pompey goalkeeper Simon Eastwood saved unconvincingly after Pitman had taken aim with a free-kick from 25 yards, the stopper scooping the ball away.
A swift break from the visitors ended with Agyemang heading wide with the goal at his mercy after Moutaoakil had crossed from the right.
Jalal was forced to tip over a rising drive from Dan Butler before Cherries finally made the breakthrough midway through the second half.
Grabban, picked out by Josh McQuoid’s cross, took a touch to control the ball before firing low into the bottom right-hand corner after 65 minutes.
Cherries doubled their lead after 77 minutes when Pugh slipped the ball past Eastwood following good work by Pitman to provide the assist.
Substitute Matt Tubbs went close to adding a third in stoppage time, with Eastwood sticking out his right leg to keep out the striker’s effort.
Cherries: Jalal, Francis, Cook, Seaborne, Ritchie, McQuoid, Arter (Hughes, 83), O’Kane, Pugh, Pitman (MacDonald, 90), Grabban (Tubbs, 82).
Unused subs: Fletcher, Fogden, Partington, Allsop (g/k).
Pompey: Eastwood, Moutaoakil, Gyepes, Rocha, Butler, Reed, Cooper (Walker, 82), Ertl, Racon (Wallace, 69), Agyemang (Keene, 65), Akinde.
Unused subs: Sodje, Harris, Webster, Smith (g/k).
Booked: Butler, Reed.
Attendance: 9,135 (including 1,338 visiting supporters).
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).