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Cherries: Pitman nets second winner in a week to reignite promotion push
BRETT Pitman’s first-half goal catapulted Cherries back into the thick of the League One promotion race following victory at Oldham today.
Pitman, whose penalty earned Cherries a 1-0 win at Stevenage in midweek, again won the day for the visitors at Boundary Park with a close-range effort.
However, Cherries were also thankful to goalkeeper Ryan Allsop for saving Jose Baxter’s second-half spot-kick.
Charlie Daniels made a welcome return for Cherries as boss Eddie Howe made one change to his starting line-up following the midweek win at Stevenage.
Daniels, who had missed Cherries past 10 games, was restored to left-back with Matt Ritchie, who had been a doubt due to a cut above his eye, dropping to the bench.
Tommy Elphick, sidelined by a knee injury since the 3-0 win at MK Dons last month, was also back in the Cherries squad, the defender named on the bench.
Chances were few and far between during a rather turgid opening period with Ryan Allsop racing off his line to save bravely at the feet of Jordan Obita early on.
Former Cherries loan striker Lee Barnard saw his snapshot blocked by Dan Seaborne before Allsop saved comfortably after Chris Iwelumo had met Connor Brown’s hanging cross.
Cherries made the breakthrough midway through the first half when Pitman swept home from close range after Lewis Grabban had supplied the assist following a swift counter-attack.
Oldham had a penalty appeal waved away after James Tarkowski had gone to ground under a challenge from Simon Francis at the start of the second half.
Cherries fashioned a hat-trick of chances in quick succession with Oldham goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis saving from Pitman after Grabban had put him through.
Bouzanis then clutched at the second attempt a long-range strike from Daniels before Grabban fired tamely into the stopper’s hands when he should have done better.
Allsop scurried across his line to save smartly from Obita after the Reading loan star had let fly from 20 yards before the Latics were awarded a penalty for handball against Grabban.
Goalkeeper Allsop came to Cherries’ rescue when he saved Jose Baxter’s poor penalty, the midfielder trying his luck with a dinked effort which left him with egg on his face.
Allsop then made a fine reaction stop from the same player with Baxter’s venomous free-kick in the 75th minute parried by the Cherries stopper.
Pitman’s deft lob landed on top of the net after Steve Cook had picked him out five minutes from time before a late barrage of Oldham pressure came to nothing.
Cherries: Allsop, Francis, Cook, Seaborne, Daniels (Ritchie, 73), Fogden, O’Kane, Arter, Pugh, Grabban (Hughes, 73), Pitman. Unused subs: Tubbs, Elphick, McQuoid, MacDonald, Jalal (g/k).
Booked: Arter, Pitman, Francis, McQuoid.
Latics: Bouzanis, Brown, M’Voto, Tarkowski, Grounds, Croft (Millar, 60), Wesolowski, Baxter, Obita (Montano, 67), Barnard, Iwelumo (Simpson, 69). Unused subs: Taylor, Smith, Winchester, Cisak (g/k).
Attendance: 3,540 (including 194 visiting supporters).
Referee: Keith Hill (Royston, Herts).