Match report: Bournemouth 1 Barnsley 0

Barnsley's David Perkins beats Bournemouth's Brett Pitman.
Barnsley's David Perkins beats Bournemouth's Brett Pitman.
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Midfielder Marc Pugh condemned Barnsley to another defeat on the road last night as Dave Flitcroft’s men continued their Championship struggles at Bournemouth.

Pugh drilled home from the edge of the box with just 13 minutes to go, though the Cherries had dominated in the second half and deserved to win.

The stuttering Reds rarely threatened on a frustrating night which saw them remain in the bottom three. They are now winless in their last 11 games on their travels.

Boss Flitcroft made four changes to his starting line-up despite a gutsy effort at the City Ground three days earlier when his side only lost out to late deciding strike at high-flying Nottingham Forest.

Veteran loan stopper Mike Pollitt had picked up a hamstring injury so the small travelling band of supporters appeared happy to welcome back number one Luke Steele after three games on the bench. He returned and made his 200th appearance for Barnsley.

Martin Cranie was called upon to partner Peter Ramage at the heart of the Reds’ defence at Jean-Yves M’Voto’s expense, while Saturday’s wonder goal-scorer Tomasz Cywka got the nod across the midfield in place of Jim O’Brien, who had taken a knock in training.

The fourth and final alteration saw Chris Dagnall back to join Chris O’Grady up front, with Dale Jennings dropping back to the bench. Bournemouth were beaten at home for the first time this term on Saturday - by Championship leaders Blackpool - so kept faith with the same starting 11.

Clear-cut chances were minimal in a nervy first period at Dean Court - though the Reds were denied by the woodwork twice in the same attack.

That came in the 23rd minute. Dagnall lifted a neat pass into O’Grady’s path, and after the former Owls striker had struck the base of the left-hand post with a well-struck shot, Stephen Dawson charged in to meet the rebound but could divert his effort onto the base of the other post.

That was the closest either side had come to scoring in the opening 45 minutes.

Brett Pitman blazed a disappointing shot over the top for the hosts, while Barnsley looked a little more lively towards the end of the half with Cywka twice trying his luck from distance - the second was only saved at the second attempt by ‘keeper Ryan Allsop.

The Cherries ought to have broken the deadlock just 63 seconds into the second half.

Pitman played in strike partner Lewis Grabban, only for the former Crystal Palace hit-man to somehow side-foot wide from barely eight yards.

Dawson responded and fired a low drive narrowly wide, though another scare soon followed for the Reds.

Bournemouth’s new big-money South African signing - debutant Tokelo Rantie - had only been off the bench a matter of seconds when he surged clear of the Reds’ back-line before dragging a shot wide when he really should have scored.

As the hour mark passed the hosts were now in charge and Rantie went close again, just a minute after Grabban had planted a point-blank header right into the grateful grasp of a relieved Steele.

Pugh grabbed the goal his side had deserved as a scoreless draw was just starting to look on the cards, though even after that the shot-shy Reds still failed to truly threaten.

O’Grady and Kelvin Etuhu missed half-chances in the dying minutes, while at the other end Rantie went close to making it 2-0 in stoppage-time.