Championship: Bournemouth ‘in good stead’ as another clean sheet keeps them on promotion pace
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe insisted there was no way lightning was going to strike twice as his Championship leaders continued their impressive unbeaten run with a 2-0 defeat of Millwall to move even further clear at the top.
Bournemouth travelled to the Den having gone 13 league games without defeat but knew Millwall wouldn’t lie down easily – despite a 6-1 Boxing Day drubbing at Norwich City – having come from behind to draw 2-2 at the end of November.
A first half penalty from Yann Kermorgant and Harry Arter proved enough though while Millwall had Shaun Williams sent off late on after an altercation with Callum Wilson.
And, with the home draw with Millwall on November 29, where they came from 2-0 down to finish at 2-2, fresh in the memory, Bournemouth manager Howe admitted he was made up with the manner of the performance.
“It was a very hostile atmosphere but we dealt well with the challenge that was posed and concentrated on the football which is the most important thing for our perspective,” he said.
“We always felt if we could keep a clean sheet we’d have a good chance to win the game. We’ve been 2-0 ahead against Millwall before so it was a good test for us to learn from the previous game.
“We need goals from everywhere and it is good to see Yann come back into the team and score and Harry continue his run.
“The most pleasing thing for me is the back-to-back clean sheets and that’ll stand us in good stead for an important period coming up.”
The win put Bournemouth four points ahead of second-placed Ipswich Town, who host Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.
Middlesbrough meawhile moved up to third place, five points behind Bournemouth, after a goalless draw at Blackburn Rovers.
Wolves continued their recent resurgence with a 2-1 defeat of Brentford at Molineux.
Nouha Dicko put Kenny Jackett’s team ahead in the seventh minute and James Tarkowski’s 73rd minute own goal gave the hosts breathing space, before Wolves midfielder Kevin McDonald was dismissed and Danny Batth scored at the wrong end to set up a tense finish.
“It was a great game and it could have gone either way. But the thing that has improved for us after a very bad November is our defending and we have been harder to beat and we have built off the confidence of that,” Jackett said.
“The goals against column has improved and you could see our heart, spirit and organisation. Our defending was very good and it needed to be.”
Birmingham City made it six wins from their last nine league matches with a 3-1 success at Nottingham Forest.
Clayton Donaldson bagged a double after David Cotterill had broken the deadlock, while Britt Assombalonga netted late on for the lacklustre hosts.
Bottom of the table Blackpool came from behind to draw 1-1 with Rotherham United at Bloomfield Road, with Dominic Telford equalising late on after Emmanuel Ledesma had broken the deadlock.
Adlene Guedioura scored twice and Odion Ighalo and Gabriele Angella also netted as Watford won 4-2 at Cardiff City, with Adam Le Fondre and Kenwyne Jones replying for the hosts.
Huddersfield Town recovered from conceding a first-minute Darren Pratley goal to beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 thanks to strikes from Jacob Butterfield and Nahki Wells.
Hal Robson-Kanu’s penalty and a Simon Cox effort helped Steve Clarke’s Reading edge out Norwich 2-1, with Bradley Johnson on target for the visitors.
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Published: December 29, 2014 04:00 AM