FULL TIME: Bournemouth 0 Wanderers 2
WANDERERS produced a textbook away display at Bournemouth to take home their second win of the season.
David Ngog opened the scoring in the latter stages of a tense and nervous first half but it was never a lead that Dougie Freedman’s side looked like surrendering after the restart.
Jermaine Beckford then made the game safe with his fourth of the season in stoppage time.
The opening 45 minutes saw Bournemouth playing the better football around the penalty box but Wanderers perhaps having the greater incision.
After Matt Mills had put his body on the line to make an excellent block from Tokelo Rantie’s shot, Chung-Yong Lee gave up possession from the resulting corner and Ryan Fraser’s cross whizzed across the six yard box without anyone managing to get a telling touch.
Lee Camp had only been recruited by the Cherries on loan from West Brom in midweek but he made an immediate impression with a fine one-handed save to push away Alex Baptiste’s stinging shot 15 minutes in.
A few moments later, the same defender popped up again looking for his fourth goal of the season and had another shot deflected wide by Shaun MacDonald.
It was a day for last-ditch defending but after Jay Spearing saw another effort deflected inches wide of the post by Simon Francis, the Whites suddenly retreated to the edge of their own box, inviting pressure.
Andy Lonergan made a fine save from Cherries’ top scorer Lewis Grabban but then could only watch on helplessly as Tommy Elphick’s header skidded just wide.
Although Bournemouth had the better possession, Wanderers looked dangerous on their rare forays into opposition territory and Spearing should have done a lot better after scooping Ngog’s pass over the bar from the edge of the box.
Thankfully just a few moments later Ngog took the advantage himself, running on to Chung-Yong’s pass he got round keeper Camp and then dribbled an angled shot just over the line ahead of Elphick’s attempted clearance.
The tempo picked up in the second half but there was no real sign of Wanderers having changed their system after taking the lead, as Freedman had hinted could be the case last week.
In fact they continued to pick holes in the home defence – with Kevin McNaughton playing Ngog in on goal again five minutes after the restart, only for Steve Cook to make a crucial late challenge.
Freedman had lost Darren Pratley through injury and also opted not to name Craig Davies on his bench – gifting a chance for Sanmi Odelusi to make a cameo midway through the second half.
The youngster contributed to what became an impressive rearguard action towards the end with the home side rarely able to get a sight of goal.
Their best chance to draw level came from a Brett Pittman free-kick that sailed a yard over Lonergan’s bar.
Neil Danns had a chance to seal it a few minutes from time when he latched on to a pass from Medo but the midfielder dragged his shot narrowly wide of the upright.
When four minutes of added time was shown up by the fourth official, fingernails were being bitten to the quick.
But Beckford provided the perfect ending for the 1,000 travelling fans when he got round Elphick on the edge of the box and rifled home into the roof of the net.