Watford had both goalkeepers to thank for a point after Artur Boruc’s error and a penalty save from the visiting Heurelho Gomes helped earn them a 1-1 draw on the South Coast.
Boruc gifted Watford an equaliser when he made an almighty hash of a backpass, letting Odion Ighalo nick the ball and score his fifth of the season.
Glenn Murray, who had headed Bournemouth into the lead after half an hour, had the chance to score a winner from the penalty spot with seven minutes left. But Gomes guessed right to ensure the battle of the newly-promoted teams ended all-square.
The former Crystal Palace striker had already looped a header onto the roof of the net, but made no mistake when presented with a carbon copy just before the half-hour, heading in Matt Ritchie’s cross. The scorer was lucky to make it to half-time, however, escaping with a yellow card for a vicious tackle on Etienne Capoue.
But Watford gained revenge with their first chance of the game, an opportunity entirely of Boruc’s making. The keeper gathered a routine Sylvain Distin backpass but, as he attempted to play it back to the defender Ighalo intercepted, skipped past and rolled into an empty net.
Steve Cook hacked Ighalo’s cross-shot clear and Ben Watson saw his fierce volley crash back off the crossbar before Boruc partly atoned for his error with a decent stop from Ikechi Anya. Gomes was called into action with a stunning save to keep out Cook’s overhead and then stopped Murray from the spot as Capoue tripped Adam Smith.
“Heurelho is very important, he is a leader for us,” Hornets manager Quique Flores said. “I thought the overhead kick was in. Maybe Heurelho prevented the goal of the season.”
Bournemouth: (4-4-1-1) Boruc; Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels; Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Pugh (Smith, 57); King (O’Kane, 70); Murray.
Watford: (4-4-2) Gomes; Nyom (Ibarbo, 71), Prodl, Cathcart, Ake; Anya (Paredes, 79), Capoue, Watson, Abdi (Guedioura, 90); Deeney, Ighalo.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Man of the match: Gomes (Watford)
Match rating: 6/10
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