Callum Wilson claimed a point for Bournemouth after Eddie Howe’s side twice recovered after falling behind to a Brighton team that paid a heavy price for missed chances and, ultimately, a woeful piece of defending.
The draw leaves both teams eyeing mid-table but Chris Hughton and Howe, the managers, will each consider this a missed opportunity to widen the gap to the bottom three. Hughton was left frustrated his side failed to hold onto the lead given them first by Anthony Knockaert and then Glenn Murray after Steve Cook had levelled, particularly when Jose Izquierdo wasted a clear opportunity to make it 3-1.
His frustration will have turned to anger, though, at the way his side made five attempts to clear a 79th minute corner before Wilson poked the ball home, deservedly bring Bournemouth back level in a game littered with chances for both sides.
The Albion manager had been pleased with his side’s 0-0 draw at Newcastle but admitted the onus would be on the home side to set the pace in this meeting between the two south coast clubs who were at positioned at opposite ends of the Championship table when Hughton took charge at the Amex Stadium three years and one day previously.
Hughton’s players responded in exactly the way he wanted them to, quickly opening up Bournemouth to claim a fourth minute lead. Shane Duffy started the move with a sweeping, cross-field pass from inside his own half before an exchange of passes between Suttner and Gross that eventually released Izquierdo to cross towards Anthony Knockaert who finished well from a tight angle.
Brighton have struggled for goals recently, scoring just twice in their previous nine games, and the early strike appeared to inject more belief into their attacking play with Izquierdo coming close to doubling the lead when he shot narrowly wide after cutting in from the left hand flank. By contrast, Bournemouth took time to assert themselves but grew into the game after Callum Wilson had sent a close range effort narrowly wide.
Eddie Howe’s side had been lifted by Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat of Everton, their first victory in nine games. They were, however, without Ryan Fraser, scorer of both goals against the Merseysiders, at the Amex Stadium after the winger was ruled out with a hamstring problem and initially it appeared as though the visitors would miss the Scotland international’s pace and direct running.
With Fraser sidelined, more was expected of Jordon Ibe but the former Liverpool man initially laboured before forcing a good save from Brighton keeper Mat Ryan with a shot from the edge of the box. That effort sparked a period of sustained pressure that eventually culminated in Cook heading the 32nd minute equaliser.
The former Brighton centre-back was unfortunate to see Suttner clear his header off the line after meeting Lewis Cook’s corner. However, he went on better from the resulting corner, swung in by Ibe from the opposite wing, rising above the home defence to loop a header that went in off the underside of the bar.
At that point Bournemouth were in the ascendancy but it was Brighton who should have reached the break in front with Izquierdo was denied by Begovic’s excellent close range save after been sent clear by Gross just two minutes before the break.
It was the kind of miss that might have begun to prey on the minds of Hughton and his players had Brighton not added a second just three minutes into the second half.
Howe had admitted his side have been guilty of creating their own problems and that was certainly the case when Simon Francis attempted to dribble out of his own half and was dispossessed by Izquierdo. The Colombian raced forward into the penalty area to collect a return pass from Gross and square the ball for Murray who took his time before producing an assured finish.
Izquierdo deserved credit for his assist. Less impressive was his failure to roll the ball Gross after the winger had collected a loose ball on the edge of the Brighton area following a corner and raced the length of the pitch. Instead, he shot straight at Begovic.
Bournemouth were reprieved and took full advantage in the 79th minute when they equalised for a second time. Brighton had five attempts to clear a corner with Shane Duffy eventually striking the ball against Adam Smith, allowing Wilson to divert the deflection home.
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