Bournemouth secured three points after a Brett Pitman hat-trick saw the Cherries to a convincing win against Crewe in League One.
The successful form of Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth continued as a packed Dean Court stadium watched their team win 3-1 over North-West opponents Crewe Alexandra, putting them back to winning ways after consecutive losses at Wigan and Walsall.
After Crewe held on to possession for the opening five minutes, Bournemouth took an early lead from a seventh minute penalty following Adam Dugdale’s foul on Marc Pugh.
The conversion, made by forward Brett Pitman, gave the home side a boost of confidence, as they began to build up pressure before half time, with positive attacking up the wings and intelligent passing. At the break the score stood at 1-0.
Yet after a fiercely contested second period, Pitman netted again, after a squared rebound from Josh McQuoid met the Cherries hit-man in the centre of Crewe’s box. The goal came after Crewe keeper Steve Phillips fumbled an earlier shot.
Steve Davis’s men lacked ideas for most of the game, but it wasn’t a one sided match. Mathias Pogba slotted a low shot past Cherries keeper Shwan Jalal ten minutes before the final whistle, while earlier headed chances were just inches wide.
Howe’s men weren’t finished though, as Pitman completed his hat-trick from a second spot-kick after Wes Fogden was tripped in the box, earning him man of the match and a standing ovation when substituted for defensive midfielder Richard Hughes.
The victory sees AFC Bournemouth move up one place to fifth with 49 points, keeping promotion dreams alive. Crewe Alexandra remain thirteenth with 40 points.
The Cherries face MK Dons next week away, before a south-coast derby with rivals Portsmouth on 9 February at home.
AFC Bournemouth: Jalal, Francis, Cook, Seaborne, Elphick, Pugh, Arter, McQuoid (Fogden – 80’), O’Kane, Grabban (Tubbs – 88’), Pitman (Hughes – 83’)
Subs Not Used: Allsopp, Partington, McDermott, Fletcher
Booked: Pugh, Arter
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Davis, Dugdale, Guthrie, Murphy, Mellor, Osman, Inman (Colclough – 63’), M Clayton (Leitch-Smith – 63’), Pogba, Moore
Subs Not Used: Garratt, Ellis, Turton, Ray, West
Main image from AFC Bournemouth Facebook