Eddie Howe completes miracle turnaround as Bournemouth heading for Premier League

BOURNEMOUTH 3 BOLTON 0: Bournemouth will play in the Premier League next season for the first time in their 116-year history after cruising past 10-man Bolton 3-0 in front of a disbelieving Dean Court.

Eddie Howe completes miracle turnaround as Bournemouth heading for Premier League

The win means that, barring a virtually impossible goal difference swing against them on Saturday, Bournemouth have earned promotion to the top flight — a remarkable turnaround for a club languishing at the bottom of the Football League in 2009.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was quick to spread the success around the club.

“I am an eternal pessimist and we still have a game to play, but... It’s been incredible, it really has,” he said.

“This club was heading nowhere, out of business, and it’s been such a short turnaround.

Asked if the job was done, captain Elphick had a broad smile as he said: “Nearly, nearly.”

“It’s an unbelievable achievement,” he added. “It’s unbelievable. What can you say about the manager? Jesus. And the lads, they’ve performed so well week in, week out, it’s an unbelievable achievement.”

This will be the third promotion of Howe’s managerial career with the Cherries.

A thumping finish from midfielder Marc Pugh set them on course for the promised land before winger Matt Ritchie’s snapshot gave them a comfortable cushion at the break.

Dorian Dervite saw red for a foul on Callum Wilson who then added the gloss to the most famous night in the club’s history in the 79th minute to spark wild scenes on the south coast.

Having shown signs of nerves in a forgettable first half against Sheffield Wednesday last time out, Bournemouth wasted no time in attempting to break down their visitors.

Wilson weaved his way into the box inside the opening two minutes only for the legs of Adam Bogdan to deny him and the Hungarian goalkeeper then made a smart save to deny Ritchie from an angle.

Yann Kermorgant and Tommy Elphick both missed chances before Bournemouth’s top flight dreams moved a step closer to reality with an opener six minutes before the break.

And it was a goal to remember for the disbelieving supporters who had to be held back by the stewards after Pugh dragged Ritchie’s cross to his left-hand side at the back post before smashing it across goal and into the top corner for his ninth of the campaign.

Premier League supporters tuning in to see what the fuss is all about ahead of August will have witnessed a 44th-minute goal that sums up when Bournemouth are all about. Wilson clipped a cross to the back post which Kermorgant effortlessly knocked down for Ritchie to drive, first time, into the bottom corner.

Their ecstatic fans were singing the Match of the Day theme tune and they were almost celebrating a goal fit to grace the show’s goal of the season highlight reels when Kermorgant noticed Bogdan off his line 35 yards from goal but the keeper managed to tip the Frenchman’s effort over.

Any hopes of a Bolton comeback were then put to bed with 20 minutes to go when Dervite saw red for hauling down Wilson inside the box as Bournemouth won their 16th spot kick of the season.

Fellow forward Kermorgant stepped up and smashed the resulting spot-kick into the stands but Wilson would get the goal his display deserved with 11 minutes to go. Andrew Surman’s driving run ended with a cut back which Wilson gleefully converted to complete their stunning climb to the Premier League.

Bournemouth:

Boruc, Smith, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie (Fraser 83), Surman, Arter, Pugh (Gosling 89), Kermorgant (Pitman 80), Wilson.

Bolton:

Bogdan, Dervite, Ream, Moxey, Feeney (Threlkeld 63), Mark Davies (Gudjohnsen 63), Danns, Bannan, Walker, Le Fondre (Woolery 79), Heskey.

Ref:

Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).

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