Dominic Solanke scored a dramatic stoppage-time penalty to rescue Bournemouth a vital 1-1 draw at home to Fulham and put the already-promoted Cottagers’ Championship title celebrations on hold.
Solanke’s last-gasp spot-kick cancelled out Aleksander Mitrovic’s 41st goal of the season to claim what could be a crucial point for the second-placed Cherries’ automatic-promotion hopes.
Fulham knew a win would all-but wrap up the title due to their vastly superior goal difference over their hosts.
The visitors, buoyed by their promotion-clinching win at home to Preston on Tuesday, started the game brightly.
Former Bournemouth loanee Harry Wilson, booed every time he touched the ball, smashed a second minute free-kick into the hosts’ wall.
It took until the 23rd minute for either team to muster a shot on target when Wilson’s 20-yard effort forced an awkward save from Mark Travers following a well-worked corner.
There was a definite edge to the game and referee Graham Scott read the riot act to both Bournemouth manager Scott Parker and opposite number Marco Silva following a touchline fracas.
The incident was sparked by a grapple between Fulham defender Joe Bryan and Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Christie and prompted an angry reaction from both benches.
Bournemouth top-scorer Solanke, starved of service for much of the first half, saw a 39th-minute shot from the edge of the box blocked behind by Tim Ream.
Moments later Jaidon Anthony whipped in a dangerous cross towards Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak’s far post but Christie could not quite get on the end of it.
Bournemouth had a loud penalty appeal turned down in first-half stoppage time when Anthony went down under a challenge from Kenny Tete after breaking into the area down the left.
Mitrovic had been kept relatively quiet by the Bournemouth defence before breaking the deadlock 11 minutes into the second half.
Wilson floated in a cross from the right and Mitrovic leapt above Nat Phillips at the far post before heading goalwards.
Travers appeared to have come to Bournemouth’s rescue with a brilliant save to claw the ball away but according to goal-line technology it had already crossed the line.
Anthony continued to be Bournemouth’s brightest attacking player and put a 20-yard free-kick over the crossbar with his last touch before being substituted.
It should have been game over when Ream nodded a Wilson free-kick across the face of goal but fellow centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo could only head onto the top of the crossbar from close range.
Substitute Todd Cantwell lashed a shot into the side-netting late on as Bournemouth searched for an equaliser.
Parker’s side snatched a point against his former club in the eighth minute of added time when Adam Smith was upended by Wilson and Solanke slammed home from 12 yards.
The draw left the Cherries two points clear of third-placed Huddersfield with two games in hand.
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