Late goals from Matty Godden and Todd Kane saw Mark Robins' side fight back from 2-0 down to earn a point at AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship this afternoon.
City created the first real opportunity of the match when Callum O’Hare slipped in Todd Kane whose cross was backheeled by Matty Godden on the turn in the six-yard box, but his effort was cleared off the line.
The Cherries first test of Sky Blue ‘keeper Simon Moore came from Lewis Cook after he was set up by Gavin Kilkenny 25 yards out, but Moore safely caught his shot.
Ryan Christie then played the ball through to Dominic Solanke, but his cut back couldn’t find a red and black shirt and was cleared by Kane.
O’Hare under pressure then teed up Ben Sheaf but the midfielder was denied by Cherries ‘keeper Mark Travers.
Bournemouth then attempted a counter-attack, but Jaidon Anthony’s cross into the box went straight to the feet of Dom Hyam who dealt with the danger.
The visitors went close to breaking the deadlock when Kane whipped the ball across the six-yard box with Godden inches away from making contact in front of the goal.
The Cherries’ response to that saw wing back Jack Stacey try and create something but his cross into the box was claimed by Moore.
But just before the interval Bournemouth broke the deadlock when Anthony’s cross seemed to beat everyone and ended up in the far corner.
HALF TIME: AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Sky Blues
In a battle for possession in the opening exchanges the home side finally thought they had carved City open when Solanke was found by Christie, but the forward couldn’t find a way past McFadzean when attempting to enter the box.
O’Hare worked his way down the side and passed inside to Liam Kelly, but the skipper’s cross couldn’t quite have enough on it to reach Godden at the back post.
Anthony, looking for his second, then ran onto a through ball but Moore forced him wide, and the winger could only find the side net.
Stacey then got past Hyam and played in Solanke but the striker’s ball across goal was intercepted by O’Hare.
Billing’s free kick was blocked by the wall, but the ball was recycled and Anthony’s cross into the box found the onrushing Billing who beat Moore to the ball to double the home side’s lead.
However, 90 seconds later Bournemouth went down to 10 men after Jefferson Lerma brought Godden down just outside the box with the forward bearing down on goal.
With the home side trying to end any hopes of a comeback, Anthony picked out Solanke, but Moore was on hand to deny him before Lewis Cook fired over from the resulting corner.
With City pressing, Fankaty Dabo found Kane out wide whose cross found O’Hare, but he couldn’t get a shot away.
The lively Anthony then found Solanke in the box again but Moore did well to pull off another good stop to keep the score to two.
The Sky Blues built up some pressure when earning successive corners but they couldn’t fashion a chance from either with Maatsen’s low cross being blocked earning the first before Travers caught Kane’s cross.
A third corner eventually brought reward when the Cherries attempted clearance fell to Dabo who slipped in Kelly, with the captain’s cross not held by Travers with Godden there to half the deficit!
Substitute Jodi Jones then won a free kick which was taken by Kane with his effort stinging the palms of Travers before the full back forced the Cherries ‘keeper into another stop with Robins’ side pressing hard for an equaliser.
Then in the last minute of stoppage time Kane whipped the ball towards goal and it flew into the far corner to earn the Sky Blues a point they more than deserved.
FULL TIME: AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Sky Blues
SCORERS: Jaidon Anthony (45’), Philip Billing (66’); Matty Godden (85’), Todd Kane (90+5’)
YELLOW CARDS: Kyle McFadzean (45'), Steve Cook (54’), Chris Mepham (75’)
RED CARD: Jefferson Lerma (68’)
Sky Blues XI: Simon Moore (GK), Todd Kane, Fankaty Dabo, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Ian Maatsen (Tyler Walker 90+2’), Jamie Allen (Viktor Gyökeres 63’), Ben Sheaf (Jodi Jones 85’), Liam Kelly (C), Callum O’Hare, Matty Godden.
Unused Subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Jordan Shipley, Josh Eccles.
AFC Bournemouth XI: Mark Travers (C), Chris Mephem, Jefferson Lerma, Steve Cook (C), Jack Stacey, Gavin Kilkenny (Zeno Ibsen Rossi 88’), Lewis Cook, Philip Billing, Jaidon Anthony (Emiliano Marcondes 90+4’), Ryan Christie (Leif Davis 79‘), Dominic Solanke.
Unused Subs: Orjan Nyland (GK), Jamal Lowe, Morgan Rogers, Nathan Moriah-Welsh.