Stevenage 2-2 Bournemouth

League One play-off chasers Stevenage were held to an entertaining draw by Bournemouth, playing their first game since

All the goals came in the first half and the Cherries went ahead through Wesley Thomas's pin-point effort that found the top corner.

Scott Malone then extended the lead when he shot home from 20 yards out.

Luke Freeman's long-range effort pulled one back minutes later, before Michael Bostwick's low strike made it 2-2.

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Stevenage manager Gary Smith told BBC Three Counties Radio:

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Wasted chances cost us - Smith

"I honestly thought Bournemouth's quality in the opening 20 minutes was as good as I've seen here since I've been at the club.

"They moved it quickly and concisely. The timing and pace of their runs up front caused us a number of problems.

"I thought they deserved their two-goal lead with the quality they showed.

"But our changes did make a difference, in terms of our shape and how we could break up their play, and at 2-2 at half-time we were well and truly in the game."

Bournemouth caretaker manager Paul Groves told BBC Radio Solent:

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Groves praises team spirit

"I felt the players applied themselves fantastically well. In the first half we controlled major parts of the game.

"All credit to them, they've shown individually there are some good players and, collectively at times, I felt they put some really good passages of play together.

"It's been a difficult week. For any team to lose a manager - a fantastic man - is a big thing. Lee brought these players in and that's a big thing for the group.

"You have to give them great credit for the way in which they have dusted themselves down and tried to get on with their job."

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