Championship
BournemouthAFC Bournemouth3ReadingReading1
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe

Bournemouth moved to within two points of the Championship play-offs with a win over promotion rivals Reading.

Winger Matt Ritchie opened the scoring for the Cherries, who have won five matches in a row, with a shot from inside the penalty area.

Ritchie doubled his side's lead after 20 minutes with a close-range finish before Yann Kermorgant's header made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time.

Hal Robson-Kanu scored a consolation goal for Reading in the second half.

Reading hold the final play-off position in the Championship but saw their five-point lead narrowed to two by Bournemouth, Ipswich and Brighton on Tuesday.

Bournemouth, who were promoted to the Championship this season, have won eight of their last 10 games, with their only league defeat at home since mid-December coming against Leicester on 1 February.

The Royals, meanwhile, will be glancing anxiously over their shoulders, despite having lost only two of their last nine matches, after being comprehensively beaten by their hosts.

A resounding finish from Ritchie from the centre of the box after good work by Lewis Grabban gave Bournemouth the lead.

The lead was doubled when Ritchie side-footed home from close range from Andrew Surman's pass, after Grabban's shot was blocked, and Kermorgant's header put the Cherries firmly in control before the break.

Marc Pugh and Grabban went close with second-half efforts as Bournemouth continued to impress.

But Reading pulled a goal back through Robson-Kanu's powerful shot from 20 yards.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe:

"I can believe we are here as I've seen how hard the lads have worked. We didn't expect it but why not seize the moment and see where we can go?

"It is in Reading's hands. If they win their five games, they are in it. We've always believed we have really good players and now we have the goals to justify me saying that.

"It was an incredibly hard-working performance and probably the quickest game we've played in this year."

Reading manager Nigel Adkins:

"There is a hell of a long way to go. We have to keep the group together and keep positive. We've got to keep going because we are very much in this race.

"I'm very positive in my outlook and we have to show the spirit and desire to go for the next game.

"Give Bournemouth all the credit, we are not looking to make any excuses. They were very good on the night, especially in the first half and took their goals well."

Line-ups

Bournemouth

  • 42Camp
  • 2Francis
  • 14Harte
  • 32O'Kane
  • 5Elphick
  • 3S Cook
  • 30RitchieSubstituted forMacDonaldat 90+3'minutes
  • 4Surman
  • 18Kermorgant
  • 9GrabbanSubstituted forPitmanat 85'minutes
  • 7PughSubstituted forFraserat 73'minutesBooked at 81mins

Substitutes

  • 1Allsop
  • 10Pitman
  • 15A Smith
  • 16MacDonald
  • 20Fraser
  • 22Ward
  • 28Rantie

Reading

  • 21McCarthy
  • 2Gunter
  • 18BridgeSubstituted forKellyat 60'minutes
  • 19Robson-Kanu
  • 5Pearce
  • 17Gorkss
  • 10DrentheSubstituted forBlackmanat 74'minutes
  • 11McAnuff
  • 9Le FondreSubstituted forLeigertwoodat 60'minutes
  • 7Pogrebnyak
  • 37ObitaBooked at 84mins

Substitutes

  • 1Federici
  • 3Kelly
  • 8Leigertwood
  • 12McCleary
  • 15Morrison
  • 22Blackman
  • 25Taylor
Referee:
Andy Woolmer
Attendance:
11,182

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamReading
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home18
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bournemouth 3, Reading 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bournemouth 3, Reading 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Shaun MacDonald replaces Matt Ritchie.

  4. Post update

    Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Kelly (Reading).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  7. Post update

    Brett Pitman (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Kaspars Gorkss (Reading).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Yann Kermorgant.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth).

  11. Post update

    Nick Blackman (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Brett Pitman replaces Lewis Grabban because of an injury.

  14. Post update

    Delay in match Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth) because of an injury.

  15. Booking

    Jordan Obita (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Obita (Reading).

  18. Post update

    Foul by Tommy Elphick (Bournemouth).

  19. Post update

    Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.