Report: Albion 1 Bournemouth 1
A late Stephen Ward goal ensured a share of the spoils for Albion in an enthralling but controversial afternoon at the Amex.
The hosts were left to chase the game as early as the 13th minute when Inigo Calderon slid in with a perfectly timed tackle. However, referee Simon Hooper thought differently and, despite protestations from the Seagulls defender and his team-mates, awarded a penalty.
Up stepped Lewis Grabban to fire his effort past Tomasz Kuszczak as Eddie Howe’s men edged into an undeserved lead.
Albion began brightly and almost took the lead when Andrew Crofts’ long-range effort squirmed under keeper Lee Camp before hitting the post.
Then came the opening goal and Albion looked to respond immediately, with Camp at full stretch to keep out a rasping Kazenga LuaLua before Leo Ulloa almost getting on the end of the resulting corner.
Albion continued to press, with LuaLua a particular outlet on the flank, and went close again when a David Lopez free-kick almost found its way through to a diving Adam El-Abd.
With only added time remaining in the opening half, Ulloa controlled the ball with his chest before a sprawling Camp managed to divert the Argentine’s effort over the bar.
Minutes into the second half a typical LuaLua effort almost got Albion level as his long-range effort crashed off the underside of the bar with Camp well beaten.
Albion kept trying though and only another superb save from Camp kept the visitors in front, as he palmed an Ashley Barnes goal-bound effort to safety.
The visitors had managed to withstand a second-half Albion barrage but they were finally rewarded when Ward headed in the equaliser after a goalmouth scramble.
With only a minute remaining Albion continued to throw everyone forward and went close to securing a deserved win when Barnes headed against the bar.