A dreadful error from Artur Boruc and a missed penalty from Glenn Murray cost AFC Bournemouth as they were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow Premier League new boys Watford on Saturday.
Murray’s first-half header on his full debut had the hosts set to go into the break in front after having the better of the first 45 minutes. Boruc, though, gifted an equaliser to Odion Ighalo with a poor pass just before half-time.
After struggling earlier on, Watford were much better after the break and could have gone on to win, with Ben Watson smashing an effort off the crossbar.
But it is Bournemouth who will be more regretful at not having secured three points after Murray saw his spot-kick saved by Heurelho Gomes with just seven minutes remaining.
The draw means the home side move on to eight points from as many games, while the visitors go up to 10 having lost just two of their first eight matches in the top flight.
Bournemouth came close in the early stages when Matt Ritchie’s cross found Murray and the striker’s looping header drifted just over the crossbar.
It was the same pair who combined again as the home side opened the scoring on 28 minutes. Simon Francis found Ritchie, who delivered an in-swinging left-footed cross from the right and Murray found space to power a header past Gomes.
The home fans were unhappy prior to half-time following a flashpoint between Etienne Capoue and Murray. First, the Bournemouth forward went down after the Frenchman had appeared to step on his foot, before he took retribution with a heavy challenge moments after, which earned him a yellow card.
Just as it appeared Bournemouth were going to go into the break with a comfortable one-goal lead, Boruc’s horror moment gifted Watford their equaliser.
The goalkeeper had received a routine pass-back from Sylvain Distin, before inexplicably passing straight at Ighalo, allowing the in-form striker to comfortably round him and tap into an empty net.
After the first half had produced so few chances, the second got off to a flying start, with Watford twice coming close.
Ighalo showed brilliant skill to beat Distin all ends up and his threatening shot was hacked away. Shortly after, Bournemouth failed to clear a corner and Watson ran on to the loose ball to smash a half-volley off the crossbar.
The visitors were enjoying an impressive spell of dominance and Ikechi Anya forced Boruc into a low save after being played in by a precise Almen Abdi pass.
Having struggled for momentum in the second half, Bournemouth did improve in the closing stages and almost scored a spectacular second when Steve Cook forced Gomes into a diving stop with a brilliant overhead kick.
The home side then had a wonderful opportunity to grab victory after Adam Smith was felled by a clumsy Capoue challenge in the box. Murray, though, was casual with his penalty and Gomes got down to save, meaning an eventful contest finished level.
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