AFC Bournemouth were victorious in the Carabao Cup 3rd round thanks to an extra time strike from substitute Joshua King.
Eddie Howe stated in his programme notes that he wanted a cup run as it can help maintain and build momentum for the team and for the season ahead, and although they may have left it late, substitute King and his 99th minute goal saw the Cherries safely into the next round of the cup.
There were good chances for both sides in the first half, but neither were able to find the clinical finish which could have broken the deadlock. Brighton had the first real chance. Jose Izquierdo, on his first start for Brighton, struck a fierce shot for the Seagulls but a double fisted save from Artur Boruc was enough to clear the lines for the cherries.
Lys Mousset was the man with the golden chances in the first half for Bournemouth and he had two in quick succession. The first was a tame strike that rolled into the arms of another debutant Tim Krul in the Brighton net, and the second Benik Afobe did well to lay off the ball for Mousset on the edge of the box but the ball flew straight over the bar.
Bournemouth continued to create chances and on the 20 minute mark man of the match Jordon Ibe found a yard of space on the edge of the box but could not keep the ball down to test Krul. As we got to the half hour mark Ibe and Ryan Fraser began to link up well on the right flank. Brilliant overlaps and quick passing meant numerous crosses were sent in from the pair but neither Mousset or Afobe could capitalise.
In a rare first half attack for the visitors Jiri Skalak forced a low save from Boruc from 12 yards out and then forced another save from the cherries keeper from the floor to win the Seagulls first corner. The dying embers of the first half gave Jordon Ibe a real chance. On the edge of the box he got a yard away from the defender and his strike brought a good save low down to Krul’s right.
As the second half started Bournemouth were a lot quicker out of the blocks with three very good chances in quick succession. A cross from the right from Ibe landed at the feet of Mousset. His initial shot was blocked before the ball bounced up to the head of Afobe. His header was subsequently blocked by Connor Goldson. The ball then fell to the feet of Mousset, who struck the near post from six yards out.
Brighton had a golden opportunity to get a goal in another rare attack. On 51 minutes a terrible back pass from Steve Cook to Boruc allowed Jamie Murphy to take a touch and set himself for a shot, only to be denied by the toe of Boruc’s right foot. At the turn of the hour mark, Lewis Cook had a fantastic strike from 23 yards out which brought out a great save from Krul. The resulting corner met the head of Mousset who saw his effort cleared off the line by Murphy.
On 65 minutes, Howe made the first change of the game taking off a returning Junior Stanislas to be replaced by Marc Pugh. A solid performance from Stanislas who had a golden chance blocked from 3 yards out. With 10 minutes to go, Howe made a second change taking off Mousett, who was very unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. He was replaced by King, who proved to be the difference maker.
Brighton began to sit back and defend, praying for extra time. The final moments of the 90 saw a rushed strike from Skalak go high and wide of the goal and a free kick at the end of the 90 for Bournemouth came to nothing signalling the ref to blow for full time.
As the game started in extra time it was the hosts who continued their push for a goal and it finally came in the 99th minute with the two substitutes Pugh and King combining well with good linking passes to King, who jinked his way round the box before firing a left footed effort into the far corner.
Brighton pushed for an equaliser by throwing on the likes of Anthony Knockaert, Davy Propper and Solly March, but to no avail as the Cherries held their nerve To advance to the fourth round for the first third time in the past four seasons. Brighton are still yet to beat Bournemouth since January 1st 2008.