Scott Parker’s AFC Bournemouth secured promotion back to the Premier League this evening after the Cherries downed Nottingham Forest 1-0 at a rocking Vitality Stadium.
Second-half substitute Kieffer Moore scored in the 82nd minute to win it for the south coast side with a quite exquisite free-kick routine that defied the Forest rearguard.
The Dorset outfit return to the Premier League after two seasons out of the top-flight and will go up along with champions Fulham.
As for Forest, they will have to make do with the lottery of the Championship play-offs.
The Cherries started in the ascendancy and had a promising opportunity before the five minute mark.
Dom Solanke found himself in the box and looked to shoot before Steve Cook intercepted, but the ball fell to Phillip Billing who struck a low, curling effort towards goal but Samba got down well to prevent the hosts taking an early lead.
As has been a consistent trend with Forest this season, Djed Spence found himself rampaging down the right not too long after Billing’s chance, he cut inside to play a sublime, defence-splitting pass to Sam Surridge who was honing on in goal, but his effort cannoned off the crossbar.
It was Forest who continued to grow into the match, and the away side carved out another decent opportunity as Brennan Johnson found himself with space in the area after receiving the ball from a Jack Colback cross from the left, but Zemura was there to block the Welshman’s effort on goal.
Steve Cooper and his Forest side were growing increasingly frustrated with Stuart Attwell and his officiating team, Surridge was once again played in on goal but the linesman flagged offside, however subsequent replays seem to suggest he was in-fact on-side.
As half-time approached it was the away side who continued to look the more likely to score, Zinckernagel found himself in a good position on the left but his low shot from a tight angle was saved by Travers.
AFC Bournemouth started the second half in much brighter fashion compared to how they finished the first.
Ryan Christie was enjoying more time on the ball and he played in Dom Solanke with a deft through-ball but the former Liverpool man’s first-time effort slipped past the post and into the side netting.
It was the Cherries who once again had a big opportunity to open the proceedings, Billing was chasing a loose ball down the left and a defensive mis-hap from Ryan Yates allowed the Danish midfielder to proceed into the box, but his cross was cut-out by Brice Samba.
As Steve Cooper’s side started to look weary, the Cherries crowd could sense blood as they ramped up the atmosphere, and it was Jaidon Anthony who went close again for the home side.
He drove into the box but his effort on goal was punched away by Samba in the Forest goal.
Scott Parker’s side’s pressure told as in the 82nd minute, the Cherries scored to send the Vitality Stadium crowd into raptures.
A bursting run from left wing-back Jordan Zemura saw him get taken down by Scott McKenna right on the edge of the box.
Phillip Billing lined up over the proceeding free-kick and looked all-set to bend an effort into the top corner, but like something straight off of the training ground, the midfielder passed the ball cutely to Kieffer Moore who slotted the ball in expertly past the stretching Samba.
The home side continued to nullify the likes of Sam Surridge and Brennan Johnson in the second half, with the away side struggling to create any clear-cut opportunities.
As full-time approached, the Vitality crowd continued to generate an excellent atmosphere, Nottingham Forest huffed and puffed but ultimately struggled in vain and the Cherries got over the line and sealed a spot back in the Premier League.