Baggies pegged back by late Cherries leveller
- Rondon's eighth league goal of the season (16)
- Ritchie equalises for hosts late on (82)
- Baggies backed by 1,200 fans on sunny south coast
- Attendance: 11.040
- Albion Star Man: Jonny Evans
ALBION’s final away trip of the season was spoiled by a late Bournemouth equaliser in a 1-1 draw at the Vitality Stadium.
The Baggies missed a third successive penalty and made the best of the chances in this end-of-season contest played in sunshine conditions.
But just when it seemed Salomon Rondon’s first half goal had been enough to end their frustrating sequence of winless matches, the home side clawed a point with a late equaliser from substitute Matt Ritchie.
Albion will once again be annoyed with themselves. Craig Gardner was twice close with first half efforts and seized the ball to take the spot-kick awarded in the 43rd minute for Tommy Elphick’s challenge on Craig Dawson at a corner.
But he was denied by a superb Artur Boruc save leaving Albion to go into half-time ahead by just Rondon’s powerful 15th minute header from Jonny Evans’s quality cross.
A second-half pattern saw Bournemouth struggling to make any impression on the Baggies back-line and Rondon and substitute Saido Berahino both threatening the second they needed to put the game to bed.
It never arrived, though, and when an intended clearance from Claudio Yacob skimmed off the top of his head, it provided the perfect set-up for Ritchie to head home from close range.
Albion still had time to set up Dawson for a shot that cannoned off the foot of the post with Boruc beaten but by the finish it felt like they had let more points slip their grasp.
Jonathon Leko was again full of promise throughout another invaluable slice of Premier League experience while Rondon was also in menacing form throughout. But an outstanding performance from Evans gets him the Man of the Match vote.
BOURNEMOUTH: Boruc; Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels; Stanislas (Ritchie 73), Surman, Arter, Gradel (King 60); Afobe (Wilson 60), Grabban.
Subs: Federici, Gosling, Iturbe, O’Kane.
Bookings: Arter (70, foul);
ALBION: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Evans; Leko (Sandro 86), Fletcher, Yacob, McClean; Gardner (Berahino 73); Rondon.
Subs: Myhill, Chester, Lambert, Roberts, Field.
Bookings: Yacob (64, foul);
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Gosforth)