By Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
Josh King scored one penalty and missed another, as Bournemouth were pegged back by Raul Jimenez’s late spot kick, to share the spoils with Wolves in a thriller at the Vitality Stadium.
King scored his ninth goal of the season from the spot to give Bournemouth an early lead, but Wolves were denied a penalty of their own after Chris Mepham appeared to handle in the box.
Jimenez then calmly levelled the scores with an 82nd minute penalty, but late drama was to follow with King spurning wide from twelve yards three minutes later, with the points shared.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe made three changes to the side comprehensively beaten at Liverpool two weeks ago, with January acquisition Chris Mepham the notable inclusion, with club captain Steve Cook side-lined through injury.
Nuno Espirito Santo named four changes to the side which progressed into the FA Cup quarter finals last week, with Ruben Neves and Diogo Jotta amongst the starters.
It was the visitors who dominated the early proceedings making a razor-fast start. Within the opening minute Adam Smith was handed a yellow card for a foul on Matt Doherty.
Nathan Ake, the senior centre back in the new partnership with Chris Mepham proved every bit his worth clearing numerous Wolves set pieces away from danger, as the Cherries were pinned back in their own half.
The Cherries survived a tricky opening spell to force their way back into the game. Dominic Solanke’s glancing header went just wide of Rui Patricio after Josh King’s pin point cross.
Thirteen minutes in and it was the home side who took the lead. Josh King was clipped in the box after receiving the ball from Nathaniel Clyne.
The forward made no mistake from the spot, stepping up himself to slot past Patricio into the bottom corner for his ninth goal of the campaign.
The visitors felt they had a valid claim for a penalty of their own, with the ball appearing to strike Mepham on the arm. Referee Roger East’s decision to point for a corner was greeted with heavy protests from some Wolves players.
Wolves looked the more likely heading into the break. Ake was again forced to save the Cherries blushes clearing off the line following a dangerous, low cross.
A rare lapse in concentration from Mepham followed soon after. The Welshman had the ball robbed off him by Diogo Jota, whose cross-shot went just beyond the waiting Jimenez at the far post.
The Cherries threatened as the half came to an end. Jordan Ibe and Nathaniel Clyne combined down the right-hand side. The full back’s low, fizzing cross was well held though by Patricio.
Willy Bolly almost gave the visitors an early second half lead, with his glancing header from a corner going just over to Artur Boruc’s relief.
Solanke then should have extended the Cherries’ lead. The forward found himself clean through in the area and after skipping past a defender, his tame effort was struck straight at Patricio who was able to easily palm it away.
Solanke was involved again soon after however he was just unable to find Ibe with his through ball.
Jefferson Lerma, on nine bookings lunged in on Joao Moutinho who was left receiving treatment.
Lerma was booked for his troubles and will now miss the next two Bournemouth fixtures – Arsenal and Manchester City – through suspension.
Ibe was unfortunate not to have made it two. The winger received the ball and checked back inside on his left foot before striking a fierce effort which struck the crossbar.
However, in the final ten minutes the game really sparked into life. Matt Doherty was brought down in the box with the referee this time awarding Wolves a penalty.
Jimenez stepped up to the mark, waiting for Boruc to dive before slotting home straight down the middle.
The visitors looked to have secured a precious point, but late drama was to follow.
Just three minutes later, Fraser was brought down himself and a controversial second penalty was awarded with the contact appearing to be outside of the box.
Josh King stepped up again but could not show the same composure he demonstrated on his first spot kick, blazing this one wide of Patricio.
However, the home side did not lose hope of finding a winner and came agonising close moments later.
A low-driven cross by Fraser was just about cleared by Conor Coady and Ake headed straight at Patricio from a late corner.
Eddie Howe threw on Lys Mousset in stoppage time in place of Solanke to freshen things up, yet it was the visitors who appeared the more threatening.
Play was momentarily paused when the sprinklers bizarrely came on during the stoppage time period offering a strange interlude to an otherwise breath-taking last few minutes.
Substitute Adama Traore looked threatening late on, winning a foul off Ake from just outside the box.
However, the Dutchman put the error behind him to send the ball away from danger as he had done throughout the game.
Wolves supplied late pressure in the dying embers winning a free kick in their own half, but Ake won the header from the resulting set piece and a foul, as the game petered out for a stalemate.
The result lifts Bournemouth to tenth in the Premier League table whilst Wolves remain in eighth place.