Bournemouth move to the top of the Championship after a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough
Last Updated: 21/03/15 3:10pm
Bournemouth climbed to the top of the Championship after beating promotion rivals Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Goldsands Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
Harry Arter's powerful 20-yard strike early in the second half was sandwiched between penalties from Yann Kermorgant and substitute Brett Pitman as Bournemouth leapfrogged Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship table to assert their claim for automatic promotion.
Newly called up by the Republic of Ireland, Arter also showed his quality with a stunning goal in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Cardiff.
The Cherries were on the front foot for the majority of the tussle against a team that began the day in second place, and Kermorgant could have put Eddie Howe's men in front in the second minute.
Middlesbrough goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos made a good save low to his left to deny the French striker.
Callum Wilson's pace created problems for the visitors' defence all afternoon and it was Bournemouth's leading scorer who won the first penalty, as he was bundled over by Tomas Kalas.
Kermorgant stepped up and coolly drove the 12th-minute spot-kick into the right corner of the net.
The first half was played at a frenetic pace and Bournemouth could have been further ahead at the interval.
Matt Ritchie had a drilled effort blocked by the back of George Friend in the 26th minute, before Kermorgant's well-struck volley was saved by Konstantopoulos.
Ritchie forced the Middlesbrough goalkeeper back into action again in the 31st minute, but his left-footed effort was easily held.
Middlesbrough were unable to truly test Artur Boruc in the first 45 minutes. Their best chance came on the half hour when Adam Reach flicked Patrick Bamford's cross into the hands of the Poland goalkeeper.
Bournemouth came out after the break with the same attacking intentions as the first, with Tommy Elphick having a close-range header saved almost immediately after the restart.
Arter doubled the Cherries' lead in the 48th minute, with his fine curling left-footed effort going in off the inside of the left post.
Bamford felt he should have had a penalty in the 58th minute after being pulled in the box by Steve Cook, but referee Anthony Taylor disagreed.
Middlesbrough thought they had got a goal back in the 68th minute, but Bamford's header was disallowed as he came from an offside position.
Bournemouth won their second penalty of the game in the 74th minute as the lively Arter surged forward into the Middlesbrough box before being pushed in the back by Albert Adomah.
Pitman fired past Konstantopoulos to make it 3-0 and seal a priceless win.
Bamford had the chance to get a consolation goal for Middlesbrough with four minutes to go, but his free-kick went just over the bar.