Arnaut Danjuma set Bournemouth back on course for a Championship play-off spot as his strike gave them a 1-0 victory over promotion-chasing Watford in an ill-tempered game at the Vitality Stadium.
After two defeats in a week saw the Cherries drop out of the top six, Danjuma's low effort crept past Daniel Bachmann at the near post on 61 minutes and handed Jonathan Woodgate his first victory since his position as head coach was confirmed until the end of the season.
But there was an edge to proceedings throughout the second half and it reached boiling point deep into stoppage time when Joao Pedro and Jack Wilshere were both sent off for second bookings following a late Pedro tackle on Jefferson Lerma.
Lerma had angered Watford's players with his reactions to numerous fouls after the break and both sets of players clashed following Pedro's tackle with the officials and coaching staff struggling to keep them separated.
It ended a frustrating day for Watford who remain outside of the automatic spots as their four-game winning run came to a halt after struggling to break down a dogged Cherries backline.
How Bournemouth got back on track
The 13 goals Bournemouth have conceded from crosses this campaign is the worst record in the Championship and Watford looked to exploit it early. One of those balls into the box saw Adam Masina head wide after a high Asmir Begovic punch - but that was to be the closest the Hornets came to opening the scoring in a tight first half.
Bournemouth were disciplined off the ball and created the best two openings. Unfortunately, Junior Stanislas lost his footing as he looked to shoot after being played through by Dominic Solanke, while Lloyd Kelly's fierce strike from the corner of the box was pushed over the bar by Daniel Bachmann.
The busy Danjuma looked the most likely to create a goal out of nothing and he came alive after the break. A jinking run saw him beat two men and Bachmann with a low shot, only for Francisco Sierralta to clear the goalbound effort behind.
That seemed to spark the game into life. Danjuma was again frustrated as his low effort was well kept out by Bachmann after a neat ball through and they nearly paid the price for that miss immediately. Tom Cleverley tried to finish Watford's quick counterattack with a low finish into the bottom corner but Begovic's strong left hand denied the Hornets skipper.
Danjuma wasn't to be kept out for long though and his strike came following a moment of controversy that turned the temperature up in the February sunshine.
Nathaniel Chalobah and Lerma grappled as they went up for a header on the halfway line with the former screaming in pain as he fell to the ground. The hosts wanted a red, while Watford's players were incensed at Lerma's reaction. Replays showed Chalobah's hand made minimal contact with Lerma's neck and he was booked as a result.
That stoppage saw Watford switch off and from the resulting free-kick, a simple ball over the top set Danjuma free. His effort from a tight angle should have been saved by Bachmann, but it slipped in at the near post to hand the Cherries the lead.
The feistiness remained in the final 30 minutes even if chances were at a premium. Ismaila Sarr failed to find the target with a low strike from the right side of the box before he was centimetres away from stealing the ball from a lucky Begovic as he waited to claim a bouncing ball in the box.
And it all came to a head in stoppage-time. Chalobah had already been subbed to stop him receiving a second yellow, but striker Joao Pedro's late tackle on Lerma saw given his marching orders. Wilshere clashed with Hornets skipper Cleverley as both sets of players became involved in a shoving match near the dugouts.
Man of the match - Arnaut Danjuma
Arnaut Danjuma was the difference for Bournemouth and he always looked the most likely to break the deadlock on the south coast.
He had already seen one goalbound effort cleared by Francisco Sierralta and another saved by Daniel Bachmann before he beat the keeper at the front post with a low strike.
It was the perfect way to react after being dropped from the side by Woodgate and Danjuma will know he has the ability to ensure the Cherries finish in the top six.
What the managers said...
Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate: "It did not look great, but that's football and it was two teams very passionate and two sets of players who wanted to win
"We have to see that win as bedrock to climb up the table and it showed this team can fight. I want a hard under-belly, not a soft one and I want teams to know this is going to be a hard place to come and play."
Watford boss Xisco Munoz: "Football is an emotional game. I want to only speak about positive things about my team. We tried to play in the last second. I am disappointed with the result but not the performance. My team was ambitious and played very hard.
"I said to the guys, 'we need to keep going,' because we were in a very good moment with four wins in a row. This is not easy in the Championship."
Watford host rock-bottom Wycombe at Vicarage Road at 7pm on Wednesday night as Bournemouth travel to plummeting Bristol City for a 7.45pm kick-off.