Exeter City 2 AFC Bournemouth 0.
Tuesday 8 March 2011.
Ref: Gary Sutton
Att: 4537 with 1014 away fans.
BBC match report –
Bournemouth, second in League One, endured a miserable night as they lost at Exeter, suffering their first defeat under manager Lee Bradbury.
Grecians striker Richard Logan wasted a good early chance as he planted a free header straight at keeper Shwan Jalal.
But Jamie Cureton put City ahead when he played a one-two with Logan and curled his shot around Jalal.
As Bournemouth pressed for a leveller, Cureton returned the favour to set up Logan who made it 2-0 from close range.
Much-travelled forward Cureton had an unsuccessful, goalless loan spell at Bournemouth back in 1995, but has returned to haunt them many times since then.
His opening goal was the eighth time he has scored against the Cherries, adding to strikes for Bristol Rovers, Reading and Swindon over the years.
Marc Pugh hit the bar for the visitors, who lost striker Michael Symes to injury before the break, but at the other end Troy Archibald-Henville sent a glancing header wide as hard-working Exeter pushed for a second.
Bournemouth battled in vain for an equaliser as winger Liam Feeney stabbed Rhoys Wiggins's cross wide, before Feeney himself shrugged off Scott Golbourne but his cross was headed over the bar by Danny Hollands.
And just before the hour mark, they were hit on the break as their nemesis Cureton beat the offside trap and his cross-shot was turned in by Logan.
That was the cue for Bradbury to bring his assistant Steve Fletcher off the bench - but not even the veteran Cherries talisman could rescue his side this time.
Exeter looked just as likely to claim a third goal, with a fierce Cureton effort smacked the underside of the crossbar, while Ryan Harley's 35-yard strike was tipped over by Jalal.
The kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes as more than 1,000 visiting supporters made their way into St James Park.
But those fans' faces would have fallen even further on hearing the other League One results as they left the ground.
Table-toppers Brighton stretched their lead over the Cherries to seven points, while the four teams immediately below Bournemouth in the play-off places - Huddersfield, Peterborough, Southampton and Milton Keynes - all won, leaving only three points separating second and sixth.
The Cherries face an eagerly-anticipated south coast derby on Saturday as they host Southampton for their first league meeting at Dean Court since 1960 - while Exeter, who look destined for a mid-table finish, head to Rochdale.
Exeter City manger Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"We knew we had to compete today against a very athletic, dynamic team and we did so I'm delighted.
"The first goal was like knife through butter, it was a beautifully crafted passing movement with very slick touches and a very good finish.
"They had the odd half chance or two, but they didn't create anything against us today and we were the team looking to score the third and fourth."
Bournemouth boss Lee Bradbury told BBC Radio Solent:
"Fair play to Exeter they were a good side, they kept the ball well and we didn't.
"You're going to have little blips- we'll go again Saturday when we have a massive game.
"It's all about characters, we've got to be strong and have self belief. They played well tonight. They beat us fair and square."