Super-sub Jordan Rhodes’ last-minute header earned Sheffield Wednesday a 2-1 win at Bournemouth as the promotion-chasing Cherries’ poor recent run continued.
Rhodes rose to nod in Kadeem Harris’ pin-point cross to lead Wednesday to a first away win in 10 matches after a Junior Stanislas penalty had cancelled out Callum Paterson’s first-half opener.
Bournemouth were involved in late transfer deadline day drama as Josh King was sold to Everton and Shane Long joined on loan from Southampton.
Long was not eligible to play after completing his paperwork 10 seconds before the window closed and his new side could have been behind inside the first minute.
Matt Penney was allowed to roam free down the left before cutting a cross back for Elias Kachunga whose shot was well saved by the legs of Asmir Begovic.
Begovic was called into action again in the 10th minute, acrobatically tipping Barry Bannan’s long-range piledriver behind for a corner.
Bournemouth were flat over the pitch in the first half and Arnaut Danjuma’s shot, blocked behind by the legs of Sam Hutchinson in the 27th minute, was their first meaningful attempt on goal.
Wales winger David Brooks also dragged a left-foot shot wide after cutting in from right six minutes before half-time.
Wednesday took a deserved lead in the 44th minute courtesy of some slapstick defending from their hosts.
Chris Mepham’s poor back pass was seized upon by Paterson and the Owls’ top scorer gleefully poked the ball underneath a despairing Begovic.
Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall made a triple half-time change by bringing on Adam Smith, Jefferson Lerma and Sam Surridge for Jack Stacey, Jack Wilshere and top scorer Dominic Solanke.
The Cherries created a good opening in the 49th minute when Lloyd Kelly and Danjuma combined neatly down the left before Brooks blazed wide from 10 yards.
Penney fired wide for Wednesday before Stanislas equalised for Bournemouth in the 65th minute. Substitute Surridge was hauled down by a clumsy tackle from Hutchinson and Stanislas rifled home from 12 yards.
Bournemouth took control of the game from there and Lerma should have done better with his header from a Danjuma corner.
Brooks also forced a smart save from Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood from an acute angle as the Cherries pressed for a winner.
The Owls were lucky not to end the game with 10 men after Chey Dunkley escaped with only a yellow card after hauling down Surridge when he was clean through on goal. From the resulting 30-yard free-kick, Stanislas saw his curling effort saved comfortably by Westwood.
To add to Bournemouth’s sense of injustice, Rhodes popped up with the winner to send the Cherries crashing to their fourth successive defeat.
What the managers said…
Bournemouth’s Jason Tindall: “The first half highlighted that there are a lot of players lacking a lot of confidence and a lot of belief. We had a lot of players who looked like they are going through a bad moment with their decision-making. The second half was a much better performance.
“I have identified the type of characters we needed to bring in during this difficult time. The additions of Ben Pearson and Shane Long in the transfer window, with their characters and experience, will help us a lot. We have a lot of players who are very young and very inexperienced. Their leadership and quality will certainly help.”
Sheffield Wednesday’s interim manager Neil Thompson: “Jordan has had a tough time but he has come on and put a shift in and got his just rewards with a great goal. I thought in the first half we were really bright. We played aggressively, nicked the ball in good areas and could have been a couple of goals up before we scored. They got the penalty to get back in it. For the lads to show the character they did at the end is brilliant.”
“The games are coming thick and fast. We have not got time to breathe. It is not for me to decide what happens; it is up to the powers that be. This win will help us because we have to pull away from the bottom and the one thing the lads are doing is putting a real shift in.”