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Sky Bet Championship: Bournemouth beat Watford 2-0 to go three points clear

Bournemouth took advantage of a Watford red card in the first minute to move three points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

With their promotion rivals not playing until Saturday afternoon the Cherries had a huge chance to put pressure on the chasing pack and they were given a helping hand en route to a comfortable 2-0 win when Gabriele Angella's first action of the evening saw the defender sent off.

The recalled Yann Kermorgant got Bournemouth up and running from the penalty spot after Callum Wilson, whose pace caused the early dismissal, proved too quick for Craig Cathcart.

Once Matt Ritchie scored for the second successive home game from a narrow angle Bournemouth could relax and they were only denied a more emphatic victory by overworked Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

The Hornets made the trip on a real high after Saturday's emphatic 7-2 thumping of Blackpool but their vocal 1,391 travelling supporters knew they were in for a long night once they saw Angella sent off for his challenge.

Angella's first touch saw him haul down Wilson after 26 seconds as the former Coventry man skipped past him - and referee Lee Probert was quick to hand the centre-back the earliest of early baths.

Eddie Howe's men predictably took control of possession and carved out a few promising openings with Kermorgant, Marc Pugh and Ritchie all having efforts at Gomes' goal.

Despite having just 30 per cent of the half's possession Ikechi Anya did have the Cherries backline breathing a little quicker with a low drilled effort across across goal in the eighth minute.

With Watford a man light at the back Bournemouth's full-backs were pinning the yellow shirts in their own half and it was no surprise that Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels created two fantastic openings for Kermorgant.

First overlapping right-back Francis raced to the byline before clipping in a cross which the former Charlton man could only direct wide. Kermorgant came even closer in the 25th minute when he controlled left-back Daniels' low cross before thumping an effort off the Watford crossbar.

It was, however, the movement of strike partner Wilson that presented Kermorgant with the game's opening goal in the 35th minute. The 33-year-old made no mistake from the spot after Cathcart had fouled Wilson after being turned inside the box.

Gomes was then called into action to deny Francis before watching Ritchie's low drive fizz wide of his left-hand post shortly after the breqak.

And the former Tottenham shotstopper could do little about Bournemouth's 57th-minute second. Having been fed by Kermorgant, Ritchie squeezed a low right-footed drive across goal and into the bottom corner for his eighth of the campaign.

It was deja vu for Watford who had found themselves 2-0 down at this stage last weekend but there were few signs of another seven-goal haul.

Instead they were facing a Bournemouth onslaught, especially down their left-hand side. First Ritchie and Francis linked up before the latter warmed the gloves of Gomes at his near post before the keeper pushed Pugh's header around the same post after a Ritchie delivery found his fellow winger.

Wilson really should have added a third but shot straight at Gomes after winning the ball inside the box.

And after denying Ritchie after another flowing move the Brazilian keeper pulled off his best save of the night with three minutes remaining to keep out Pugh's right-footed drive.

Headlines for Championship this week

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  • Sky Bet Championship: Bournemouth beat Watford 2-0 to go three points clear

  • Bournemouth took advantage of a Watford red card in the first minute to move three points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

  • Championship: Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic blasts Gabriele Angella red card

  • Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic labelled the decision to send off defender Gabriele Angella just seconds into their 2-0 loss at Bournemouth as 'a joke'.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Jason Pearce finalises move to Wigan Athletic

  • Wigan have completed the signing of defender Jason Pearce from Sky Bet Championship rivals Leeds.

  • Championship: Blackburn sign midfielder Spearing on loan deal from Bolton

  • Blackburn Rovers have signed midfielder Jay Spearing from Bolton on loan until the end of the season.

  • Forest in talks with Villa about a loan deal for Grealish

  • Nottingham Forest are in talks with Aston Villa over a loan deal for winger Jack Grealish, according to Sky sources.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Wigan Athletic complete Billy McKay deal

  • Wigan have completed the signing of Northern Ireland international Billy McKay from Inverness for an undisclosed fee.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Rotherham sign Jack Hunt on loan

  • Rotherham have made their 27th signing of the season by bringing in Crystal Palace defender Jack Hunt on loan until the end of the season.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Steve Evans hopes Ben Pringle will remain at Rotherham

  • Rotherham boss Steve Evans is confident Ben Pringle will stay at the club.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Charlton forward George Tucudean departs on loan

  • Charlton striker George Tucudean has joined Romanian side Steaua Bucharest on loan until the end of the 2015/16 season.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Birmingham v Norwich team news

  • Birmingham defender Michael Morrison has been ruled out for up to six weeks ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Norwich at St Andrew's.

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