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Fraser rescues a point for Cherries in six-goal thriller with Watford

All six goals came in the first half as Watford led 2-0 and 3-2.

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Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser (right) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.

Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser (right) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.

Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser (right) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.

Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser struck equalisers just three minutes apart as Bournemouth salvaged a madcap 3-3 Premier League draw with Watford.

Troy Deeney’s early brace had Watford 2-0 to the good, before Nathan Ake and Wilson had Bournemouth level – but for less than a minute.

Ken Sema fired in from Deeney’s knock-down to nudge Watford into a 3-2 lead, but one the Hornets could only hold for two minutes.

The excellent Fraser’s composed finish drew Bournemouth level at 3-3 before half-time, and despite a clutch of Cherries chances after the break, so the scores remained.

Four goals in six minutes lit up the tail-end of the first-half, with Deeney taking his top-flight tally to five for the campaign and Wilson claiming his ninth in the league for the hosts.

Despite the full-throttle goal action however, neither manager would have been happy with the draw.

Watford boss Javi Gracia would have expected his men to kick on having coasted into their early lead, while Eddie Howe is keen to nudge Bournemouth into better league form after just two wins in 11.

Deeney’s two goals in 13 minutes initially appeared a worrying omen for a stunned Bournemouth, who let the Hornets run them ragged early on.

Talisman striker Deeney put the visitors ahead by nodding home Sema’s smart cross, after fine build-up play from Kiko Femenia and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Watford’s bullish skipper then had the Hornets in control, side-footing home after Gerard Deulofeu seized on Dan Gosling’s loose pass to race through the middle.

Watford’s early goal glut was summarily eclipsed though, as Bournemouth hit back as the back-end of the first-half descended into a free-for-all.

Ake nodded in after Ben Foster palmed away Gosling’s head from Fraser’s free-kick.

Three minutes later Wilson flicked home a fine header from another accurate Fraser dead-ball.

Just a minute after that, Sema thumped in from Deeney’s knock-down, to put Watford back in front at 3-2.

But then, a mere two more minutes elapsed before Fraser drew Bournemouth level for the second time in the match, at 3-3.

Junior Stanislas’ low ball sneaked all the way from right wing to inside left in the Watford box, with David Brooks, Wilson and Josh King all stepping over.

And when the ever-alert Fraser finally latched onto Stanislas’ ball, he steadied himself and swept calmly into the net.

Madness almost complete then, save for King still finding time to head wide from a smart Stanislas cross.

Bournemouth were always the more likely scorers after the break, but the hosts simply could not conjure a winner.

Foster denied Wilson with a fine point-blank save as well as twice thwarting King, before Ake headed wide from David Brooks’ cross.

Tom Cleverley was fortunate to escape a booking for a dive in attempting to win a penalty in a rare second-half flashpoint for Watford, leaving the teams to settle for the draw.

PA Media