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Austin salvages Southampton point away at Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Southampton had to come from behind to rescue a point at Bournemouth and avoid a third defeat in the last five matches.

Ryan Fraser gave the Cherries the lead against the run play on the stroke of half-time, before Charlie Austin played hero in a 1-1 draw on the south coast.

Southampton has begun to turn in performances worthy of relieving pressure off manager Mauricio Pellegrino, but their lone win over the last five outings remains the thrashing at lowly Everton.

Austin, meanwhile, vaulted himself into being Saints’ top scorer in the Premier League with four goals this season, which has shown his value having previously been reduced to cameo appearances.

Southampton, who has had struggles finding the target, nearly made a dream start only for Virgil van Dijk to head wide of the post from a set piece inside a quarter hour.

Dusan Tadic also came close when he looped a headed effort onto the top of the goal after meeting Jeremy Pied’s cross moments later.

Bournemouth withstood the early start from Saints, but threatened to take the lead on 21 minutes if it wasn’t for Fraser Forster.

The Southampton keeper instinctively kept it goalless when he got a hand to Jermaine Defoe’s attempt with the forward having redirected a half volleyed chance from Adam Smith.

Smith was the booked for simulation by referee Jon Moss 10 minutes later when he appeared to go down under contact from Sofiane Boufal.

Austin missed his chance to give Saints a lead after getting his head to Ward-Prowse’s corner at the back post as Asmir Begovic made a firm palm save to deny the striker.

Charlie Daniels then flashed wide of the post before the Cherries took advantage of Wesley Hoedt being caught in possession on 42 minutes.

Hoedt lost out on the ball with Drew Surman cutting into the box to set up Fraser for the opening goal.

Southampton, however, nearly had an immediate response when Boufal fired over the bar from a low cross played in by Ryan Bertrand.

Austin finally took one of the opportunities created by the visitors and in the 61st minute he found the net finishing from Nathan Redmond’s cross.

Southampton avoided falling behind again thanks to Forster, who first denied Josh King with the rebounding falling to Callum Wilson, and, in a moment of luck, the ball bounced off the forward for a goal-kick.

Neither side manufactured a winning goal, with Austin finding the side netting nine minutes from time.

Bournemouth: Begovic, A. Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas (Ibe 69), L. Cook, Surman, Fraser (Afobe 92), King, Defoe (Wilson 69).

Unused subs: Boruc (GK), S. Cook, Gosling, Pugh.

Goals: Fraser (41).

Bookings: A. Smith (31), Defoe (31).

Southampton: Forster, Bertrand, Hoedt, van Dijk, Pied, Romeu, Davis (Gabbiadini 85), Boufal, Tadic (Lemina 74), Ward-Prowse (Redmond 46), Austin.

Unused subs: McCarthy (GK), Yoshida, Targett, Hojbjerg.

Goals: Austin (61).

Bookings: Lemina (76).