Burton Albion were unable to prevent a Bournemouth promotion party as the League 1 bound side secured a 2-0 victory at the Pirelli Stadium. Goals in each half from strikers Brett Pitman and substitute Alan Connell were enough to extend Albion's winless run to seven games and spark joyous scenes for the visitors at the final whistle.
Brewers boss Paul Peschisolido opted to rest Tony James to the bench with young central defender Shaun Kelly given the opportunity to try and earn a deal for next season. Cleveland Taylor was also rested as Michael Simpson retained his place in the centre of midfield and Russell Penn was asked to move to the right hand side of the midfield.
Bournemouth were out of the traps quickly trying to ease any nerves and leading scorer Brett Pitman was given the chance to open the scoring in only the second minute but his 25 yard free kick was deflected wide of Kevin Poole's goal by the defensive wall.
The livewire striker had another chance just two minutes later but on his left foot dragged a shot wide of the far post having found space in the area. Pitman was guilty of a poor miss when he planted a free header well off the target.
Jacques Maghoma had Albion's first chance in the 7th minute but after tenacious work by Russ Penn worked an opening the former Spurs trainee dragged a shot from just outside the area wide of the target.
John McGrath was the first name to go into referee Geoff Eltringham's book when he was adjudged to have led with an elbow in challenging former Portsmouth and Manchester City man Lee Bradbury.
In form striker Shaun Harrad went closer for Albion in the 12th minute with a swerving shot that went over Shwan Jalal's crossbar.
Bournemouth went the closest they had been in the 31st minute. With Albion expecting a free kick for an apparent elbow by Marvin Bartley on Russ Penn play went on and Steve Fletcher headed down for Pitman to drive a shot just wide of Poole near post.
Greg Pearson was inches away from giving the Brewers the advantage in the 36th minute. Space opened up on the left and the striker who signed a new two year contract yesterday rose to meet John McGrath's cross with a header that Shwan Jalal just clawed round the post at full stretch.
Pitman again failed to capitalise in the 36th minute latching onto a through ball from Liam Feeney. From just inside the area he pulled the trigger but Kevin poole got down well to smother the shot at the second attempt.
Albion made a double change at the start of the second half. Romuald Boco was brought on in place of Andy Corbett and on loan winger Cleveland Taylor was introduced for Jacques Maghoma. However it was the Cherries who were again on the attack in the early stages with Danny Hollands seeing a dipping shot shot from 25 yards go over the angle of Poole's goal.
The visitors maintained their pressure on the Albion goal and only a fine block on Steve Fletcher followed by a point blank save from Poole at the feet of skipper Jason Pearce kept Albion on level terms.
Shaun Harrad saw an effort deflect wide of the post as Albion broke free of their defensive shackles and a goalbound shot from Cleveland Taylor looked bound for the corner of the net until it thumped against Tom Parkes.
Albion made their third substitution in the 66th minute and it proved to have an impact on the game. Steve Kabba was introduced for Shaun Harrad and immediately got penalised for a foul inside the centre circle. Bournemouth launched the free kick onto the head of Fletcher inside the box and he steered the ball down for PITMAN who this time turned and hit a low shot that flew past Poole to the joy of the massed ranks of Bournemouth fans behind that goal.
Russ Penn tried his luck from outside the area in the 73rd minute with a shot that was just too close to Jalal and as play switched to the other end Pitman won a duel with Tom Parkes before curling a left foot shot a foot wide of the far post.
The game rather petered out ino the closing stages as Bournemouth seemed content with what they had. Enough to secure promotion back to League 1 whilst Albion showed plenty of effort but not quite enough to break down a stubborn Cherries defence. Steve Kabba had a late chance, played in by John McGrath but Jalal was out quickly to block his angled effort.
Substitute Alan Connell put the icing on the Cherries cake just moments after coming on as a substitute. Having replaced veteran striker Steve Fletcher the substitute was in the right place to pounce when Anton Robinson darted into the area and forced Poole to spill the ball giving him a simple tap in.