Steve Cook serves up boost for Bournemouth in defeat of Newcastle

Bournemouth climbed out of the bottom three with a victory over Newcastle United thanks to a goal scored by a player who did not even think he should have been in the team because he had been playing so badly.

Steve Cook was Bournemouth’s unlikely match winner, in a game they had never looked like winning in the first half as Newcastle hit the woodwork, were denied a goal that should have stood because of an incorrect offside flag, as well as several excellent saves by the Cherries goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

But these are the victories that tend to define the teams who are going to be successful in the battle against relegation and, after a slow start to the season, Bournemouth will start to believe again.

As for Cook, after claiming a few weeks ago that he was playing so badly that he should be dropped, this was a reminder that he belongs at this level. It was not just his winning goal, in the second minute of stoppage time, heading in Andrew Surman’s corner, it was the brilliant block that prevented Dwight Gayle’s header giving Newcastle the lead in the first half and the sheer stubborn refusal to let their, initially rampant, hosts open the scoring.