Donal McDermott struck a 60th-minute equaliser to hand Bournemouth a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield in the first leg of their npower League One play-off semi-final.
Veteran Terriers midfielder Kevin Kilbane, 34, opened the scoring with a fine header from Gary Roberts' right-wing cross. Terriers goalkeeper Ian Bennett made a fine save to deny Danny Ings from the penalty spot but the Cherries rallied in the second half and were rewarded when McDermott fired home a fine left-footed strike from 25 yards.
The return leg takes place at the Galpharm Stadium on Wednesday and Lee Clark's men, who extended their remarkable unbeaten run to 26 games, will be quietly confident of booking their place in the play-off final at Old Trafford later this month.
They did not hit top gear and it was Bournemouth, whose form has fluctuated since Eddie Howe jumped ship to join Burnley and Lee Bradbury was placed in charge, fashioned the first opening in the ninth minute.
Defender Jason Pearce headed the ball over the crossbar from 12 yards and the Cherries went close again in the 16th minute when McDermott hit a shot from 18 yards which Antony Kay blocked.
Huddersfield gradually steadied themselves and opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Kilbane powered home Roberts' cross with a fine header.
However, Bournemouth could have been level in the 35th minute after Bennett brought down Rhoys Wiggins inside the penalty area. Ings stepped up to the spot from 12 yards but Bennett made a fine parried save to thwart his right-footed effort.
The Terriers went close to restoring the lead in the 39th minute when Roberts hit a blistering drive from 25 yards which Bournemouth goalkeeper Shwan Jalal tipped over with a superb save.
Yet Bournemouth began to enjoy more possession in the second half and were rewarded on the hour when the ball was worked to McDermott, who drove a low, left-footed shot into the net from 25 yards.
Joey Gudjonsson twice threatened from distance for Huddersfield but the Cherries held firm to leave the tie finely poised ahead of the decisive second leg.
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