Bournemouth stormed into League One's top six as they beat play-off hopefuls Crawley to go 15 games unbeaten.

The Cherries went ahead when Steve Cook whipped in a fierce cross which Crawley skipper Gary Alexander headed past his own goalkeeper Paul Jones.

Brett Pitman made it 2-0 when he rolled in a quickly taken 20-yard free-kick.

Home keeper David James saved well when substitute Billy Clarke had Crawley's best chance, before Eunan O'Kane added a late third from close range.

Eddie Howe's side, who won all their five games in December, now head to Brentford on New Year's Day as the division's two form teams meet.

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Bournemouth assistant manager Jason Tindall told BBC Radio Solent:

"With two home games, it was important that we tried to get maximum points. We've managed to do that and it sets us up nicely for the new year.

"I don't think we were under any great deal of pressure. I thought the guys at the back defended extremely well and it's another clean sheet for us as well.

"It was always the aim to put ourselves in contention (for promotion), we've managed to do that with an incredible run of 15 games unbeaten. The hardest part for us now is to try and stay there."

Crawley Town manager Richie Barker told BBC Sussex:

"I thought 3-0 was harsh. You know it is possible if you take your chances and you're positive in your little spell but we weren't quite positive enough today.

"We didn't come and sit here for the draw, we just tried to make sure we filled the gaps and we were aware of what they do.

"They are a good side and 15 games unbeaten now and their expectations are high.

"When you find out from the fourth official that the referee asked the players if they want to take a quick free-kick - that's even worse. To instigate it from a referee's point of view I think is really poor."

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