Bournemouth survived a strong fightback from fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon Town - and a half-time pitch inspection - to match a club record and go 18 games unbeaten in all competitions.

Harry Arter put the Cherries ahead before the break with a 20-yard strike.

But with the rain lashing down, Swindon grabbed a late equaliser.

Home keeper David James slid out of his area to clear, and Andy Williams controlled the ball before curling a left-foot shot into the empty net.

Striker James Collins had earlier missed a great chance for the visitors after defender Steve Cook slipped and James was left stranded, but Collins skewed his shot wide with what looked like an open goal at his mercy.

The interval was extended by five minutes to allow the ground staff to work on the Dean Court pitch, but referee Phil Gibbs deemed it playable.

Both play-off rivals struggled in the wet conditions, as passes went astray, tackles went flying in, and Robins manager Paolo Di Canio cut an increasingly frustrated figure on the touchline.

Swindon winger Matt Ritchie - a transfer target for Bournemouth last season - drilled in a low left-foot shot which James saved with his boot, while the former England stopper also had to be alert to save Chris Martin's close-range effort.

At the other end, Wes Foderingham kept his side in the game by getting down low to smother Lewis Grabban's header.

But Swindon finished the game as the stronger side.

And after Williams levelled with five minutes remaining, they almost won all the points with the last kick of the game when a deflected free-kick flashed past James's left-hand post.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe told BBC Radio Solent:

"It was a really good match up until the heavens really opened after about 30 minutes, it was end to end, two teams really going at each other.

"I think the conditions really ruined the game which was a real shame from our perspective being a football team. It was difficult to play our normal game, we had to slightly adjust and I think that played into their hands.

"In difficult conditions I thought, in the main, we defended really well."

(On Swindon) "They put a lot of balls in the box, they ask questions of you; I think they're a very good side, I think they're very well organised and it was a really good test.

(On poor weather and the possibility of the game not finishing) "At one stage (thought match may not last the 90 minutes) thankfully it did, I think the referee had a difficult call to make at half time, we were 1-0 up and obviously wanting the game to carry on and I think he was in slight doubt as to what to do.

"I think it's easy to say after the game because we've drawn that it was the wrong decision but I think it was the right decision but it did change the game."

Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio told BBC Wiltshire:

"It's a fantastic point, an important one against one of the best sides in this league.

My lads were amazing, they did a fantastic job.

"Today is an important signal for me because a few weeks ago we would lose this game.

"This is a real group now."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Bournemouth

  • 34 James
  • 02 Francis
  • 03 Cook
  • 13 Elphick
  • 07 Pugh
  • 08 Arter (Hughes - 84' )
  • 11 Daniels
  • 17 McQuoid (Fogden - 73' )
  • 32 O'Kane
  • 22 Grabban
  • 40 Pitman (Thomas - 74' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jalal
  • 06 Partington
  • 12 Fogden
  • 23 McDermott
  • 26 Hughes
  • 09 Thomas
  • 18 Tubbs

Swindon

  • 01 Foderingham
  • 05 Devera
  • 15 Thompson
  • 22 Ward
  • 10 Ritchie
  • 11 Roberts (De Vita - 65' )
  • 12 McCormack
  • 18 Miller (Ferry - 74' )
  • 26 Hollands
  • 09 Collins (Martin - 55' Booked )
  • 16 Williams Booked

Substitutes

  • 30 Bedwell
  • 04 Flint
  • 06 Navarro
  • 08 Ferry
  • 23 De Vita
  • 24 Martin
  • 28 Rooney
Ref: Phil Gibbs
Att: 8,777

Match Stats

Shots

12 11

On target

8 7

Corners

7 3

Fouls

16 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:09 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +3:00

Strike on goal comes in from Chris Martin from the free kick.

90:00 +3:00 Booking

Booking The referee shows Chris Martin a yellow card.

90:00 +2:08

Foul by Eunan O'Kane on Danny Hollands, free kick awarded.

90:00 +0:52

Wes Thomas concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Williams. Free kick taken by Wes Foderingham.

90:00 +0:24

Unfair challenge on Wes Thomas by Joe Devera results in a free kick. Eunan O'Kane takes the free kick.

89:27

A cross is delivered by Andy Williams, clearance by Tommy Elphick. Inswinging corner taken by Matt Ritchie, Lewis Grabban fouled by Raffaele De Vita, the ref awards a free kick. David James takes the direct free kick.

89:22

A cross is delivered by Joe Devera.

87:13

The ball is sent over by Marc Pugh, Nathan Thompson makes a clearance.

86:57

Centre by Charlie Daniels, Joe Devera makes a clearance.

85:21 Booking

Booking Booking for Andy Williams for unsporting behaviour.

84:20 Goal scored

Goal! - Andy Williams - Bournem'th 1 - 1 Swindon A goal is scored by Andy Williams from just outside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Bournemouth 1-1 Swindon.

83:18

David James takes the free kick.

83:18 Substitution

Substitution Harry Arter leaves the field to be replaced by Richard Hughes.

83:18

The referee blows for offside.

81:21

Simon Francis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Raffaele De Vita. Free kick taken by Danny Hollands.

79:32

The free kick is swung in left-footed by Matt Ritchie, Simon Francis manages to make a clearance.

79:32 Booking

Booking The referee books Wes Thomas for unsporting behaviour.

79:05

Centre by Simon Ferry, Tommy Elphick makes a clearance. Free kick awarded for a foul by Wes Thomas on Nathan Thompson.

77:56

Simon Francis challenges Andy Williams unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Raffaele De Vita from left wing, Lewis Grabban manages to make a clearance.

76:33

Unfair challenge on Marc Pugh by Andy Williams results in a free kick. Marc Pugh crosses the ball in from the free kick, Wes Foderingham makes a save.

75:25

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Martin on David James. Free kick taken by David James.

75:02

Centre by Charlie Daniels, clearance by Darren Ward.

73:40 Substitution

Substitution Tommy Miller goes off and Simon Ferry comes on.

73:40 Substitution

Substitution Wes Thomas joins the action as a substitute, replacing Brett Pitman.

72:08 Substitution

Substitution Wes Fogden is brought on as a substitute for Josh McQuoid.

72:08

A cross is delivered by Darren Ward.

70:14

Brett Pitman sends in a cross, Nathan Thompson gets a block in. The ball is delivered by Harry Arter, blocked by Nathan Thompson. Marc Pugh sends in a cross, Lewis Grabban takes a shot. Wes Foderingham gets a block in.

69:12

Brett Pitman takes a shot. Save by Wes Foderingham. Inswinging corner taken by Brett Pitman, Tommy Elphick takes a shot. Save by Wes Foderingham.

68:34

A cross is delivered by Andy Williams, clearance made by Steve Cook. Matt Ritchie produces a cross, Chris Martin takes a shot. David James makes a save.

67:29

The assistant referee signals for offside against Raffaele De Vita. David James restarts play with the free kick.

66:24

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Martin by Charlie Daniels. Direct free kick taken by Joe Devera.

65:38

The ball is sent over by Marc Pugh, Joe Devera manages to make a clearance.

65:12

The ball is swung over by Raffaele De Vita, Matt Ritchie takes a shot. David James gets a block in.

63:31 Substitution

Substitution Raffaele De Vita on for Gary Roberts.

63:31

Brett Pitman takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Chris Martin makes a clearance. Corner taken by Brett Pitman.

60:45

Corner taken right-footed by Brett Pitman to the near post, clearance made by Tommy Miller.

59:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Matt Ritchie on Charlie Daniels. Brett Pitman crosses the ball in from the free kick, Joe Devera makes a clearance.

58:53

Chris Martin takes a shot. Comfortable save by David James.

55:02

Charlie Daniels takes the inswinging corner, Foul by Brett Pitman on Darren Ward, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Wes Foderingham.

54:10 Substitution

Substitution James Collins goes off and Chris Martin comes on.

52:57

Harry Arter fouled by Matt Ritchie, the ref awards a free kick. Steve Cook takes the free kick.

52:28

Josh McQuoid challenges Alan McCormack unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alan McCormack takes the free kick.

51:13

The ball is crossed by James Collins.

49:30

Foul by Alan McCormack on Josh McQuoid, free kick awarded. Eunan O'Kane takes the free kick.

48:44

Steve Cook sends in a cross, Brett Pitman produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.

48:04

Brett Pitman takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Joe Devera.

47:54

Harry Arter takes a shot. Wes Foderingham gets a block in.

47:40

Centre by Marc Pugh, clearance by Danny Hollands.

47:30

The ball is swung over by Lewis Grabban, clearance by Darren Ward.

45:26

Unfair challenge on Harry Arter by Gary Roberts results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Harry Arter.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:00 +1:22 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +0:48

Foul by James Collins on Simon Francis, free kick awarded. Steve Cook takes the direct free kick.

44:41

Harry Arter challenges Alan McCormack unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alan McCormack crosses the ball in from the free kick, Steve Cook manages to make a clearance.

42:58

Andy Williams takes a shot. Eunan O'Kane gets a block in. The ball is crossed by Matt Ritchie, save made by David James.

41:36

Lewis Grabban has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.

41:14

Brett Pitman takes a shot. Blocked by Joe Devera.

39:43

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Josh McQuoid by Matt Ritchie. Direct free kick taken by David James.

38:59

Free kick awarded for a foul by Brett Pitman on Gary Roberts. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tommy Miller from left wing, save by David James.

38:11

Foul by Josh McQuoid on Danny Hollands, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Wes Foderingham.

37:42

A cross is delivered by Alan McCormack, clearance made by Steve Cook.

36:51

Free kick awarded for a foul by Brett Pitman on Danny Hollands. Alan McCormack takes the free kick.

34:58

A cross is delivered by Gary Roberts, Simon Francis makes a clearance. James Collins produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

34:19

Alan McCormack fouled by Josh McQuoid, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Alan McCormack.

32:48

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by David James.

31:52

Centre by Andy Williams.

28:43

A cross is delivered by Simon Francis, Darren Ward manages to make a clearance.

28:18

Simon Francis delivers the ball, Danny Hollands gets a block in.

25:05

Assist on the goal came from Simon Francis.

25:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Harry Arter - Bournem'th 1 - 0 Swindon Harry Arter fires in a goal from outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Bournemouth 1-0 Swindon.

25:01

Centre by Simon Francis, clearance made by Darren Ward.

24:51

Brett Pitman takes a shot. Blocked by Nathan Thompson.

24:45

Lewis Grabban sends in a cross.

23:07

Charlie Daniels delivers the ball.

21:17

Free kick awarded for a foul by Matt Ritchie on Marc Pugh. Free kick taken by Harry Arter.

19:34

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Roberts by Josh McQuoid. Direct free kick taken by Wes Foderingham.

18:05

Josh McQuoid delivers the ball, clearance by Danny Hollands.

17:57

James Collins handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Eunan O'Kane.

17:47

Centre by Josh McQuoid, Nathan Thompson makes a clearance.

17:10

Matt Ritchie crosses the ball, Andy Williams takes a shot. David James makes a save.

16:28

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andy Williams by Eunan O'Kane. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Matt Ritchie from right channel, clearance by Steve Cook.

15:08

The ball is sent over by Lewis Grabban, clearance by Andy Williams.

13:19

Matt Ritchie crosses the ball, clearance by Brett Pitman. Effort on goal by Danny Hollands from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.

12:45

Andy Williams produces a cross, blocked by Tommy Elphick. Matt Ritchie takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Simon Francis.

10:18

Steve Cook takes a shot. Alan McCormack gets a block in. Harry Arter takes a shot. Danny Hollands gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Brett Pitman from the left by-line to the near post, save made by Wes Foderingham.

9:17

The ball is delivered by Simon Francis, blocked by Alan McCormack. Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Roberts on Eunan O'Kane. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charlie Daniels.

8:32

Centre by Marc Pugh, Darren Ward manages to make a clearance.

5:54

James Collins fouled by Simon Francis, the ref awards a free kick. Alan McCormack crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing.

5:43

The ball is crossed by Marc Pugh.

5:17

A cross is delivered by Josh McQuoid, clearance by Matt Ritchie.

3:39

The ball is delivered by Gary Roberts. Tommy Miller takes a shot. Save by David James. Inswinging corner taken by Tommy Miller from the left by-line, Darren Ward produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

0:51

Marc Pugh fouled by Nathan Thompson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Charlie Daniels. Effort on goal by Lewis Grabban from long distance goes over the crossbar.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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