Brett Pitman has been prolific for Bournemouth during their promotion campaign
By Paul Fletcher
BBC Sport at the Pirelli Stadium
Brett Pitman's 27th goal of the season and Alan Connell's late effort ensured that Bournemouth sealed a remarkable promotion to League One after a deserved victory at Burton Albion.
Bournemouth have been under a transfer embargo for most of the season and often so short of personnel that they have regularly failed to name their full complement of seven players on the bench.
But after rookie manager Eddie Howe masterminded the great escape last season, the 32-year-old can now celebrate his first promotion in Football League management after a campaign during which his team have constantly defied expectations that they would eventually run out of steam.
Pitman's skilful half-volleyed finish after veteran striker Steve Fletcher's headed knock-down midway through the second half put the visiting team in front.
And substitute Connell tapped home from close range on the stroke of full-time to guarantee the points Bournemouth needed to secure third place in League Two.
Pitman missed several other decent chances throughout the game, which at one point look liked turning into a frustrating afternoon for the estimated 1,600 away spectators at the Pirelli Stadium.
Instead the frustration belonged to Burton, who have had a successful first season in the Football League but are ending the campaign on a whimper after seven games without victory.
It might have been a different story but for an unbelievable first-half save from Shwan Jalal, who clawed a Jacques Maghoma on to the post and out for a corner.
Bournemouth looked relaxed as they warmed-up and started the match with the irresistible momentum of a team determined to seal promotion in the spring sunshine.
Pitman saw a free-kick deflected wide in the second minute, while the subsequent corner led to a quick succession of blocked headers and shots.
Leading scorer Pitman wasted a gilt-edge chance to open the scoring when he headed wide from six yards after seven minutes and missed with an angled strike from the edge of the area shortly afterwards.
It was a start that warranted a goal but Burton gradually began to establish a foothold in midfield and started to threaten Jalal's goal, with Maghoma and Shaun Harrad both shooting wide.
The Cherries responded, with Pitman heading wide from a corner and narrowly missing with a crisp strike from a Fletcher knock-down.
A piercing through ball from Marvin Bartley sent Pitman through on goal close to the break but his shot was well saved by 46-year-old keeper Kevin Poole.
However, it looked as though it would be the Brewers who led at the break when Maghoma superbly connected with a cross from the left, but he was thwarted by Jalal's sensational one-handed save.
Danny Hollands, who went close with a glancing header in the opening half, almost found the net in front of the travelling contingent shortly after the restart but his looping strike did not quite dip enough.
Pitman then failed to connect with a low cross and Fletcher saw his effort blocked, while Poole smothered captain Jason Pearce's attempted to bundle the ball over the line.
But Pitman, whose goals have been crucial to the Cherries this season, found the net after 67 minutes.
It was a superb finish as the ball was slightly behind him as he made contact but he found the bottom corner before climbing off the turf and charging towards the away fans to celebrate.
Pitman could have ensured victory with a low curling strike that was inches wide of Poole's post before Steve Kabba almost spoiled the party with a low strike that Jalal saved.
There was just time for Connell, on the pitch for little more than a minute as a replacement for Fletcher, to bundle the ball home after Poole parried Anton Robinson's effort.
Burton manager Paul Peschisolido told BBC Radio Derby:
"We played against a better team. I think you can gloss it up any way you want but I have to say, on today's account, they were excellent.
"They were strong and they worked extremely hard, they gave us not a moment's peace.
"They were worthy of the win and that's why they've been promoted."
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told BBC Radio Solent: "Last season the relief was huge because we were in real trouble and this season it's totally different.
"We've actually achieved something that will last forever, so that's a nice feeling.
"It's been difficult...the players have been asked to play out of position, some have been asked to play when they are injured but time and time against they've come out and proved people wrong."
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