Harry Arter racked up Bournemouth's third penalty miss in as many games as they failed to claim a third straight Premier League win in a dour 0-0 draw against Southampton.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder, on as a second half substitute, blazed his spot-kick way over the crossbar and in doing so squandered one of Bournemouth's few chances in a turgid derby.
Claude Puel's Southampton side went into the game having lost five of their previous seven games and, while they showed signs of improvement against a resurgent Bournemouth team, their lack of attacking quality prevented them from picking up a much-needed home win.
In the absence the injured Manolo Gabbiadini it was left to Jay Rodriguez to lead the line for the Saints, but he was not clinical enough with the chances that fell his way – not that there were many.
Bournemouth were no better, mustering two shots on target throughout the entire game and showing little of the creativity that helped them earn wins over West Ham and Swansea in their previous outings.
Dusan Tadic flashed a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the box after three minutes of an open start to the match, and Rodriguez missed from close range after Nathan Redmond's cross afforded him a chance to shoot.
Redmond and Rodriguez combined again and the latter put the ball in the net after 15 minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside, while Bournemouth offered little by way of a goal threat until Dan Gosling sailed a powerful drive over the top 28 minutes in.
Steven Davis cleared the ball off the Southampton goalline after former Saint Andrew Surman's close-range effort trickled past Fraser Forster, before Tadic clipped the outside of the post at the other end.
The best chance of the first half came just before the interval, when Rodriguez got in behind the Bournemouth defence and hit a dipping drive that Artur Boruc did well to tip over with a diving save.
Surman was carrying a knock and he was replaced by Arter early in the second half but the lively midfielder could not inspire his team as the game failed to deliver much excitement for an expectant crowd.
Finally, after an hour, Josh King broke clear for Bournemouth and unselfishly squared to Benik Afobe, but with a half-empty net to aim at the striker placed his side-footed shot wide of the post.
The near miss seemed to enliven Southampton and Redmond hammered a long-range shot towards goal that Boruc could only parry, and James Ward-Prowse fired narrowly wide from the rebound.
Puel sent on Shane Long for Rodriguez and he latched onto a pass from Tadic before clipping a shot that beat Boruc but missed the target, before Bournemouth's Adam Smith crashed a shot onto the post at the other end in a rare Cherries attack.
Howe sent on Jack Wilshere and the Arsenal loanee started the move that led to Ryan Fraser winning a penalty when he was pulled down by Ryan Bertrand, but Arter's spot-kick was mishit and ballooned wildly over the crossbar.
Arter tested Forster with a powerful shot three minutes from the end, but it was not to be his day, which both teams will end seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Key Opta stats:
- Southampton remain unbeaten against Bournemouth on home soil, having won eight and drawn five against the Cherries.
- Ryan Fraser has won more penalties than any other player in the Premier League this season (5).
- The Cherries are the first side since Crystal Palace in October 2016 to miss three penalties in a row in the competition.
- Dusan Tadic had the most shots and created the most chances for Southampton in this match (four each).
- No team has hit the woodwork more times than Bournemouth in the Premier League this season (16).