Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe ramped up the pressure on his players after a 2-0 win over Fulham kept them on top of the Sky Bet Championship table.

Goals in each half, from Brett Pitman and Harry Arter, maintained the Cherries' promotion charge.

"The challenge for us now going forward is to stay there," Howe said. "Everyone wants to knock us off.

"We are a scalp now. We faced that situation in the past couple of weeks now. We're a lot more well known now, so the element of surprise has gone.

"But we were always going to have to cross that bridge and the players are going to come under more pressure now in different ways.

"How we handle that remains to be seen. So far so good. There are a lot of big challengers to come, especially at home."

An eighth-minute header by Brett and a stoppage-time strike by Arter swept Bournemouth to a fourth straight Championship win and stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games.

It put the south-coast side back on the top after Ipswich's lunchtime 4-2 victory at Brentford temporarily dislodged them.

Pitman also had a second-half penalty saved, but nevertheless earned the praise of his manager - not just for his goal but his overall performance.

"The opening goal was a great ball in from Matt Ritchie and a great run from Brett. Then the manner in which he's managed to keep the header down... it was a real skill," Howe said.

"Not just for the goal, but I thought he was excellent. He's obviously disappointed to have missed the penalty, but I thought it was a really good display by him.

"Had the penalty gone in, it would have been game over, but I don't think it affected us.

"Fulham had more of the ball in the second half, but they never really penetrated us and I think our shape was very good defensively.

"In previous home games we've tended to let leads slip, but it's a real bonus to us to show we can hold leads against quality opposition like Fulham."

Bournemouth dictated the play for long periods, but did not make sure of the points until Arter fired a low shot into the bottom corner at the start of stoppage time.

Fulham manager Kit Symons said: "We said at half-time we'd weathered the storm a little bit. We rode our luck at times , but we had to be brave and take the game to Bournemouth and I thought we did that in the second period.

"We had some opportunities, but it wasn't quite to be.

"It was a great save from Marcus (Bettinelli) from the penalty. That could have been the turning point.

"Bournemouth needed a second goal and we could have turned it around after that, but it didn't happen.

"We had our best spell after that, but couldn't get the ball over the line."