U18s hold on for three Forest Green points
AFC Bournemouth U18s held on to a narrow lead for 70 minutes to edge out a 2-1 win over Forest Green Rovers U18s on Saturday.
The Cherries didn’t take long to get going, as a foul on the edge of Forest Green Rovers’ box on the tenth minute led to a free-kick for Jake Scrimshaw to direct into the top right corner of the net with the help of a deflection off the wall.
Bournemouth captain Brennan Camp sustained a wrist injury moments later but was able to carry on.
Forest Green Rovers hit back on the 20th minute after a well-worked set piece routine ended up at the feet of Isaiah Jones who had no problem tapping in from close range to equalise.
Bournemouth responded instantly, retaining their lead when, a minute later, Ryan Glover’s inviting cross from the right wing landed kindly for Nathan Clements to place the ball into an empty net.
The home side were 2-1 up and in cruise control, Bournemouth prevented Forest Green from creating anything going forward for the remainder of the first half, while the hosts saw a handful of chances go wide, failing to capitalise on their domination in the game.
The second half was lacking in clear-cut chances for either side, with possession being won and lost in the final third on both sides of the pitch. The Cherries continued to look more likely, particularly on the 70th minute when Jake Cope’s low driven shot clipped the post on its way wide of the goal.
Substitute Christian Saydee – who got on the scoresheet in midweek in AFC Bournemouth’s 3-2 win over Plymouth Argyle U18s - came close in the game’s dying embers to getting a third goal, with his toe-poked effort trickling across the face of the goal, but no-one was there to convert.
With the lead still narrow, the Cherries held on in the final minutes of stoppage time against increasing pressure from Forest Green Rovers to hold onto all three points.
Speaking to afcb.co.uk, manager Alan Connell noticed improvements over last weekend’s league game: “Last Saturday we gave away a two goal lead against Exeter, so it was good for us to go 2-1 up early and deal with that pressure ourselves.
“We limited Forest Green Rovers to very few opportunities. I was pleased with our application and work rate in that situation of the game.
“I can’t question the team’s attitude to score straight from kick-off after conceding. If you’ve got that as a foundation it allows you to work more on the technical side of the game.
“Overall, for me the quality level today wasn’t what it needs to be or what I expect, but it was definitely there in spells of the game."
ON INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES
“Ryan Glover is physically excellent. He covers a lot of ground and works hard for the team defensively as well as being a real threat going forward. We’re just trying to tidy him up a little bit technically and try to add more end product to his game which we’re sure he’s capable of.
“We can trust him because we know that even if he’s not having a great game from an attacking point of view he will still commit to the defensive part of the game.
“Nathan Walsh also worked really hard in midfield for us today, he kept the play moving for us. We just need him to learn more about how we play, as do all the first years and that will come over time.
“Brennan Camp is fine after picking up an injury and I was pleased with him today. He offered insurance and composure to our game, I’m really pleased with him and his leadership as youth team captain this season.”
The AFC Bournemouth Under-18 side are sponsored by Strategic Solutions.