U18s knocked out of cup by Southend
AFC Bournemouth Under-18s’ ten-game unbeaten run came to an end with a 3-1 defeat at home to Southend United in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
Christian Saydee slotted Jake Scrimshaw through on goal ten minutes in, the latter showing composure to find the back of the net one-on-one to put the home side in front.
The Cherries had chances to increase their lead throughout the first half, but Alan Connell’s side went into the break holding onto just a one goal lead.
United turned the game around with three quick-fire goals on the 50th, 55th, and 65th minutes in the game, and while Bournemouth had chances to get back into the game after falling behind, they were unable to take them.
Reflecting on the game with afcb.co.uk post-match, Under-18s manager Alan Connell discussed the following points.
"It was disappointing today. It was a game of fine lines with chances at both ends. While I was pleased that we scored early through a well-taken Jake Scrimshaw goal, we had chances early on to make it 2-0 but the longer the first half wore on the more Southend grew into the game and had their chances.
"We were pleased to go into half-time 1-0 up and we tried to sort a couple of issues out during the break. We were going against the wind in the second half which caused us one or two problems but we conceded quite early and overall we didn’t defend well enough, which has been a bit of a re-occurring theme.
"We’ve let in too many goals this season. Yes, we score a lot, but we can’t be relying on the forwards to score three or four every week to win games. The game could have gone either way but credit to Southend, they’re a good side with some good players but it’s a massive learning experience for our boys.
"When the game became a little bit scrappy and a bit of a fight, we didn’t control it how I would expect and we didn’t dig in as much as we have before in a game that we were looking to win to progress to the semi-finals. It’s important now that we reflect and move on and look to improve moving forward."
OUT OF THE CUP
"We won this cup in 2017 with the likes of Nnamdi Ofoborh and Kyle Taylor. We lost on penalties at this stage of the competition last year so it’s unfortunate to go out in the quarter-finals again.
"These are the experiences that we want the boys to have – playing in competitive, high-pressure football in youth terms – and hopefully even though it’s not an enjoyable experience to be knocked out, hopefully we’ll learn from it and it will benefit us with regards to our Youth Cup games later in the season."
"The Cherries have two more VAR trial matches at the Amex on Thursday against Gillingham Under-18s and QPR Under-18s, before playing Plymouth Argyle Under-18s in the league next Tuesday."
The AFC Bournemouth Under-18s side are sponsored by Strategic Solutions.