Scrimshaw nets hat-trick as U18s draw
Match report and reaction as young Cherries are held in a dramatic game away at Oxford United.
In a thrilling game between the division’s top two sides, a win for the Yellows would have seen them clinch the league title, but a Jake Scrimshaw hat-trick meant that they had to come from behind on two occasions.
Despite dropping points, Bournemouth extended their impressive unbeaten record in the league to 15 games.
The home side looked lively from the start, frustrating the Cherries and almost taking the lead on the seventh minute when Leon Chambers-Parillon sent a shot just wide of the post after Bournemouth had given the ball away from a goal-kick.
Halfway through the first period, a penalty was awarded to Oxford. Fred Niblett went for the bottom left corner but saw his spot-kick go wide, signalling a let-off for the Cherries.
Alan Connell’s side had their first chance of the game on the 26th minute, giving Oxford’s defence something to think about for the first time as Connor Kurran-Browne volleyed over from distance.
Against the run of the play, the Cherries did break the deadlock just before the half-hour mark, Scrimshaw capitalising on a defensive misunderstanding to sneak between two Us defenders and flick the ball past the onrushing ‘keeper.
With the wind in their sails, Bournemouth had a point to prove against the league leaders and doubled their lead moments later as Tom Dinsmore’s free-kick from the right wing was cushioned in first-time by Scrimshaw into the bottom left corner.
Whatever was said in the Oxford dressing room at half-time certainly worked, as the Yellows got back in it three minutes into the second half. Ryan Crocks’ ball across the face of goal was met by Spasov who tapped in from close range.
Bournemouth controlled Oxford’s threat for around 15 minutes, before the home side equalised through Owen James. He found the inside of the far post after being played through on goal by the instrumental Spasov.
Showing no signs of being deflated by losing the lead, Bournemouth instantly responded with theirs and Scrimshaw’s third on the 65th minute. Cameron Plain made a strong save to start off a Cherries counter-attack, before Christian Saydee threaded Scrimshaw through on goal. The number nine beat his marker for pace and found the bottom left corner with confidence to complete his hat-trick.
With the lead so slim, Oxford continued to mount on the pressure and always looked likely going forward. There was late drama with eight minutes remaining as a cross from Owen James, punched clear by Plain, went up above the goal before landing on the crossbar and being cleared. James had been Oxford’s standout performer but Plain had answers for all the late questions.
That was until the 89th minute, when James Cowen’s free-kick was headed in by Jack Stevens, who had both come on as substitutes. It was a goal not dissimilar to the Cherries’ second, and one that meant the points were shared in an entertaining 3-3 draw.
Giving his thoughts on the game to afcb.co.uk, under-18s manager Alan Connell commented on the following topics.
“I was pleased with large aspects of our play. On a difficult pitch, we passed the ball very well. Everyone wanted the ball and helped each other out. Because of that we created chances.
“It felt like the right game to use three defenders at the back, and we’re flexible to do that like the first team are. In theory, that would make us more solid defensively and for the first half it did.
“We expected Oxford to come out all guns blazing in the second half and that’s what they did. From a defensive point of view, we need to stand up to the pressure a little bit better. It was frustrating not to get the win, but it leaves us in a good place heading into the new year.”
“I was really pleased with Jake’s performance. His movement was good and his holding up of the ball was good. His finishing was excellent, and all his goals were really nice. They were great goals at any level. He made a big impact in the hour he played and will have a busy period now over Christmas. That should set him up nicely for his games with Poole Town.”
“We’re back in training on January 2nd, but the boys will be on standby for training with the Under-21s over Christmas. Our first game in the new year is Tuesday 8th January at home to Yeovil Town in the league.”