U21s ease past Burnley in Premier League Cup
AFC Bournemouth’s under-21s defeated Burnley 7-1 in the Premier League Cup this afternoon.
Braces from Marc Pugh and Tyrell Hamilton, as well as strikes from Keelan O’Connell, Gavin Kilkenny and Alex Dobre saw the Cherries pick up three points in Group C.
Carl Fletcher’s side included a number of senior players, with Charlie Daniels, Tyrone Mings and Pugh all featuring at a wet Vitality Stadium.
The first chance fell to the visitors just four minutes in, with Daniel Agyei doing well to burst forward and find Marley Blair on the left, before the winger fired his shot over.
Minutes later and the Cherries had their first opening, as Charlie Seaman’s soaring cross found Keelan O’Connell at the back post, who forced an excellent double save from Clarets ‘keeper George McMahon.
The hosts continued to press forward, with Kyle Taylor firstly teeing up Daniels, before Pugh found O’Connell in the box, both efforts going wide of the post.
But it wasn’t long before the Cherries made their chances count.
Taylor, who was featuring in his second game back since injury, played through Alex Dobre, who did well to beat his man and square back for Pugh, with the winger slotting home calmly to give his side the lead.
And it was Taylor involved again as the under-21s doubled their lead within two minutes.
A through ball by the 19-year-old was latched onto by O’Connell, who struck low past McMahon for 2-0.
The deficit was nearly reduced on the half-hour mark, as Agyei marauded forward and almost tested Aaron Ramsdale, but Mings’ deflection was enough to see the strike hit the woodwork and go out for a corner.
Up the other end, the chances kept coming for the Cherries, Dobre first attempting an ambitious bicycle kick, before Taylor’s volley forced another good save from McMahon.
With the half coming to a close, there was still time for Fletcher’s side to be tested, with Mings there again to avert the danger, this time throwing himself in front of a powerful Tinashe Chakwana shot.
Following the break, it was McMahon called into action early on.
Substitute Gavin Kilkenny, who came on at half time for Taylor, almost bagged with his first touch, while Pugh’s low shot was subsequently tipped away.
Yet, it was the 31-year-old who grabbed his second of the afternoon just after the hour mark, controlling a lofted ball into the box to finish deftly with the outside of his foot from close range.
The Cherries buoyed, a fourth soon followed and it was Kilkenny who added to the tally. Pugh was at the heart of the move once again, teeing up the Irishman, who couldn’t miss from yards out.
However, Burnley’s never-say-die attitude showed moments later, as Agyei pulled one back. A through ball from Mace Goodridge set up the striker, who turned in the box to finish past Ramsdale.
Nevertheless, the Cherries didn’t sit back and within five minutes had a fifth.
Pugh, who continued to star, slalomed through the Burnley defence ahead of unselfishly teeing up Dobre, the Romanian getting his first of the afternoon with a calm finish.
With the clock ticking down, the hosts continued to dominate and a sixth soon came.
Tyrell Hamilton, who had just come on for Dobre, picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fired in a shot from range for his first Cherries goal.
And the summer signing rounded the game off with his second of the afternoon, taking it past the ‘keeper and finishing into the bottom corner with seconds remaining.
Fletcher's side are next in Premier League Cup action against West Brom on 9th November at Vitality Stadium. Ticket information will be release in due course.