Unbeaten run continues for U18s
AFC Bournemouth under-18s beat Newport County Under-18s 4-3 on Saturday to extend their unbeaten run to six games.
Christian Saydee's hat-trick paved the way for the Cherries' success, though Newport came back to level three times before the host netted a late winner as they won out by the odd goal in seven.
The Cherries came flying out the blocks, Ryan Glover sending a cross from left to right to Brooklyn Genesini. The full-back nodded the ball back inside to Saydee whose first-time volley found the bottom right corner to put his side 1-0 up inside three minutes.
The terrible weather conditions meant it was never going to be plain sailing for either side, and so it proved on the ninth minute as a slip from 'keeper Cameron Plain gifted an equaliser to Newport’s Lewis Collins.
Plain was called into action on a number of occasions throughout the first half, saving well to deny Collins a second goal minutes after his first. At the other end, Saydee forced a good low save from Louis Cirotto – the pair of 'keepers proving their worth early on.
There was little Cirotto could do to reach Jake Cope’s strike on the 20th minute. Cope received the ball following a nice free-kick routine between Tom Dinsmore and Saydee and struck from distance. Fortunately for Newport, it crashed against the post as the scores stayed level.
Cirotto did well again to narrow the angle and prevent Glover from capitalising on a good goal-scoring opportunity in the 26th minute, but he was helpless on the 38th as Saydee – played in by Luke Nippard – put his opposite number on the ground with neat footwork before placing calmly into the bottom left corner to put the Cherries back on top going into the break.
The lead slim, Plain began the second half with a great tip over the bar to deny Collins an equaliser, and while Alan Connell’s side withstood the Exiles’ pressure for much of the second half, it was Thomas Hillman who brought the away side back into the game on the 73rd minute after beating Tom Hanfrey and finding the far corner from a tight angle.
The goal set the game up for a lively final 20 minutes, and the neutral would not have been disappointed. With 12 to go, Saydee – with no real sight at goal – weaved through a handful of Newport defenders before rounding the 'keeper to net his hat-trick and Bournemouth’s third.
A late Owen Taylor free-kick, placed well into the bottom right corner, brought Newport back into the game yet again, before the Cherries’ instantly responded with the winner.
With six minutes remaining, Glover linked up well with Saydee, the former working his way into Newport’s penalty area. From then, it was Glover’s bread and butter as he dispatched clinically into the left side of the goal to wrap up a tight fixture between two strong sides.
Commenting after the game, under-18s manager Alan Connell discussed the following topics with afcb.co.uk:
“How we started the game, to score so early was pleasing. That’s the kind of tempo we want to play at. I was generally quite pleased with how we played, creating a lot of chances in the first half. Cameron’s slip was just one of those things that can happen in the conditions.
“While Newport were a threat on the counter, I think we deservedly went into half-time 2-1 up.
“We didn’t control the game as much as I would have liked in the second half compared to the first. Newport were always in the game at 2-1 and it was disappointing to concede. It was an end-to-end game in the wet conditions, but every time we conceded we responded by scoring which showed good character.
“I’m delighted with the quality of our goals. While we are in development, we want to play the Bournemouth way.”
THE FIRST TEAM INFLUENCE
“We changed formation for this game, going to a back three because we’ve noticed the first team switch between a back three and a back four quite often. It felt like the right time to introduce that and it’s something to look at more and more going forward.
“It was good to expose the players to a different formation but still doing the things that we want to do, so possess the ball and look to move it quickly.
“Last season, we flicked between the two formations that the first team generally play. If one of our players gets called up to train or play with the first team, it’s our job to make sure they’ve been through that process in the youth teams.
“Having had a new group of players at the start of the season, we’ve tried to stick to one way of playing, but they’re going to have to be flexible and adaptable throughout their careers. Ultimately, we’re trying to eventually get our players in and around that first team environment so it’s important that we try to replicate what they do.”
“At the start of the season we created a lot of chances and didn’t quite take them, but now we’re creating and scoring a lot of goals.
“Christian Saydee’s finishing today was excellent. It was interesting, with Jake Srimshaw having missed a bit of training this week, we played Christian up front on his own which gave him a different challenge and something to think about. He responded really well. He’s getting more and more striker’s goals, into those areas to score from closer range.
“Physically he’s coming on really well too, so it’s important that he maintains that and looks to kick on.
“Ryan Glover’s winning goal summed up his performance today. He showed great composure in the final third which we’ve asked of him. He was excellent and deserved to score the winning goal. He’s always worked very hard, and now he’s adding those bits of quality and composure in the final third which will help his game get better and better.”
“We’re a Category Three academy and we have different types of games in our league, so we try to play as many category one games as possible, which is why we’re looking forward to our friendly game away to Tottenham Hotspur under-18s on Tuesday.
“We’ll look to go there and showcase ourselves in a positive light. With the momentum that we’re building, I’m confident we can go there and produce a good performance and see where that takes us on the day.”
The AFC Bournemouth Under-18 side are sponsored by Strategic Solutions.