U18s extend unbeaten run at Rovers
Alan Connell's side continued their winning ways with a 4-1 win at Forest Green Rovers.
AFC Bournemouth Under-18s extended their unbeaten run to ten with a 4-1 win away to Forest Green Rovers-Under 18s on Saturday.
A Jake Scrimshaw hat-trick, as well as a goal from Jake Cope, were enough to give the Cherries the win despite hints of a second-half comeback from Rovers.
Bournemouth didn’t take long to get going, opening the scoring inside the first four minutes when a goalmouth scramble, resulting from Tom Hanfrey’s corner, was bundled across the line by Scrimshaw.
The home side were limited to a handful of chances in a half that carried few of them, Oliver Artwell having the first glimpse at goal for Rovers with a long-range effort that went high and wide of the right post on the 11th minute.
Alan Connell’s side continued to look dangerous from set-pieces, Harvey Bertrand receiving the ball from a corner before firing a low shot at the ‘keeper, but it was from open play when the Cherries found the net just past the half hour mark.
A lung-busting run down the wing saw Ryan Glover skin three Rovers’ players, leading to Scrimshaw pulling the ball back for Jake Cope to cushion into the bottom left corner from close range for 2-0.
Bournemouth began the second half equally brightly, Connor Kurran-Browne moving the ball well in tight spaces before releasing it to Cope who sent a shot just past the post.
There was no indication that the result was going to be plain-sailing for Bournemouth, Rovers pulling one back with half an hour to go as Artwell’s looping cross found the far corner of the net.
Following a period in which the Cherries were somewhat under the cosh, Scrimshaw put the result almost beyond doubt with his brace on the 78th minute, latching onto a Hanfrey free-kick with a creative back-heel flick, his back turned to goal.
The three points were wrapped up in stoppage time, Scrimshaw completing his hat-trick with a composed finish after being sent through one-on-one again by Hanfrey.
Following the win, Under-18s manager Alan Connell spoke to afcb.co.uk to offer his verdict on the following points.
“There were aspects to the game I was happy with, as well as some things we weren’t so good at. We controlled the game for large spells and created some good chances, but I still think we lacked a little bit of a cutting edge in our final pass in front of their goal.
“At 2-0 we were comfortable, but it’s that awkward scoreline where you can get too comfortable and we took our foot off the gas a little bit. They got themselves back in the game through a goal we should have done better with.
“Towards the latter stages of the game, we retained the ball a bit more and I was pleased to score two more late on to add to what looks like a more convincing scoreline than perhaps the performance suggests.”
MORE TO WORK ON
“Results are going quite well at the moment and I’m seeing some really good things in our performances but I want to see more consistency in our play. I want us to be more ruthless, not just in scoring goals but in our approach as well.
“I’d like to see us dominating for 90 minutes, which I know is something every coach would want. I am pleased but I’m always pushing these boys for more because, with where we want to get them to, they’re going to need to produce more.”
“His general play today was okay and there are things that we’re working on with him. It probably wasn’t one of his best games but he scores goals and he knows where the back of the net is.
“He’s always got that work-rate and willingness to help the team. I’m pleased with him, but as with every player I want more. Just doing well isn’t enough sometimes. Our players have always got to be pushing to better themselves.
“They’re very hungry and ambitious to achieve more, both as individuals and as a team.”
“Next weekend we play Southend United in the quarter final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup. It’s a big game for us, being a competition that we won two years ago. Some of the boys who played in that team such as Kyle Taylor and Nnamdi Ofoborh are considered in the first team squad nowadays.
“It can be a great stepping stone and a great experience for our players. It also puts us in that competitive environment of winner takes all. It’s important that first and foremost we get our performance right. If we do that hopefully we can progress to the semi-finals but it will be a tough game.”
The AFC Bournemouth Under-18s squad are sponsored by Strategic Solutions.