U18s held by Plymouth
Alan Connell's youngsters extend unbeaten league run to ten games after home draw against Plymouth Argyle at Canford Arena.
AFC Bournemouth Under-18s were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday.
The Cherries headed into the game following a run of nine games unbeaten in the league, but Alan Connell’s side began the game on the wrong foot.
Plymouth opened the scoring, before goals from Tom Dinsmore and Brennan Camp made up a six-minute spell of three goals between the sides on the brink of half-time and brought the game to life.
The first chance of the game came via a formula that would prove fruitful later on, Dinsmore sending a corner to Camp who got away Bournemouth’s first shot on the turn, only to be denied by the Plymouth goalkeeper's chest.
The home side continued to assert their dominance. Christian Saydee threading Nathan Moriah-Welsh through on goal in the 16th minute, the latter seeing his low effort trickle just wide.
Against the balance of play, it was Argyle who broke the deadlock midway through the first half. A short free-kick was well blocked by the wall and momentarily cleared by Harvey Bertrand, but a second wave of attack was started by Plymouth’s number five, who darted into the box and smashed a goal in at the near post.
It took until the 39th minute for Bournemouth to get the equaliser. Brooklyn Genisini finding Dinsmore in the box with a neat inverted through ball. Dinsmore took one touch and placed the ball firmly into the bottom left corner to get the Cherries back in the game.
Not content with being level, Bournemouth made that previous set-piece routine work, Dinsmore picking out Camp from a corner kick. The Cherries skipper connected firmly, planting his header into the bottom right corner to put Bournemouth in front.
But the lead didn’t last long, Plymouth responding a minute later with number nine getting his head on the end of a floated free-kick to send the sides into the break level-pegging.
In contrast to the first-half’s conclusion, the second period was void of excitement, clear-cut chances going amiss for either side.
Ryan Glover had an effort from distance which nestled into the side-netting, and Jake Cope didn’t trouble the ‘keeper with his long-distance strike that flew wide. Plymouth’s number ten connected sweetly with a shot far from goal with six minutes to go, but neither side could hit the target.
A late Bournemouth winner looked promising when Glover crossed the ball in for Cope on the 89th minute, but the number seven saw his first-time effort go well over the bar.
Reflecting on the draw, under-18s manager Alan Connell said he wasn’t satisfied with the performance.
“We started a bit slow and we never really got going. We had some spells of possession and put some moves together, but nowhere near enough compared to what I expect and what’s required if they want to progress.
“It was one of the most disappointing performances I’ve seen from us. I thought we took a backwards step from where we’ve been. We didn’t pass the ball well enough in the second half and the decision-making wasn’t good enough.
“For me, today no-one can really come out with any credit. We looked vulnerable defending crosses, and we looked like a team of boys in set-pieces against us, whereas at times this season we’ve looked like young, maturing men.
“We can’t have a repeat of this performance because we play Portsmouth on Saturday and they’re always difficult opponents for us, so I need to see a team of young men go there.”
Connell also discussed the recent loan moves of Jake Scrimshaw to Poole Town and Ryan Glover to Weymouth, adding: “We’re trying to progress them as much as we can and that gives opportunities to others.
"Jake’s goals and running power have been very important for us this season. Our current players have to learn to adapt to the change of formation now.
"The loans are good for those players, but now the first years have got to come in and take the opportunity, meanwhile the second years need to take the lead, galvanise the group and set the standards.”