Sun shines on five-star Cherries
Rampant AFC Bournemouth turned on the style to register their second 5-0 win of the season in the EFL Youth Alliance at a sun-drenched Canford Arena today.
Goals from Connor Kurran-Browne (pictured), Harvey Bertrand, James Oliver, Christian Saydee and Jake Adams saw Alan Connell’s charges emphatically maintain their unbeaten start.
And but for the heroics of Harry Thomas-Barker, the margin of victory would have been far greater, the Bristol Rovers goalkeeper making a series of fine saves.
Jack Wadham gave Rovers a taste of things to come when he fired narrowly wide following a great move down the left between Ben Greenwood and Luke Pardoe after just five minutes.
Although Thomas-Barker reacted superbly to beat away Pardoe’s fierce drive from a tight angle in the 15th minute, Kurran-Browne was on hand to poke home the loose ball for the opener.
Greenwood saw a shot deflected past the upright and then glanced a header just past the post after meeting Brooklyn Genesini’s corner midway through the first half.
The Cherries were rewarded for their attacking endeavours when Bertrand doubled their lead with a thumping header from another Genesini centre after 33 minutes.
Although Rovers enjoyed a brief spell of pressure towards the end of the opening period, Cherries goalkeeper Billy Terrell thwarted their attempts to reduce the arrears.
He pulled off a top-drawer save to push an effort from Kieron Phillips around the post and then denied Zak Ford after the Rovers midfielder had tried his luck from distance.
But normal service was resumed after the break when Adams lifted his shot over the crossbar from another Genesini assist before the hosts added a third.
James Oliver, on as a 38th-minute replacement for Pardoe, reacted smartly and steered the ball into the back of the net after Thomas-Barker had punched a Genesini cross into his path.
Saydee plundered his fourth goal of the season when he finished with aplomb with his right foot from just inside the 18-yard box to make it 4-0 after 55 minutes.
The Cherries continued their relentless pursuit of more goals but Thomas-Barker almost single-handedly kept them at bay until late on.
He twice denied Oliver and Murray, while substitutes Luke Gray and Euan Pollock were also foiled by the overworked Rovers goalkeeper.
Oliver and Pollock were also prevented from adding to the Cherries tally by goal-line clearances before Adams completed the scoring from the last kick of the game.
Cherries: Terrell, Genesini, Greenwood (Torniainen, 65), Wadham, Channell, Bertrand, Kurran-Browne (Gray, 68), Murray, Adams, Saydee (Pollock, 68), Pardoe (Oliver, 38). Unused sub: Besant (g/k).