Pollock strikes late to earn a point
Coach Alan Connell praised his AFC Bournemouth under-18s for toughing it out until the final whistle after a last-gasp equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers today.
Euan Pollock’s 14th goal of the season saw the Cherries leave the University of the West of England with a share of the points in their penultimate EFL Youth Alliance game of the season.
Pollock’s injury-time effort saw the Cherries extend to 12 games their unbeaten run in all competitions with Connell’s team already crowned champions of the South West Division.
Their only setback since losing 4-2 to Plymouth at the end of November was exiting the EFL Youth Alliance Cup on penalties against Cambridge United on Friday, the tie having finished 0-0. It was the only game the Cherries had failed to score in this season.
With three players on loan duty tonight, Connell named just two substitutes and was forced into a reshuffle after defender Jack Seddon was forced off due to injury early in the second half.
Connell told afcb.co.uk: “It was a really competitive game. Bristol Rovers almost locked on man for man against us and made it difficult for us to play out. But I thought we passed the ball really well.
“It was similar to our past couple of games where some of the passing and movement were good but we didn’t quite execute that last little bit in the final third. Saying that, we had three or four good chances in the first half and I would have expected us to take a couple but it wasn’t to be.
“In amongst that Bristol Rovers had their moments and I was really pleased with the defensive side of our game which has been a pleasing factor since coming back from Christmas.
“Before Jack Seddon got his injury, he had been outstanding in the game and that’s credit to all the hard work he puts in and his attitude on a daily basis.”
Connell added: “We conceded straight from our own kick-off in the second half which was disappointing but the reaction was good.
“We created more chances as the second half wore on and I felt that sustained pressure would hopefully lead to an equalising goal.
“Credit to the players because we always speak about the spirit and attitude to keep going and we did that. I thought a draw was the least we deserved with Euan’s clever finish in injury-time to get us a point. It was a really good game and a positive performance from us.”
Cherries: Besant, Genesini, Seddon (Roberts, 47), Channell, Greenwood, Gidaree (Adams, 78), Burgess, Moriah-Welsh, Oliver, Williams, Pollock.