U18s start 2021 with win at Rovers
The Cherries youth team made a four-goal start to the new year as the came home with a 4-1 win from Bristol Rovers.
Alan Connell's side took an early lead when Euan Pollock rounded the 'keeper and slotted home from a Jake Adams through ball, Rovers equalising midway through the half after a cross from the left.
Marcus Daws then went close ahead of the interval, his shot saved by the 'keeper after he'd gone through one on one.
Into the second period, Adams' shot was saved with Pollock lifting the rebound over the 'keeper to restore the Cherries' lead.
Ten minutes later Daws cut inside and placed his shot into the bottom corner, Billy Terrell next making a strong blocking save to keep the two-goal lead intact.
Matt Burgess soon found a fourth, exchanging passes with Pollock before striking into the far corner, with Abdi Mohamed starting the move with a good pass.
After the match manager Connell offered his thoughts with afcb.co.uk, feeding back on a strong return to action after their festive pause.
"I've been really pleased with the condition the boys have come back in after the two week Christmas break that they had," he said.
"It was a game that was really challenging, Bristol Rovers pressed us high and had a real intensity about their work ethic and gave us problems going the other way.
"The match was full of challenges for us but overall I was delighted with the performance, to take control quite early and in the end win quite convincingly was pleasing.
"Our backline held a really good line we had to defend crosses and our box well, which we did. Billy made a big save and his distribution was good, the way our goalkeeper and our defensive-minded players played out was brave and we did it with quality which enabled our forward to find pockets and then go and try and score from there.
"It was a big effort collectively, with even the three substitutes that came on impacting the game in a positive way.
"For the first game of the year I couldn't ask for much more really. We have a really busy schedule coming up so it's a good way to start the year after not just a good training week but the way the boys have come back refreshed and raring to go.
"I thought Matt Burgess showed lots of quality moments in the way he received the ball, passed it and drove us on with his forward passing and running power.
"He capped it off with a fine goal to kill the game off at the end. A pleasing day's work for Matt and like all the boys he's just got to keep working hard and kick on from here.
"I've been happy with how we trained this week and the challenge was to take that into the game this weekend, I thought we did that.
"As an academy we have made our players realise that we're in a really privileged position to play football at the moment while a lot of the country is experiencing difficult times.
"We have all the protocols in place, doing all the right things and they've understood off the conversations that we've had that we're very fortunate to being doing what we love.
"Another message from today was to make sure we enjoy what we do and I thought we did that."
A huge thank you to the club's under-18s sponsors, Strategic Solutions for all of their support throughout a difficult time. Click here to view their website.