U18s bounce back with Robins win
The under-18s roared back into form on Tuesday with a dominant second-half showing in a 3-1 win away to Swindon Town.
Looking to recover after two successive defeats, Matt Burgess hit the post for the injury-hit squad while goalkeeper Josh Clarke was forced into a good save at the other end, though the teams went in goalless at the break.
The deadlock was soon broken after the restart, however, Burgess the Cherries scorer with a low right-footed strike into the bottom corner following Ajani Burchall's pass through.
It was soon two for the visitors when Jake Adams' corner was headed down by Ferdinand Okoh for Marcus Daws to divert into the back of the Swindon net.
A third then came on the hour mark when Jack Wadham broke up play in midfield, carried the ball forward and released for Daws who coolly finished when one on one with the 'keeper.
The Cherries created more chances before the end but conceded when Swindon headed home at the back post from a corner, the Bournemouth side fielding four under-16s by the conclusion of the match.
Speaking after the final whistle, manager Alan Connell told afcb.co.uk that he was satisfied with the way his side responded to their recent setbacks.
"It's been a tough few days having lost back-to-back games, but what's been interesting for me is the response and the focus of the players leading up to this game. I felt it was there in training yesterday and even this morning when we met up," he said.
"They looked ready for today's game and we started the game reasonably well, were patient on the ball without creating too many chances, though we did hit the post.
"I was generally quite pleased with the control we had in the first half, I thought we looked quite solid at the back, we just needed to affect the game a little more higher up the pitch with our work on and off the ball.
"At half time we spoke about a few things that we had mentioned before the game and what was pleasing in the second half is how fast we started - the first goal then gave us the confidence to go on and we dominated the second half.
"We could have scored more and we were slightly disappointed to concede late on but we had a very young side on for the last part of the game.
"I've spoken to the boys recently about the leadership and concentration side of things and to conceded the late goal is another reminder as to why our standards have to remain high right to the end.
"Overall, I'm delighted with the performance and I had no doubt they would respond. It puts us in a good mood for the rest of the week and we then go again on Saturday at home to Cheltenham when we look to build on the positives from today."
Connell spoke further on winger Burchall, the 16-year-old who is continuing his progression in the academy after appearing for the first time in Jason Tindall's first team in December.
"Ajani got another 90 minutes today," said the manager. "He went back to Bermuda over Christmas and has been straight back into games with us, playing 45 minutes in the first game and now three 90-minute matches in a row.
"He's had to find his fitness and match sharpness through the games, and today was probably as lively and energetic as he's been. When he's at his best he's aggressive off the ball with his pressing and his actions and he's always a threat going forwards with the quality and composure he has.
"He still has a long way to go, but his assist today will give him a big boost as he looks to continue to develop in all aspects of his game.
"A lot has happened to him in a short space of time so it's been good for him to get back playing and get back to working on the things he needs to improve at - while also showing what he's already good at."