Daws scores to give U18s late draw
Marcus Daws ensured the under-18s earned a late point from a 1-1 draw with Forest Green Rovers in a feisty Saturday encounter.
The second-half substitute was in the right place at the right time as he latched onto a knockdown from an injury-time corner to strike home a heavily-deflected shot.
Goalless at the break, Michael Dacosta Gonzalez had the half’s best chance just ahead of the interval, winning and taking a penalty that was saved.
Forest Green suckered the Cherries with a break just after the restart, Jireh Oyebamiji running clear to score the opener.
The final score was a fair one, the Youth Alliance fixture often becoming competitive, especially in the closing stages.
Under the clouds at Canford Arena, early on Josh Clarke - who played twice for Northern Ireland under-19s in the build-up to the weekend - saved well to tip over Curtis Dunn’s long-range effort.
Forest Green making a sharp start, Benjamin Baxter turned and struck in a low shot from eight yards that swished just past the post.
Cherries striker Baylin Johnson had a long-range shot blocked before birthday boy Ben Winterburn stooped to head goalwards, the downward effort saved by Rovers ‘keeper Dylan John.
Michael Dacosta Gonzalez flighted a free-kick that bounced just wide, before Johnson opened up his body to test John again from outside the box.
The Cherries won a penalty just before half time, Dacosta Gonzalez winning it as a trailing leg brought him to the turf.
The winger stepped up and addressed the ball from 12 yards, but his low effort wasn’t close enough to the corner being brilliantly saved and held onto by the ‘keeper.
Seven minutes after the restart and Forest Green snatched the lead.
A long ball over the top found a hole in the Cherries defence, striker Oyebamiji exploiting its promise, rounding the ‘keeper and finishing into the empty net.
A home free-kick was glanced behind by a defender, the corner dangerous but cleared by the Rovers rearguard.
A double change on the hour introduced Finn Tonks and Daws in place of Toure Williams and Johnson.
Archie Harris appeared in the home side’s third change midway through the period, Bournemouth dominating the ball and regularly penetrating into the final third, but still unable to carve out the golden chance they were looking for.
Despite the home pressure, Rovers continued to carry a threat, defender Shawn Joseph winning a header from a corner - the ball looping over the bar.
A free-kick on the edge of the area as the game ticked over into added time gave the Cherries a late chance.
Daws took responsibility and struck in, but a defender was able to head it behind for a corner.
There was to be one final action, However. With even the ‘keeper up for the set piece the delivery was aimed at the throng of players six yards from goal, the ball dropping down for Daws who arrowed in a volley that deflected off bodies before dribbling over the line via the inside of the post.
Moments later the final whistle blew with the points shared from an energetic encounter.