Daws penalty defeats Bristol Rovers
AFC Bournemouth's under-18s were 1-0 winners away at Bristol Rovers in their latest Youth Alliance League fixture.
Bouncing back from their FA Youth Cup defeat to Leicester, Marcus Daws, who had the armband for the first time, got the only goal of the game from the penalty spot after Michael Dacosta Gonzalez was brought down.
The Cherries dominated the ball on a difficult pitch, with Finn Tonks having the best chance of the first-half, his strike being tipped over the bar after Ollie Camis had made a comfortable save at the other end.
Dacosta Gonzalez then couldn't quite connect with a corner from Daws, while Tonks had another effort go wide just after the breakthrough.
Despite a late spell of possession for the Gas, the under-18s held on and dealt well with the balls into the box on a difficult pitch.
After the game, manager Alan Connell spoke with afcb.co.uk about his side's win and the strong mentality they showed throughout.
"We knew it would be tough game," he began.
"The quality of the pitch made it a leveller and it was difficult to play and get our passing game going.
"The players deserve credit as we dominated the ball and we played out well, showing moments of real quality against a side that was difficult to break down. They had a lot of bodies behind ball so it was difficult to create chances.
"Largely, we were on the front foot and mentality of the players was spot on throughout the game. Michael won the penalty through sheer hard work and desire, which is pleasing to see from him, and Marcus showed sheer composure.
"We could've added another one towards the end of the game, but we had to see it out and deal with what Bristol Rovers threw at us with balls in the box."
Connell continued to discuss the effort his team had to put in to see the game out, with their hunger and desire notable to the former Cherries man, who was celebrating his 39th birthday on the sidelines.
"The boys showed a different side to their game and that was really pleasing," he continued.
"We've got good footballers but we competed really well for first balls, second balls, runners. It was everything you wanted to see from your team when winning 1-0 away from home.
"I thought it was a big performance from the players and I'm delighted with their efforts, as well as the real moment of quality that won us the game."