U18s defeated by Pilgrims at Tavistock
AFC Bournemouth’s under-18s were defeated 2-0 away at Plymouth Argyle in Merit League One this afternoon.
Alan Connell’s side featured a number of under-16s, who will make the step up to his youth team this summer, as well as defender Maxwell Kinsey-Wellings, who featured for the first time in three months after recovering from a broken foot.
With the game being moved to AFC Tavistock, a challenging pitch meant that Plymouth opened the scoring after 16 minutes, Kinsey-Wellings’ pass back to ‘keeper Ollie Camis bobbling over his foot to give the hosts an early lead.
Ten minutes later and Argyle had their second after Oscar Massey fired a superb shot from outside the area beyond Camis, who could do nothing to keep it out.
As Connell’s side looked for a route back into the game, the crossbar denied Michael Dacosta Gonzalez from 25 yards, the winger going closer than anyone in the second half.
Up the other end of the pitch, Camis was called into action again late on, making a brave block to deny the Pilgrims a third at Tavistock.
Following the game, Connell spoke with afcb.co.uk to give his thoughts on the performance and what his side got out of the fixture.
“We know Plymouth are a good side and we’ve faced them three times already this season,” he began.
“We know what they’re about and they’ve got good players. For us, we’re in a different stage of our development at the moment and it was a really good day for our younger players to see what the step up to under-18s football looks like.
“It was a proper game of football and both teams competed well, so it made for an interesting watch. I was very proud of our players’ efforts and I thought they tried to pass it on the worst pitch we’ve played on all season.
“Having said that, we showed moments of quality in extremely difficult conditions and the players stuck to our beliefs. We weren’t probably as clinical in the final third as we may have liked.
“We were disappointed to concede the early goals, one was an own goal you can’t legislate for that with the surface, and maybe we were a victim for the way we play and trying to pass the ball.
“The second one is a wonder-strike from their forward and we were up against it there.”
Despite the result, Connell went on to discuss the number of positives that came from the afternoon, with the attitude of his players second-to-none in difficult conditions.
“From there, all I was interested in was our response, and that was everything I wanted to see.
“At half time, our players were taking control, talking and demanding more of each other. In the second half, we then imposed ourselves on the game and tried our very best to get back into it.
“It wasn’t to be, but it’s another performance where I’m satisfied in what we did and in our attitude. The result hasn’t gone our way, but I thought it was a really good day for the under-16s to understand what the step up is like when they come into the full-time environment.
“We’ll take the result on the chin and the players will recover over the weekend ready for Stevenage at home on Tuesday.”