U18s back to winning ways against Swindon
AFC Bournemouth's under-18s were 2-1 winners away at Swindon Town in the Youth Alliance League this afternoon.
Goals from Michael Dacosta Gonzalez and Marcus Daws sealed the win, despite the hosts pulling one back with 45 minutes to play.
The under-18s started quickly and had the lead after just ten minutes, Daws slipping in Dacosta Gonzalez who finished low with his left foot.
It wasn't long before the visitors made it two, this time Daws getting on the scoresheet himself with a fine low volley from the edge of the box.
In a dominant half, Finn Tonks saw his shot from outside the area tipped round the post by the Robins goalkeeper before Daws fired his free-kick just over the bar minutes later.
However, Swindon halved the deficit just before half-time, scoring via a counter-attack which ended with an impressive strike from 20 yards.
After the interval, and with the wind against them, Alan Connell's side weathered the storm in both senses, the hosts throwing everything into it in search of an equaliser.
Shot-stopper Ollie Camis made a smart save to his right after a fierce Swindon shot before watching another effort hit his crossbar directly from a free-kick.
Despite a tough second period, the Cherries held on and got three points on the board ahead of next week's big FA Youth Cup game against Exeter City.
After a defeat away at Newport last week, Connell was thrilled to see his side pick up the three points: "Going into the game, we knew it was an important one and we wanted to put on a good performance.
"I thought we started the game really well, we had the wind behind us which helped so that was a big factor. We were able to dominate and have the ball high up the pitch.
"We created some good openings and I'm disappointed we didn't score more with the amount of dominance we had. Swindon are always a threat and they are always a difficult opponent."
The former Swindon player was particularly impressed with his side's performance in the second half despite difficult conditions.
"At the interval, we knew the second half would be a totally different game of football and the players understood that.
"They adapted well and that's part of their development to do that. Overall, it was a good day because we defended resolutely and defended well.
"We competed for first and second balls and we looked like a team determined not to concede in that second half. It was an outstanding display and the boys were very happy afterwards.
"The lads were resilient and determined and I was pleased to see those characteristics come out. It was a difficult day, but one we can take a lot from. We now look forward to Exeter in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday."
Alan Connell's under-18s take on Exeter City at St James' Park in the third round of the FA Youth Cup on Thursday. Full build-up and reaction will be available on afcb.co.uk.