Cherries through to semi-final
AFC Bournemouth are through to the semi-finals of the Central League Cup after a 2-0 win away at Bristol Rovers.
Second half goals from Kyle Taylor and Alex Dobre secured the three points, which sees the Cherries top the group with three wins out of three.
Shaun Cooper named a strong team for the game at Yate Town FC, with Jordon, Dobre and Gavin Kilkenny all featuring in the starting line-up.
Tyler Cordner and Sam Sherring, along with Taylor, were also all involved, having spent the first half of the season out on loan.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, as Jordon picked up the ball in the middle of the park and drove forward 20 yards. He tried to slip in Jordan Zemura on the left, who he was seemingly tripped while through on goal, but the referee quickly waved claims away.
Up the other end of the pitch, former Bournemouth man Sam Matthews had the first opportunity for the hosts, cutting in from the right but firing his curling effort straight at Will Dennis.
Zemura was then causing more problems down the wing, winning it back from Zain Walker and beating Luke Russe at right-back. The defender played a low ball across the face of goal in search of Kilkenny, but Rovers scrambled to clear just in time.
The Cherries’ pressure was mounting and it was Cordner who went close next, his thumping header from Kilkenny’s corner going just wide.
The hosts had what was their best opportunity of the game with 25 minutes gone on the clock, Russe coming forward from the back and reacting first to a loose ball, his shot going inches to the right of Dennis’ post.
Harry Warwick went close for the Pirates moments later, after his effort flashed across goal, while Jordon then tried to break the deadlock with a free-kick just outside the box, Alexis Andre saving well.
From a similar position, Kilkenny floated a dead ball into the box shortly after, but it evaded everyone and the half ended all square.
The Cherries started the second period quickly and almost found the net inside the opening 60 seconds. Dobre won it back on the left and carried it forward, before squaring low across goal for the onrushing Jordon, but it was too far ahead of him for any contact to be made.
Nevertheless, the duo soon combined again and this time the deadlock would be broken. Jordon emerged with the ball and played a lovely pass to Dobre at the back post, the Romanian setting it back as Taylor was bursting into the box and poised for a low finish.
Kilkenny was keen to build on the momentum and forged the next opportunity of the game for himself, working a shooting position from 20 yards but failing to test Andre.
Rovers, having brought on Joe Budd from the bench, went in search of a reply and it was the substitute who played Warwick through in the box, only for the forward to lash his effort over the bar.
Walker then tried his luck after some neat footwork saw him slalom into the area, but again Dennis wasn’t fazed and watched the shot trickle wide.
Cooper’s side continued to dig in and were rewarded for some resolute defending with seven minutes to go. Zemura won it back on the halfway line and slipped in Dobre, who beat his man and rounded Andre for the Cherries’ second goal of the afternoon.
A final chance of the game would present itself to Kieran Phillips, but Dennis claimed the soft shot with ease and the visitors held on to the win.
The under-21s will now wait to find out their semi-final opponents in this year’s Central League Cup, having won the competition last season.