Cherries battle to Plymouth win
AFC Bournemouth overcame a resilient Plymouth Argyle side in a five-goal thriller at Canford in the Central League Cup.
The vibrant Alex Dobre gave the Cherries the lead, slotting home a penalty after 38 minutes before the visitors levelled proceedings just before the break.
Jake Scrimshaw regained the lead on 56 minutes but once again Bournemouth were pegged back by Plymouth, but Dobre netted once more to wrap up the points and give the side two wins from their opening two games in the competition.
It was the first time the Under-21s have played since 17th December and they were able to welcome back Kyle Taylor, who returned from his loan at Forest Green Rovers this week, while Jordon Ibe was also selected in the starting line-up.
The hard-working Scrimshaw had the first opportunity of the match, receiving the ball from Jaidon Anthony’s dink but screwed his effort wide of the near post.
A golden chance fell to the visitors after 18 minutes when Will Dennis pushed away a curled effort from the edge of the box and the rebound looked set to be turned in but for a superb block from Corey Jordan to deflect the ball away.
Dobre, who made his first-team debut on Saturday in the FA Cup victory over Luton Town, looked bright and began to create opportunities, the first following good build-up play by Ibe and Jordan Zemura who offered the chance for the Romanian to curl at goal but the keeper was level to it.
Moments later, Dobre again picked up the ball on the left-corner of the box, this time forcing a more impressive save from the visiting stopper.
The winger wasn’t going to let up though and was provided the golden opportunity to open the scoring when Anthony was pulled down in the box, and he duly dispatched the spot-kick into the right corner to give the Cherries the advantage.
The lead was short-lived though, as Plymouth Argyle’s Klaidi Lolos rose highest from a good cross and nestled his header in the far corner, via a nick off Corey Jordan, as the scores were level going into half-time.
AFC Bournemouth stepped up following the interval and looked to control possession and dictate the tempo more and were rewarded in the 56th minute when good determination by Zemura won the ball back twice in the centre of the park, the full-back finding Ibe who squared to Scrimshaw to bundle over the line.
Anthony could have made it 3-1 on 65 minutes when Ibe’s weighted ball offered a one-on-one with the onrushing keeper and, while his poked effort beat the Plymouth number one, it rolled past the post.
Despite AFC Bournemouth’s dominance, however, they weren’t able to fully put the game to bed and Argyle equalised 12 minutes before time when the Lolos cut inside and drilled past Dennis.
Nonetheless, the Under-21s displayed character and regained the lead for the third and final time on 83 minutes, a quick counter-attack was led by Anthony who found Dobre in the box, via Scrimshaw, and he passed home for his second.
Dennis was called into action in the final stages of the match as a Plymouth forward plucked the ball out of the air and shot at goal, but the Cherries ‘keeper was level to it.
Shaun Cooper’s side have six points from their opening two games in the Central League Cup and he will be delighted with how his side grafted to ensure the win.
Their next match is against Nottingham Forest on January 17th in the Premier League Cup.