Late Surridge strike sinks Saints
Sam Surridge struck a stoppage-time winner as AFC Bournemouth Under-21s sealed their progression to the knock-out stages of the Premier League Cup with a 3-2 home win over Southampton.
Second-half goals from Jordan Zemura and Jordon Ibe saw the Cherries twice come from behind to level in front of a crown of 3,700 at Vitality Stadium, before Surridge had the final say to snatch all three points.
Kornelius Hansen opened the scoring for the Saints late in the first period, tapping home from close range, only for Zemura to respond after the restart.
Defender Pascal Kpohomouh then prodded the visitors ahead but, with time running out, Sam Surridge found Jordon, who found the back of the net with a low shot.
It looked as if the contest would finish all square but Surridge had other ideas and fired home from the edge of the area – securing top spot in Group E for the Cherries with one game remaining.
Bournemouth fielded a strong line-up, with Surridge, Mark Travers, Gavin Kilkenny and Jordon having all tasted first-team action this season.
However, it was the visitors who made the stronger start and came close to breaking the deadlock on 13 minutes when Hansen raced onto a through ball but dragged his strike wide.
Soon after, a misplaced Sam Sherring pass gifted Southampton another opportunity, only for Dan N’Lundulu to blaze well over having created a yard of space on the edge of the area.
That seemed to spark Bournemouth into life and, having taken almost half an hour to fashion a serious opening of their own, they carved out two in the space of five minutes – and both via the right boot of Surridge.
First, a typical flowing, passing move involving Taylor, Jordon and Zemura ended with Surridge drilling a low effort agonisingly wide of the upright.
And then the England Under-21 international, who spent the first half of the season on loan in the Championship with Swansea City, placed a shot towards the far corner but was thwarted by the fingertips of Jack Bycroft.
Jaidon Anthony then blazed over when well-placed for the Cherries, before Southampton opened the scoring seven minutes before half-time.
Kilkenny’s pass was intercepted by Ferry, who beat the challenge of Sam Sherring and, as Travers came out to close the angle, slipped the ball sideways for Hansen to tap in from a yard out.
Head coach Shaun Cooper introduced midfielder Ryan Glover at half-time, leading to a change in shape for the Cherries, and it almost paid dividends immediately.
Surridge found space inside the area but as he pulled the trigger, was denied by an outstanding last-ditch block from full-back Jake Vokins.
Minutes later, the front man went down under a clumsy challenge inside the area. It appeared a certain penalty but the referee had other ideas, waving away their strong claims.
Undeterred, Bournemouth continued to apply heavy pressure and finally drew level on the hour mark.
Taylor slipped an inch-perfect pass through the Saints’ rearguard, and Zemura – roaring forward from left-back – provided a clinical finish into the far corner.
Buoyed by that equaliser, the hosts instantly went in search of a winner and Anthony struck the side netting with an angled shot.
However, on 74 minutes Southampton regained the lead. As the Cherries failed to clear their lines from a corner, the ball was sent back in towards the far post where Kpohomouh, stretching, forced the ball home, despite the best efforts of Travers.
The home side were not to be defeated, though. As time ticked away, Surridge fed Jordon, who planted a fine strike beyond the despairing grasp of Bycroft.
And then, as the game entered four minutes of stoppage time, it was roles reversed – Jordon finding Surridge, who made no mistake with a low shot to send the Vitality Stadium crowd into delirium.
Photos by Mark Probin.