Saydee at the double in Spitfires win
AFC Bournemouth under-21s ran out 5-1 winners in a friendly against Eastleigh this afternoon.
Christian Saydee bagged a brace, while there were also goals at the Silverlake for Jordan Zemura, Jaidon Anthony and Marc Pugh.
Shaun Cooper named a strong line-up, with Charlie Daniels and Pugh both getting 90 minutes in the tank.
There were also starts for Gavin Kilkenny and Nnamdi Ofoborh, as well as Zemura and Anthony, who have all featured for the first team this season.
The game got off to a quick start, with the first chance falling to the hosts, Dan Smith heading over from Tyrone Barnett’s corner.
It didn’t take long for the Cherries to find their moment, however, with Cooper’s side taking the lead just six minutes in.
A superb ball in from captain Dinesh Gillela on the right found Zemura in acres of space at the back post, the defender rifling a first-time finish into the corner.
Zemura was again involved moments later, as he and Daniels combined well on the left. The searching ball in required a thumping clearance from Ben Scorey to prevent Anthony from getting the decisive touch.
As the visitors continued to threaten, Anthony was the first to fire over from close-range, before Pugh saw his shot blocked, again from Zemura’s ball in.
Up the other end of the pitch, Barnett tried his luck from 30-yards but the free-kick didn’t trouble Will Dennis in the Bournemouth goal.
Two chances then presented themselves the way of Smith, who initially saw his shot blocked by under-18s defender Owen Bevan, before the striker headed wide from a corner.
Daniels looked to stamp his mark on the game shortly after, as a foul on Gillela saw a free-kick awarded out on the right. Up stepped the 34-year-old, who hit his shot straight at Ross Flitney.
As the half drew to a close, the Spitfires looked for a leveller, Alex Wynter curling one over from outside the area, before Dennis saved well from Smith just prior to the whistle.
As the second period began, it was the Cherries that looked most threatening, with Pugh’s menacing run causing problems for the Eastleigh defence, who scrambled to clear his low cross aimed at substitute Saydee.
Nevertheless, the hosts had chances of their own, as Scorey found Wynter with a superb cross-field ball, the winger’s lobbed effort over the onrushing Dennis going wide.
In an end-to-end affair, Cooper’s side almost doubled their advantage minutes later, with Daniels cutting it back to Saydee, who was only prevented by the body of Pugh as he tried to get out the way on the line.
Yet, the persistence was soon to pay off and a second was added just before the hour mark. Pugh raced forward on the counter-attack and lifted his head to find Anthony, who slotted home with ease.
In a frantic few minutes, Saydee was next to get in on the act, adding a third for Cooper’s side with a smart turn and finish from outside the area.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, though. Eastleigh kept pushing and were duly rewarded when Smith latched onto a ball over the top and converted low beyond Dennis.
With 25 minutes to go, the game was opening up and the goal scoring wasn’t to stop there. Pugh received it in the box, brought it down and struck it on the half-volley to add a fourth.
Number five was to follow not long after and it was Saydee who got his second of the afternoon, a close-range finish this time for the striker, who caused problems from the moment he was introduced.
The hosts looked for a reply, but Smith’s late effort was the only danger and didn’t trouble Dennis before the final whistle blew.