Young Cherries side defeated to Oxford
AFC Bournemouth under-21s were defeated 3-1 away from home against Oxford this afternoon.
Jordan Zemura got the only goal for the Cherries, while Nathan Moriah-Welsh was shown a straight red for a foul on Jack Stevens in the second half.
Shaun Cooper named a young side, with eight under-18s in the matchday squad and a debut for 16-year-old goalkeeper, Josh Clarke.
Oxford started the game on the front foot and Clarke had work to do immediately, initially saving low from Slavi Spasov, before Nico Jones saw his free-kick denied with another fine stop.
Yellows captain, Jack Stevens, then played Spasov in again, but he couldn’t get his shot away before the ball ran out for a goal-kick.
Nevertheless, the break-through did come in the 16th minute as Zemura brought down Stevens on the right of the box, referee Thomas Kelly pointing straight to the spot.
Up stepped full-back, Michael Elechi, who duly converted.
Cooper’s side responded well and within three minutes were back on level terms, Moriah-Welsh playing it to Zemura and the Zimbabwe international slotting home with a neat finish beyond Kie Plumley.
The visitors looked to capitalise on a spell of possession and Glover nearly gave his side the lead, powering an effort from Christian Saydee’s through-ball, which was well-saved by the ‘keeper.
Oxford then had an opportunity on their own and it was Stevens and Spasov who combined again, the latter only able to find the side-netting from a tight angle.
Clarke was soon called back into action and was forced into a good save from Lewis Chambers-Parillon, who was slipped in by Fabio Sole for what looked a certain second.
However, that second did come mid-way through the half, with Spasov teeing up Dylan Asonganyi, who finished from eight-yards and leaving the ‘keeper with no chance.
Chambers-Parillon nearly got his goal minutes after the restart, having cut inside and struck one with his left, but there was Clarke again to keep out the forward.
With half-time approaching, the Us got their third and it was Spasov who got his name on the scoresheet, Asonganyi this time being the provider.
Following the interval, chances were few and far between for both sides.
Spasov had the opening chance, heading over from Stevens’ free-kick, while Saydee couldn’t connect with Dinesh Gillela’s deep cross at the opposite end of the pitch.
As the Cherries looked to build momentum, Saydee saw an opportunity open up in front of him and tried his luck from 25 yards, but the shot sailed over and didn’t trouble Plumley.
Substitute Euan Pollock then looked to give his side a lifeline, however his effort from Glover’s ball over the top didn’t find the target.
Despite the best efforts of Cooper’s side, they were dealt a blow with 20 minutes to go when Moriah-Welsh was shown a straight red after a foul on Stevens.
Oxford looked to take advantage of the extra man, but Clarke got a hand to Kyran Lofthouse’s effort, before Stevens fired his free-kick over the bar.
There was one final chance for the Cherries and it came following a menacing run from Zemura, the 21-year-old forcing Plumley into a good low save.