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First team

Boss Ed relieved as Cherries fell Forest Green


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Eddie Howe admitted he had been “relieved” after watching the Cherries see off Forest Green Rovers to book a place in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Howe felt his team had had enough chances to win the tie in normal time before they prevailed in a penalty shootout thanks to three saves from goalkeeper Mark Travers.

His efforts, coupled with successful spot-kicks from Joshua King, Dominic Solanke and Phil Billing, earned them a 3-0 win and set up a trip to League One outfit Burton Albion.

Howe said: “It was a very tough game and full credit to Forest Green. They defended well, they made it difficult for us, they got bodies behind the ball and their goalkeeper played well.

“But we were kicking ourselves. We should have won the game comfortably, we had enough chances to do it but we weren’t clinical in front of goal.

“I thought we were pretty good between both boxes but, when we really needed to show the quality and composure to get the final bit right, we panicked a little and that was the big frustration.

“We applied ourselves and the attitude of the players was very good. I thought the mind-set was good and there was a real want and desire to do well.

“Sometimes you can want to score too much and then you start to overthink, overstretch and overdo things. I thought it was more a case of that rather than us not quite realising how difficult it was going to be.

“Any game of football is extremely tough and Forest Green are in really good form so we knew they would come here and have a go.

“They made it difficult for us but our standards are high and we know we should have put the game to bed a lot earlier.”

Howe was delighted with the endeavours of goalkeeper Travers and fellow Irishman Gavin Kilkenny, the 19-year-old midfielder who was handed his competitive debut.

“Mark is an outstanding goalkeeper,” said Howe. “He’s got every attribute you need and today he stood up. It will have been a great experience for him. He made the difference and the three saves were top-drawer.

“Gavin did well and I was really pleased with him. It was a tough game for him because there was a lot of ball and an expectant crowd.

“I thought he was brave, he wanted the ball and he used it intelligently. It will have been a great experience for him as well.”

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