AFC Bournemouth’s FA Youth Cup run came to an end on Friday night following a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester City at Vitality Stadium.
Despite making strong starts to both halves and becoming the first side to score against the Foxes in this year’s competition, Alan Connell’s side were ultimately undone by a very strong Leicester outfit, who will go on to face either Manchester United or Everton in the quarter-finals.
The Cherries flew out of the blocks and might have been in front on three occasions in the opening ten minutes.
First, Marcus Daws showed quick feet on the edge of the box to make space and unleash a left-footed shot which Foxes ‘keeper Arlo Docherty got down sharply to push wide.
Moments later Noa Boutin – the Cherries’ second goalscorer in the fourth round win over QPR – picked up a loose pass from Leicester’s Tom Wilson-Brown on the edge of the box, and fired a deflected shot just wide.
Boutin was involved again after eight minutes, playing in Archie Harris on the overlap from left-back. Harris’s low cross found Daniel Adu-Adjei but the frontman could only side foot wide when well placed.
After a shaky start, the visitors regained composure and began to show their quality as they took control of possession and they were ahead just after the half hour mark through a superb solo effort from Will Alves.
The 16-year-old latched onto a pass from Josh Wormleighton 20 yards from goal, chopped brilliantly back inside Owen Bevan and into the box before drifting past Owen Palmer and hammering a low shot into the bottom corner past Ollie Camis.
The Foxes doubled their lead two minutes later as a hopeful long ball forward caused confusion at the back between Camis and Finn Tonks, the latter nodding past his own ‘keeper and to leave Chris Popov with the simple task of tapping into the empty net.
It was nearly three on the stroke of half time as the impressive Sammy Braybrooke fired towards the top corner, but Camis rose well to beat the ball away and keep his side in the game at the break.
The hosts made a dream start to the second half as Michael Dacosta Gonzalez latched onto a wayward pass across the Leicester backline to play in Lewis Brown with a pinpoint volleyed pass. Brown spotted Leicester ‘keeper Docherty off his line and brilliantly looped the ball over him and into net from 30 yards.
The goal breathed life into Alan Connell’s side who began to look threatening, but their optimism was short lived as Braybrooke restored the visitors’ two-goal advantage on 56 minutes.
As the ball broke to Alves on the left hand side of the box, his shot took a deflection and sat up invitingly for Braybrooke who volleyed calmly into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
Though the young Cherries continued to strive to pull a goal back, it was the visitors who controlled the remainder of the match and added two more goals late on through substitute Brandon Cover, who applied neat finishes to Foxes' counter attacks.
The result ended an impressive FA Youth Cup run for Connell’s youngsters who, despite the scoreline, will have been pleased with the way they competed against an impressive Category One academy side.
AFC Bournemouth: Camis, Tonks (Johnson, 65), Boutin, Okoh, Palmer, Bevan, Dacosta Gonzalez, Brown (Kinsey-Wellings, 87), Adu-Adjei, Harris (Williams, 87), Daws
Unused subs: Rees-Dottin, Boot, Morgan, Crisp (g/k)
Leicester City: Doherty, Nelson, Lindsay, Braybrooke (c), Wilson-Brown, Godsmark-Ford, Wormleighton, Cartwright, Popov (Briggs, 87), Alves, Butterfil (Cover, 77’)
Unused subs: Grist, Cook, Kutshienza, Lewis, Chibeuze (g/k)
Booked: Braybrooke, Godsmark-Ford