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U18s Beat Fulham in Latest Friendly


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The AFC Bournemouth under-18s secured their second straight win to open pre-season with an impressive 4-2 success over Fulham on Tuesday.

Euan Pollock and Khavarn Williams netted twice each in a rampant first-half against the category one Cottagers at Canford Arena, following up the weekend victory over Reading.

After Fulham had taken an early lead in the wet and windy conditions, Pollock struck an equaliser from Marcus Daws' assist as the Cherries scored four times in 20 minutes ahead of the break.

Pollock scored again, this time from the penalty spot after a foul on Ajani Burchall, before Williams joined the scoresheet with two well-taken goals both finding the far corner.

The visitors netted again late in the second half and could have cut the advantage further, only for Cherries 'keeper Joe Besant to save a penalty with the last kick of the game.

"In the first half it was an end-to-end game, probably a bit too much for my liking," manager Alan Connell told afcb.co.uk after the game.

"I didn't feel we retained the ball well enough all over the pitch, both in our playing out and then when we did get the ball through.

"It became a bit scrappy, but within that I was really pleased with the boys' mentality to keep playing and keep wanting the ball in what was a good test for us against high-quality opposition.

"What was pleasing is that the boys responded to going a goal down and then had the spell in front of goal where Euan and Khavarn were ruthless with their finishing.

"They played a lot together last year as first years, they have a really nice chemistry between them and they've both started pre-season is fine form with three goals each.

"We made changes at half time, as you do at this stage of the season, and then a few more as the half wore on. We lost our rhythm and flow a bit but the boys who came in did fine, but we didn't have the cutting edge in the second half that we had in the first so we had to defend for spells.

"I actually thought there was an improvement in our defensive display compared to Saturday, even though we conceded twice. 

"I said to the boys afterwards that it was great day as there were so many challenges, so much to learn from in the game.

"We'll analyse it and go over things, but this is what we want: we want the boys to be tested against the best opposition and Fulham are are category one side who produce good players."

The Cherries next face an away game behind closed doors against Chelsea on Saturday, with Connell enthused by the next prestigious test his side will face.

"Chelsea are one of the best academies in Europe so it'll be another interesting game for us and it's one I'm really excited about," he said.

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