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U18s beat wind and Forest Green


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Euan Pollock's brace was backed up by Josh Clarke's late penalty save as the AFC Bournemouth under-18s won 2-0 away at Forest Green Rovers on Friday.

The result means Alan Connell's side have claimed seven points from their opening three EFL Youth Alliance matches, keeping clean sheets in all of them.

The side didn't have things all their own way, battling bracing winds before making the breakthrough with 15 minutes to go, Pollock steering home from half-time substitute Ajani Burchall's centre.

The pair combined again ten minutes later, Burchall's fine weighted through ball slotted home once more by Pollock.

There was still time for some late drama with first-year Clarke at his best to save a spot kick and retain his well-earned clean sheet.

After the contest, Connell gave his view to afcb.co.uk: "It was a really challenging day for the players, we spoke about it before the match, that each game poses problems and the wind was a big factor today.

"We had to deal with some long balls in unfavourable conditions and we were up against it in the first half. 

"We needed to defend with alertness and overall I think we did that. While we were under a bit of pressure, our 'keeper was never forced into any serious action. Defensively we handled what Forest Green had to throw at us.

"We struggled to play out against the wind and they made it difficult for us, but credit to the players because they kept trying to do the right things and didn't get disappointed when it didn't work out."

Beginning to dominate

"In the second half we had to make a double change and with the wind we were able to get a lot more pressure higher up the pitch.

"We started to create chances and it felt like it was only a matter of time before that first goal would come - and when it came it was a lovely cross and a really well-taken finish from Euan.

"It was the same combination for the second goal. Ajani had a big impact when he came on and as an under-16s player he's getting a lot of exposure with us, if he continues to progress he'll play a lot for us this season, which can only help his development.

"Owen Palmer made his first start for the youth team and he applied himself really well and can be pleased with his performance - along with everyone really. It wasn't a day to be technically brilliant but they all showed a lot of character and dealt with the ugly side of the game and I was pleased with that."

Players to look up to

"We spoke about the boys who were involved last night with the first team at Manchester City, they've been through this with the early starts and going away from home, the processes in their development.

"All-in-all it was a good day's work, lots we could improve on, but considering the amount of injuries we had and people missing for various reason I couldn't be prouder of the players."

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