icon_corner icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_post icon_miss icon_save icon_card_red icon_save icon_start_stop icon_sub icon_card_yellow accessibility icon account-off icon account-on icon arrow-left icon arrow-right icon attack icon chevron-down icon chevron-left icon chevron-right icon chevron-up icon Combined Shape Created with Sketch. cross icon defence icon icon_disallowed_goal email icon facebook icon giphy icon google icon instagram icon linkedin icon lock icon messenger icon padlock icon Svg Vector Icons : http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon Panel Created with Sketch. Pattern Created with Sketch. pinterest icon Icon_PlayButton Created with Sketch. plus-thin icon plus icon Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. search icon soundcloud icon sub-in icon sub-out icon tweet icon twitter icon icon_user__out icon_user_out vimeo icon whatsapp icon icon_start_stop youtube icon


U18s continue Merit League push with point


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

All four goals came in the first half as the under-18s kept up their push for the Merit league title with a 2-2 draw with Oxford United.

The scoring was opened by the Cherries inside ten minutes when Michael Dacosta Gonzalez slipped Jake Adams through down the right-hand side, who crossed for Daniel Adu-Adjei to turn and finish.

Oxford soon hit back to score twice and take the lead, firstly netting from a cutback before making the most of a chance from a corner when a header came in from a hanging delivery.

However, five minutes before the break parity was restored again when Marcus Daws leveled. Adams produced a good cross-field pass to Daws who exchanged passes with Adu-Adjei before finishing well into the bottom corner.

Chances were harder to come by following the restart, when after clever play from Archie Harris and Daws striker Adams fired low and just wide.

The U's hit the top of the crossbar from range, but ultimately both sides were made to settle for a well-earned point.

After the game, manager Alan Connell reflected on the performance and where it now leaves his team with just one match to play in the Merit League.

"It was a competitive game," he said. "I thought we started really well and when we broke their first line we then looked threatening going forwards.

"We were pleased to get the early goal through Daniel who's added another one to his tally.

"Oxford were always in the game though and were always a physical threat, especially from set pieces and that was ultimately what cost us the two goals in the first half.

"The response from the players was excellent, we scored a really clever combination goal through Marcus, his 15th of the season, which is a healthy total for a wide player in his first season with us.

"At half time we talked about their threats, which was chiefly getting balls into our box and from set pieces. It was difficult for our players because there was a physical mismatch and they had a lot of bigger boys.

"I was pleased with the way we stood up to that, we were quite solid defensively and whenever we got our quick passing going we looked like we were the ones who were going to go on and get the winner.

"It wasn't to be but it was a well-fought game from both sides and I was pleased with the real moments of quality we had - we just couldn't find that moment at the end to find the winning goal."

Connell picked out his defensive line of Lewis Brown, Owen Palmer, Abdo Mohamed and Archie Harris for their strong performances at Canford Arena.

"The back four had to deal with some physical threats and loads of balls into our penalty area. Generally I thought the stood up to that," he said.

"They were really composed playing out under a lot of pressure from Oxford and did well."

Next Saturday the under-18s travel to Swindon Town for the final league match of the season. 

Currently three points ahead of AFC Wimbledon at the top of the table - though with Wimbledon having two games left to play - a Cherries win next weekend would make for a giant stride towards claiming the title.

Connell added: "We've got a really exciting final week of our season now. We've got Southampton in a friendly on Tuesday and then we finish off at Swindon on Saturday.

"The message from me has been clear: it's a really important week for us and we want to make sure we finish the season really strongly."

Breaking News