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U18s' stunning turnaround sees off Saints


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The under-18s came from three goals behind to beat Southampton 4-3 in a stunning friendly turnaround.

The home side were two goals up at half time thanks to goals from Stefan Vukoje and Sam Bellis, though the visitors had created openings.

Vukoje scored his second after the restart, though soon the visiting touchpaper was lit.

Jake Adams began the momentum swing with a terrific free-kick, the same player soon cutting inside to score a second.

A third in five minutes came when Christian Saydee blasted inside and Marcus Daws completed the comeback with a well-taken finish.

The game at Saints’ training ground allowed for both sides to field a handful of under-21 players, Saydee, Brooklyn Genesini, Nathan Moriah-Welsh and Ben Greenwood all involved for Bournemouth.

Early on Saydee tricked his way between two defenders before his attack was snuffed out, Abdi Mohamed quick to do likewise when Harrison Brook came close to opening room for a shot.

Joe Besant saved well, but inside ten minutes there was nothing he could do when Vukoje’s shot deflected off Owen Palmer and dribbled into the corner to give Southampton an early advantage.

Moriah-Welsh set aim with a powerful low shot that was well saved, while Besant stopped a cross-shot well at his near post.

The game continuing to flow, Greenwood struck only for ‘keeper Matt Hall to parry, Jake Adams firing over from the rebound.

However, despite the away pressure Southampton pinched a second when Bellis poked under Besant to double the lead.

Moriah-Welsh continued his own goal pursuit as he hit the top of the crossbar with a brilliant free-kick, Greenwood soon sweeping over wastefully when well placed following Daws’ back heel.

The second half started with the visitors on the attack, Adams saw a shot well saved though the offside flag was raised.

The hosts’ incisiveness was on display again when Vukoje finished off for a third to extend the home lead.

Adams gave the Cherries skin in the game with a brilliant free-kick, and amazingly he scored another within moments when he cut inside his man and finished.

The Saints lead was then wiped out completely when Saydee blasted home a shot after running onto Daws’ pass.

Owen Bevan and Jack Seddon kept up the rising feel-good mood as they appeared from the bench in their returns from injury.

A Saints goal was ruled out for offside but there was to be no denying the Cherries who sensationally hit the front in the final 15 minutes.

Greenwood got into a dangerous area wide left, pulled the ball back and there was Daws to finish from eight yards, netting against his former academy side.

Besant was called upon to make two routine stops in the final ten minutes while the Cherries likewise were unable to make the most of openings as they saw home their impressive come-from-behind friendly win.

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Southampton U18s 3-4 AFC Bournemouth U18s

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