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Yeovil beaten by five-star U18s


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The under-18s continued their fine start to the season with a commanding 5-1 win away at Yeovil Town on Saturday lunchtime.

There were braces apiece for Ajani Burchall and Jake Adams as the Cherries made a strong start and then iced the cake with two further late goals.

Burchall scored inside 20 minutes with a right-footed finish at the back post to get the scoring under way, Euan Pollock making it two following a one-on-one soon after from an Adams through ball.

Before the interval it was then three from a quickly-taken corner, Adams surging inside and whipping into the net via a slight deflection for a three-goal half-time lead.

A penalty netted by the Glovers after 70 minutes - the first goal the Cherries have conceded in the league this season - gave the hosts hope before two late goals dented that and completed the scoring for the away side.

Matt Burgess' shot could only be parried, Adams tapping home the rebound, before Burchall scored his second thanks to a fine individual effort with two minutes to go. The winger skipped past a number of challenges and finished low, hard and in at the near post.

After the match manager Alan Connell gave his thoughts to afcb.co.uk.

He said: "I emphasised before the game that our mentality needed to be right and full credit to the players. I've been pleased with the week's training that we've had and they carried that through into the game.

"We started well, moved the ball quickly and managed to move the ball through and round Yeovil at times, creating numerous opportunities.

"Defensively I thought we had to defend some crosses and longer balls and another pleasing aspect was that we competed really well aerially, which sometimes can be a challenge for young players. I was proud of the players' efforts in the way they stood up to that.

"It was a really competitive game, Yeovil made it difficult for us and full credit to them, it was a good game to watch.

"We were disappointed to concede the goal but there were one or two lessons in there that we'll learn from. It was an assured display I would say."

With the side unbeaten and dropping just two points so far in 2020/21, Connell knows that his charges need to be kept on their toes to ensure they fulfill their potential.

"It's a challenge I have to consider and reiterate," he said. "Yes, we've had a really good start results-wise and the performances overall have been impressive. But we're only in the middle of October, so we've got a long way to go both collectively and as individuals.

"The players are well aware that they have to be bang at it every single day in everything they do and I'll make sure they continue to hear that same message."

With two well-taken goals, Connell spoke further on the progression of under-16s midfielder Burchall, and how he's taken the chances that have been given to him.

He explained: "Ajani and Tarik Gidaree have developed a nice relationship down that right-hand side, Tarik's been helping Ajani as the younger player.

"It shows that if the under-16s are doing well they'll get their opportunities with us, he's taken that and if he keeps doing what he's doing he'll stay with us.

"I have no doubt that he will because he's a bright boy with a lot of ability. He just needs to keep pushing and building on his performances. He got a couple of assists last week and this week a couple of goals - and like all the boys he needs to keep pushing on."

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