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Under-21s

Anthony - We're looking to top it all off

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

After a long and varied season, Jaidon Anthony has one big target left to achieve: helping Weymouth win promotion to the National League.

The AFC Bournemouth striker is on loan with the Terras and scored in last weekend's 3-2 National League South play-off semi-final win over Dorking, setting up a one-legged winner-takes-all clash with Dartford this Saturday.

Coached by Cherries under-21 assistant manager Mark Molesley and one of four loanees from Vitality Stadium, is was Anthony who was among those who stood out in the Dorking win.

The 20-year-old scored the second as Weymouth raced into an early two-goal lead at the Bob Lucas Stadium, before Dorking roared back to level in the second half.

Anthony thought he'd won the game late on only to see an offside flag raised, before Yemi Odubade did snatch victory at the last to send the Terras through.

"It was a crazy game," said Anthony to afcb.co.uk "It all started so quickly with getting a penalty in the first minute.

"We managed the game well in the first half, they were obviously going to come out fighting in the second and they did that. It was a game full of ups and downs, but a really good one to be involved in.

"A minute or two before my goal I had the ball out on the left and the 'keeper was off his line, I remembered that so when I got that chance running through on goal I knew the 'keeper might be rushing off his line again.

"I looked up and he was in an awkward position, so I tried to take it early and it went in.

"Scoring right at the end but it not counting was very disappointing. At the time I thought I'd timed my run really well, it looked like I'd won us the game but it was back to square one. Then you just have to get on with it and go again.

"We kept fighting till the end and Yemi was in the right position for the winner. Luckily the ball came back off him and we got the goal.

"We all wanted to go a bit crazy but could hear the manager shouting 'Get back, get back in!' as we needed to see out the last few minutes.

"We were so happy to get that job done, but also knew we'd only done half the job with Saturday coming up. The celebrations weren't too crazy, we've still got a long way to go."

After the game, Molesley picked out Anthony for his attitude and work rate during a draining match, with the well-known personnel in the Weymouth set-up proving advantageous for the striker. 

"I've worked closely with Moles for a long time at Bournemouth and it's a similar playing style at Weymouth," he said.

"You do what you have to do and give it your all, hoping that will be enough. That's all I try to do, and that worked out last Saturday.

"Having my Bournemouth team-mates there with me helps make the transition easier, there are so many familiar faces, even with players who used to be at Bournemouth who have helped me settle in as quickly as possible."

With one match won, Weymouth now have one more to go, the stage set for the play-off final back on home turf on Saturday.

Dartmouth, who upset the odds to beat Havant & Waterlooville last weekend are the opposition for the 1pm kick-off, with Anthony full aware of the importance of the occasion.

"This match is definitely one of the best I've played in in men's football," he explained. "It's a big opportunity for the club and myself to play in a game like this.

"For me now, I'm more excited than nervous. I look forward to games like this and Saturday should be a good one.

"We'll get a video and look into what Dartmouth do, but we try to focus a lot on ourselves as well. It's a mixture of both, if we can do what we do well while also nullifying their threats we'll give ourselves the best chance.

"It's been a really strange season. No-one could have expected anything like this and at one point we weren't even sure if the play-offs would go ahead, even until a few weeks ago it didn't look like it would happen.

"It's been a weird campaign but one I've really enjoyed. I've had a lot of experiences and learned a lot with both Bournemouth and Weymouth. 

"Now on Saturday we're looking to end the season on a high and top it all off."

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