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Under-21s

Cooper - We showed some real maturity

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Shaun Cooper praised his side's maturity and attacking edge as they fended off Moneyfields to make it through to the Hampshire Senior Cup final.

The 3-2 win in Portsmouth on Tuesday evening came in a back-and-forth affair where the scoreline fluctuated, though the Cherries led from the second minute onwards and eventually saw through their progression.

Jake Scrimshaw, Gavin Kilkenny and Christian Saydee were the scorers on the night as Bournemouth moved a step closer to reclaiming a trophy they last won in 1989.

"The performance was good," said Cooper to afcb.co.uk after the match. "We could have scored a lot more goals than we did and ultimately that kept them in touching distance.

"With their direct style of play they could cause us problems at any moment. Their second goal was a bit lucky, but they were always a threat.

"I would have liked us to have been out of sight a little bit sooner but with creating as many chances as we did that was a good thing."

Cooper also picked out two of his front men for not just scoring their goals, but also for what their dynamism brought to the team's performance.

"Their 'keeper made some outstanding saves, too many to remember, but it wasn't just the chances we created but our pressing from the front,

"Scrimmy (Scrimshaw) only got one goal tonight but he could have scored more, he knows that, but what he brought to us out of possession really triggered an aggressive, intense press for us and that was so important.

"I'm glad he scored again, backing up scoring in his last game. I'm really pleased Christian got his goal as well."

With the scoreline and momentum of proceedings quickly changing in the wet conditions, Cooper was impressed with his players' ability to keep their heads and control of the contest.

"It was in the balance at one point, I felt we were close to losing control of the game," he said. "Moneyfields tried to get into the referee, tried to make it an ugly game, a bit more of a fight.

"Our boys remained unflustered, they remained calm and tried to do the right thing, kept possession for longer times when they needed to and kept control.

"Moneyfields' structure was a little bit out of sync at times which gave us random spaces to exploit. Our players ended up finding themselves out of position so when we then lost the ball so we were slightly out of our shape at times.

"The lads overall showed some real maturity to maintain their composure."

There will be some waiting needed before the Cherries find out their final opponents, with the second semi-final between Eastleigh and Southampton currently scheduled to take place on the evening of Monday 2nd November.

Whoever his side face, Cooper is looking forward to what would be expected to be a strong contest.

"I'm really pleased for the lads that they're in a final," he said. "I know how much winning means to them, we're all excited for it."

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