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Five-star performance as U21s see off Oxford


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth U21s defeated Oxford United 5-2 in the Central League Cup in a dominant display.

Taking place at Canford Arena, both Ben Greenwood and Jaidon Anthony bagged braces, while there was also a first goal in red and black for George Hunt.

Shaun Cooper named a side which featured experienced trio Gavin Kilkenny, Will Dennis and Anthony, with starts also handed to Owen Bevan and Jack Seddon of the under-18s.

The hosts started strongly and Anthony thought he’d opened the scoring after ten minutes, robbing Clinton Nosakhare of the ball and forcing an excellent save out of Kie Plumley.

Anthony then did have it in the back of the net after a low finish from Nathan Moriah-Welsh’s through-ball, only to look to his right and see the flag up for offside.

The Cherries’ persistence did pay off and with 15 minutes on the clock, they took the lead.

Greenwood found himself in space on the left of the box and drove a powerful effort on target, giving Plumley no chance in the Yellows’ goal.

With Cooper’s side starting to dominate, Greenwood seized the opportunity and grabbed his second of the afternoon, latching onto the rebound of Anthony’s shot from range.

A third was to follow within a matter of minutes as Nosakhare couldn’t deal with the pace of Moriah-Welsh, bringing him down in the box for a stonewall penalty.

Anthony stepped up and duly converted for his first of the afternoon.

Up the other end of the pitch, Oxford responded well and soon had a goal of their own in the Canford rain.

Leon Chambers-Rarillion put a superb ball in after he’d been fouled out wide, with captain Jack Stevens flicking his header into the corner.

However, it didn’t stop the Cherries, as Anthony saw a superb free-kick bounce off the crossbar, before Christian Saydee’s backheel from Kilkenny’s corner was cleared in the nick of time.

It was a dramatic start to the second-half, with Oxford getting another goal within four minutes of the restart.

Josh Anifiwose stole the ball in the middle of the park and found himself one-on-one with Dennis, the midfielder making no mistake.

Nevertheless, a special moment was to follow within 60 seconds.

The hosts kept their heads up and Greenwood expertly picked out Hunt in the box, as the youngster found the bottom-corner with a fine first-touch finish.

The strike was his first for the club following a long 15-month spell on the sidelines.

A fifth almost came with Greenwood again being the provider, this time his cross being narrowly headed over by fellow wing-back Dinesh Gillela.

Cooper’s side remained patient and soon had their reward through Anthony, who netted his second of the afternoon with a brilliant low drive from range, which snuck into the corner off the post.

Dennis had to be alert, however, and kept Chambers-Rarillon at bay with a fine stop at full-stretch, the striker then following up with a shot that sailed wide.

There was still time for Greenwood and Anthony to try and complete their hat-tricks, with both going close.

Firstly, the defender saw his shot trickle just outside Plumley’s post, before Anthony attempted an outrageous chip from the edge of the area, being denied only by the post.

The win means that Cooper’s side have two wins out of two in their Central League Cup group, with today’s opponents up next in the competition away from home next Tuesday.

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