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Under-21s

Stacey on target in Reading victory

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Coach Shaun Cooper felt victory had been deserved as AFC Bournemouth under-21s triumphed 1-0 against their Reading counterparts in a friendly today.

A strong Cherries line-up included first-team squad members Will Dennis, Simon Francis, Jack Stacey, Dan Gosling, Jordon Ibe and Arnaut Danjuma.

Midfielder Gosling, an unused substitute during Cherries’ 2-1 defeat at Newcastle before the international break, was given his first taste of match action since recovering from a hip injury sustained in pre-season.

Defender Francis, who recently returned following a lengthy injury absence, was replaced at the break by Jake Scrimshaw after coming through another 45 minutes.

Stacey, who progressed through the ranks at Reading, netted the only goal at their Hopwood Park training facility, the defender heading home Danjuma’s corner in the second half.

The former Luton Town man outjumped the Royals defence to make the breakthrough after Ibe had seen his penalty saved with the score at 0-0.

Reading fielded a fairly youthful team, although experienced former Scotland international Charlie Adam had a 60-minute run-out for the hosts.

Cooper told afcb.co.uk: “We had a lot of first-team players so it was good for them to get the minutes they needed in the bank. Their attitudes were spot-on and a good example for our boys who all did well.

“We dominated the second half in particular and spent a lot of time in their third. We didn’t create as many clear-cut opportunities as we would have liked but a win was definitely a fair result.

“It was a great experience for some of our younger lads to play alongside players like Dan Gosling and Simon Francis and I thought they all held their own.

“Dan and Simon are both unselfish players who possess the strong characteristics we try to instil in our players so, in that respect, they will have taken a lot from the game. I thought our boys slotted in nicely and performed well.”

The Cherries are due to face Bristol Rovers in their second Central League Cup group game a week today with a venue yet to be decided.

Cherries: Dennis, Stacey, Francis (Scrimshaw, h-t), Jordan, Gillela, Zemura, Dinsmore, Gosling, Ibe, Danjuma, Dobre. Unused subs: Hamilton, Glover, Bertrand, Gray, Besant (g-k).

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