Our U18 side fell to a 4-2 defeat at Canford Park Training ground, with a double from Ashley Pope and goals from Jake Scrimshaw and Luke Nippard leading Alan Connell’s Bournemouth side to their fourth win in a row.
County started the game well with Modou Touray making an instant impact in his first game for Byron Anthony’s side since his loan spell at Merthyr Town. The forward put a brilliant ball into the box, which found the head of Liam Bishop, who couldn’t quite direct his attempt on target from close range with three minutes played.
Only a minute later, Captain Jay Foulston almost caught out Cherries ‘keeper Calum Ward with a powerful low-strike strike, after being set-up from a free-kick. Ward only just managed to keep the shot out.
Modou Touray continued to make an impact on the game and in the 5th minute he had a chance to head the ball past Ward, but couldn’t put the Young Exiles ahead, dragging his header wide.
Despite County enjoying a spell of dominance, they were handed a reminder of why Bournemouth were unbeaten in their last three matches. Forward Ashley Pope capitalized on poor defensive play from the visitors, scoring his second goal in as many games after smashing home a volley from close-range in the 9th minute.
With 19 minutes played, Josh Williams, who had scored three goals in his previous four games coming into the match, unleashed a powerful volley from outside the box, but his attempt narrowly went over the crossbar.
Soon enough, the Young Exiles were level; Touray picked the ball up on the edge of the Bournemouth half, managing to keep the ball in play, and then produced a brilliant ball to put Lewis Collins through on goal. Collins beat two players, before he kept his composure to finish past Ward in the 20th minute.
It took Bournemouth just four minutes to respond to Lewis Collins’ equaliser, with Jake Scrimshaw putting Bournemouth back in front, finishing past Matt Mayor from close-range after capitalising on a mistake.
Lewis Collins looked to draw County level against the hosts, but his shot drifted just wide of the post with 26 minutes played at Canford Park.
Bournemouth were put under pressure yet again, after Modou Touray was fouled from 30 yards-out. Evan Press stepped up to take the set-piece, and his delivery was superb, but nobody could get on the end of the free-kick which allowed the Cherries to clear.
The hosts went close to doubling their lead through Charlie Seaman, but his long-ranged effort didn’t trouble Mayor with it going over the bar.
Byron Anthony’s side went into the break 2-1 down, after Jake Scrimshaw capitalized on a mistake, putting Bournemouth back ahead, arguably against the run of play.
Midfielder Josh Williams picked up an injury at half-time, which meant Owen Taylor replaced him at the start of the second-half. Josh was brought off for precautionary measures and isn’t expected to miss any fixtures.
Bournemouth started the half strongly, but it would be County who managed to find a goal and draw the scores level. Tom Hillman made a tricky run on the right, before passing the ball back to Owen Taylor, who made a brilliant run before hitting a cross into the box, Collins managed to control the cross before placing his shot into the bottom-left corner in the 53rd minute.
The Wales U17 international then found himself with a golden chance, only three minutes later. Evan Press delivered another brilliant free-kick, which eventually found its way to Ward, and he parried to ball Lewis Collins, but he could only hit the post from a tight angle.
County were left to rue their missed chance, as Luke Nippard caught Matt Mayor off-guard, as his shot took a massive deflection, leaving the Mayor caught out and helpless to prevent the 61st minute goal.
Jake Scrimshaw made way for Connal Morrison with 62 minutes played as Alan Connell looked to hold onto his side’s lead.
In an attempt to find an all-important goal, with 68 minutes gone, Byron Anthony made his second and third substitutions of the afternoon, with Michael Cook and Owura Edwards coming on for Tom Hillman and Liam Bishop.
Defender Tom Savigar picked up a free-kick, which set Jay Foulston up to hit a shot from 30 yards-out, but his attempt went out for a goal kick in the 73rd minute.
Only two minutes later, Tom Pope found himself through on goal, Mayor tried to stop the forward from getting on the end of the pass, but he could only parry the ball. Meaning that Pope finished into an open goal to make it 4-2 to Bournemouth and double his goal tally for the afternoon.
Bournemouth made one final change, with Clements making way for Zeno-Ibsen-Rossi with only seven minutes remaining.
Byron Anthony’s side had one final chance, with Joe Hunt having a volley saved from close-range at the death, meaning the Young Exiles fell to their second league defeat against Bournemouth, despite giving a good account of themselves against the south-coast side.
County Starting XI: Mayor, Savigar, Hunt, Josh Williams (Owen Taylor 45’), Beckett, Foulston (c), Collins, Press, Touray, Bishop (Michael Cook 68’), Hillman (Owura Edwards 68’).
Subs Not Used: Lucas Murray, Liam Warman.
Bournemouth Starting XI: Ward, Seaman, Hanfrey, Dinsmore, Camp, Sherring (c), Scrimshaw (Connal Morrison 62’), Nippard, Pope, Clements (Zeno Ibsen-Rossi 83’), Glover.
Subs Not Used: Tom Parker-Trott, Brooklyn Genes Zeno Ibsen-Rossi.