A young United U23 side involving seven U18 players were beaten 4-1 by a strong AFC Bournemouth side at the training ground this afternoon.
The U23s - containing U18 players Viktor Milton, Nico Jones, Fabio Sole, Fabio Lopes and Leon Chambers-Parillon plus sub Michael Elechi - worked the first attack of the game in the opening minutes when Owen James made a good run from left wing but the wide midfielder was narrowly offside.
On 7 minutes, it was Bournemouth who took the lead. A deflected cross found its way to Dobre who took aim from a tight angle on the volley, finishing well into the corner to break the deadlock.
United composed themselves and worked their way back into the game after the setback against a strong Bournemouth side. Aaron Heap brought the ball forward and worked the ball to Chambers-Parillon who brought the ball out of his feet nicely before setting his sights on goal however his shot was deflected into the hands of the Bournemouth goalkeeper.
The U’s tried to play going forward, with Sade bringing the ball out from defence before searching for Chambers-Parillon with a diagonal pass, but the U’s just couldn’t fashion any clear-cut opportunities.
Keeper Max Harris was called into action again midway through the first half as Bournemouth took aim from the edge of the area; the U’s ‘keeper doing well to tip the strike onto the post. Bournemouth did grab a second on 36. The young U’s failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to midfielder Dinsmore on the edge of the area who finished superbly into the top corner leaving Harris with no chance.
Sole’s tenacity paid off on the stroke of half time as he won possession high up the pitch, but found himself all alone in the Bournemouth penalty area. He tried to squeeze a shot into the corner but his effort was matched by the Bournemouth goalkeeper who saved, leaving the U’s with work to do at the break.
On came Elechi for Heap and shortly after the break, United earned an opportunity to half the deficit from the penalty spot. SKipper Lofthouse latched on to a poor back pass and showed good pace to get there ahead of the goalkeeper who tripped the forward. Up stepped James who finished low into the bottom corner to put United back in it.
As the U’s pushed for an equaliser, Bournemouth restored their two-goal cushion on the break as Dobre again found the ball in the area and finished low beyond Harris to make it 3-1.
United were better in the second half as they looked to press their opponents but still struggled to make the most of the chances. Lofthouse drove forward 20 minutes from time but his shot was deflected behind for a corner before Jones had a shot blocked after the ball fell kindly to him in the area.
Bournemouth had the last say as they grabbed a fourth late on as Scrimshaw finished from close range - his eleventh goal in five games against the U's! -to put the game beyond doubt. Bournemouth were clinical where United weren't and that was the difference on the afternoon, but there were plenty of positives to take in United's much improved second half performance
UNITED: Harris, Sade, Jones, Milton, Berkoe, Sole, Heap (Elechi), Chambers-Parillon, Lofthouse, Lopes, James (Edwards)
Unused subs: Evans, Goodrham