Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Wimbledon Youth 0 Cherries Youth 5

Date: 18 November 2009

This match provided us with an opportunity to see the Cherries of the future. And what a promising outlook it is; not only did the team win by a convincing margin but they played the game at a fast pace and held their shape well. They are a credit to Joe Roach who has done sterling work with this group of youngsters. The reward for this evening’s win is a trip to the Reebok Stadium in the next round of the FA Youth Cup.

The first player we looked for was Jayden Stockley, the impressive sixteen year old who signed a five year contract before the start of a first team match a few weeks ago. But he was on the bench. The reason seemed to be that, such is our strength in depth at this level, we have three out-and-out strikers; and it was the other two - Kemble and Ings - who got the nod for a starting place. Having said that, for the middle part of the game all three strikers were on the pitch, and this was achieved by Ings (a la Pitman in the first team) switching to the right wing. The only other players who played (intentionally) ‘out of position’ were the two wingers - Parsons and Green - who swapped flanks from time to time, and centre back Strugnall who - while doing an excellent job in defence - also streaked forward into an attacking position at every possible opportunity, demonstrating amazing pace. His fellow centre-back, Oldring, captained the side.

There was a crowd of 210 but, until the first Bournemouth goal, we thought we might be the only two Cherries’ supporters present. However, the goal - Kemble coolly slotting the ball home in the twelfth minute - was met with such a loud cheer that we knew we were not alone! Kemble had scored in the previous round too, and for the rest of an at times dire first half this was all that separated the sides.

But Bournemouth looked a lot livelier after the break. Kemble scored a second after beating the Wimbledon keeper in a one-to-one. Stockley came on and scored quite quickly bringing the score to 3-0. And still we didn’t show any signs of sitting on our lead. When Hester came on for Kemble, Ings moved back up front and scored our fourth goal with a clever flick-on. Both he and Stockley had other goal chances (Ings hit the crossbar from distance once in the first half) and got into such good positions in the box that with better service they could have scored even more.

Stockley did indeed score one more time - and unlike the previous four goals this was a header - so by the end of the match we’d seen plenty of action from Bournemouth’s arguably most recognisable youngster. Of course, in goal was the first team’s reserve keeper, Thomas; he had a solid game and made some fine saves. And at right back was a youngster famous only on account of being Sam Vokes’ brother (!), but he (Matt) also had a good game and it was a foul on him that led to a Wimbledon player being sent off late in the match. So we ended the game with a one man advantage as well as a five goal advantage!

The starting line-up (with my scores out of ten) was :

Thomas (8);
Vokes (7), Strugnall (8), Oldring (7), Holmes (7);
Parsons (7), Macgookin (7), Burbidge (7), Green (7);
Kemble (8), Ings (8).

By the end, the team line-up was as follows :

Annetts, Strugnall, Oldring, Holmes ;
Green, Macgookin, Burbidge, Hester;
Ings, Stockley.

My 'man of the match' : Strugnall.

Return to my football reports and links page.