EDDIE Howe declared himself a contented manager after watching Cherries make hay in the Dorset sunshine yesterday.
Howe’s men turned on the style in the county town, leaving opposite number Phil Simkin to magnanimously concede Cherries had handed out a “footballing lesson”.
Yann Kermorgant’s four-timer led the rout of the Southern Premier League outfit as Cherries created a wave of goalscoring opportunities throughout this pre-season friendly.
And but for the woodwork and the heroics of Dorchester goalkeepers Alan Walker-Harris and Shane Murphy, it could have been embarrassing for the hosts.
“It was a good work-out for us, good from all perspectives,” said Howe. “Even though it was quite an easy afternoon in terms of the scoreline, I thought the attitude and application were excellent. The lads didn’t let up and wanted more goals. That was a very pleasing sign.”
Harry Arter opened the floodgates after two minutes when he drilled an unstoppable drive past Walker-Harris from just inside the 18-yard box.
Arter then rattled the crossbar after being teed up by Ryan Fraser’s clever pass before Walker-Harris saved from point-blank range after Shaun MacDonald had taken aim.
Kermorgant’s sublime 20-yarder doubled Cherries’ lead in the 13th minute and the lively Matt Ritchie added a third soon after when he guided an Ian Harte cross into the bottom corner.
Ritchie poked home the rebound after Dan Gosling’s shot had been cleared off the line by Nathan Walker, the big defender then presenting Kermorgant with the chance to score from the penalty spot after handling.
The pick of Kermorgant’s treble saw him rifle a delightful volley past Walker-Harris following a precision cross from Ritchie before Brett Pitman netted twice as Cherries reached the break eight goals to the good.
Howe said: “Yann is a class act and took his goals very well. He has come back looking fit and, with his technical qualities, hopefully it is going to be a big season for him. We need goals and goalscorers, attacking and creative players are very important to any team.
“We believe we have a good mix of strikers. They are all different and all offer the team something special. I thought all the wide players did very well.”
Kermorgant curled a 49th-minute free-kick into the top corner before Callum Wilson, one of seven changes, opened his Cherries goal account with a close-range finish on 64 minutes and Ben Whitfield completed the scoring two minutes from time.
Howe added: “It was good to see Callum get off the mark. He was in the right place and finished it well. Considering he has had a lot less training than the other guys, he looked really sharp.”
Cherries: Buchel (O’Flaherty, 70), Smith (McCarthy, h-t), Francis (Cargill, 66, Whitfield, 70), Cargill (Cook, 60), Harte (Daniels, 60), Fraser (Matthews, 27, McQuoid, 60), Gosling (O’Kane, 60), Arter (Pugh, 60), MacDonald (Pitman, 27), Ritchie (Stanislas, 60), Kermorgant (Wilson, 60).
Referee: Chris Powell (Poole).