Youth sport - football: Stephenson's double edges it for Branksome

Bournemouth Echo: TIGHT TUSSLE: Action from Branksome's win over West Moors (blue) TIGHT TUSSLE: Action from Branksome's win over West Moors (blue)

BRANKSOME United kept their Division 14 title hopes alive with a 4-2 home victory against a spirited West Moors team at Canford Park Arena.

In fact, it was the visitors who snatched the lead when Sam Pearce beat the goalkeeper with a well-taken effort following good work from Jayden Goodall and Drew Lardner.

But within four minutes, Branksome were back on level terms with Mathew Stephenson netting the first of his two goals.

Both teams added to their tally in the first half with Harry Reynolds scoring for Branksome and Goodall latching on to a Lardner pass for West Moors’ second.

The second half was also a closely-contested affair, with Stephenson giving Branksome a slender lead before Tommy Cameron netted the fourth to seal the points.

“It was a great game between two hard-working sides,” said Branksome boss Darren Fairbrother. “The game was always in the balance until we scored our fourth late on.”

West Moors manager Chaz Pearce was also full of praise for both teams.

“Branksome were the slightly better side in the second half, after an evenly-contested opening period,” said Pearce. “But the boys put up an extremely good fight against a top side and battled until the final whistle.”

Branksome, meanwhile, were due to play their final game of the season against Bournemouth Sports last night.

Redhill Rangers, however, will pip them to the BYFL championship if they win their final two matches.

Branksome under-10s: Robin Powell, Ashton Guilfoyle, Callum Nattriss, Jack Lloyd, Mathew Stephenson, Harry Reynolds, James Bailey, Tommy Cameron, Lewis Fellow, Gregg Hasding.

West Moors under-10s: Josh Newbury, Sam Pearce, Harley Brooks, David Plumb, Jayden Goodall, Drew Lardner, Robbie Page, Ethan Anthony.

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