ACADEMY boss Joe Roach declared himself pleased with the progress of Cherries’ youth team – despite his disbelief over Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Exeter City.

Roach insisted Carl Fletcher’s youngsters had produced their most complete display so far this season but could not find a way through against their Devon counterparts.

But after witnessing Cherries hit a new high in terms of performance, Roach believes the team of fledglings will reap their rewards as the season develops.

Roach told the Daily Echo: “In the previous two games, we had probably produced our best for 45 minutes at a time but, against Exeter, we managed to put both halves together and I don’t know how we didn’t get a positive result.

“We hit the bar three times, missed a few chances and snatched at other opportunities but we have got to be pleased with the players’ effort and determination to transfer the work we have done into performances when it counts.

“I would much rather us play like that and lose than perform badly and scrape a win. You want to win with a certain style because that is what builds the platform for lasting success and we’re moving in the right direction.

“We need to be a bit more clinical in the final third but that will come. We’re putting in place the club’s philosophy of passing out from the back and as young, developing players they are going to have spells of inconsistency.”

Cherries: Stanton, Walker (Kendall, 78), Jordan, Lander, Lee, Worthington, O’Connell (Harfield, 60), Simpson, Neale, Quigley (O’Sullivan, h-t), Surridge. Unused sub: Butcher.

  • Delivering his verdict on last Tuesday’s 2-1 Youth Alliance Cup defeat to Luton Town, a game which saw Cherries trail by two goals at the break, Roach added: “They had a lot of pace and were physically strong while we were a little disjointed.

“We created lots of chances in the last 20 minutes but couldn’t quite force an equaliser.”