SHAUN Cooper praised a youthful Cherries side after they suffered Hampshire Senior Cup heartbreak at Sholing.

Jaidon Anthony fired the visitors in front 37 minutes into the quarter-final tie but Dan Mason quickly levelled.

And with full-time looming, Sholing’s Jake Hoole made it 2-1 when he smashed past keeper Will Dennis.

Cooper’s side featured eight members of Cherries’ under-18s alongside trialist Jordan Zemura and under-21s regulars Anthony and Gavin Kilkenny.

And boss Cooper felt his team had given a good account of themselves.

He told the club website: “I thought the boys did really well. We asked them to play with high energy, high intensity and high tempo.

“We wanted them to be brave and to try to play the ball on a tricky surface and they did.

“It literally was a case of men against boys but, from a learning perspective, it was a good one for us.

“It has almost been a different team in every round in this competition and we seem to have got younger the further we have progressed.

“It’s good for these boys to face these type of challenges and these experiences will last them for a long time, and that can only be a good thing.”