DEFENDER Nathan Ake said he “didn’t notice” any early exits from ball boys during Cherries’ crucial 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

The Dutchman netted what proved to be the winner after 44 minutes at Vitality Stadium.

With Cherries holding on to their advantage on Saturday, Villa boss Dean Smith said the ball boys “went missing after 55 minutes and probably went and had a free pie”.

Asked whether he saw the ball boys vanish after hearing Smith’s comments, Ake told the Daily Echo: “I didn’t notice to be honest! I don’t know.

“Obviously if you are losing it’s a bad thing, if you are winning it’s a good thing.”

He added: “Always when you are losing, sometimes, the opposition goalkeeper takes long and stuff like that. That’s part of football.

“It must be annoying when you’re losing and very nice when you are winning!”