CHERRIES have been forced to cancel a scheduled friendly against Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday, due to a small COVID-19 outbreak in the Dorset club’s under-18 setup.

The sides were set to face off at Westleigh Park in a warm-up contest in preparation for the 2021-22 campaign, but the non-league outfit confirmed the game would now not go ahead.

A post on the Hawks’ website read: “Havant & Waterlooville regret to inform our supporters of the cancellation of our pre-season match against AFC Bournemouth XI due to take place this Saturday.

“Due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases within the opposition’s team, AFC Bournemouth took the decision to cancel Saturday’s game to protect our players from potential exposure to the virus.

“We’d like to thank AFC Bournemouth for their swift action, we sincerely wish their players who are affected a speedy and full recovery and wish them all the best for their upcoming season.”

A small outbreak of the virus has come in the under-18 section of the club, with players now isolating.

The Daily Echo understands no first team players have been affected by the outbreak, with Scott Parker’s men still set to take on Chelsea in a pre-season game at Vitality Stadium on Tuesday.