CHERRIES defender Jack Stacey terrorised Chelsea up the right-hand side despite eventual 2-1 defeat to the European Champions last night and insisted “to impose ourselves the way did, we can be really happy with that.”

The opening goal game courtesy of a close-range header from home debutant Emiliano Marcondes after one of Stacey’s many dangerous pull-backs bounced up for him to convert home.

Link up between the nippy David Brooks and Stacey often saw the overlapping full-back break the lines, and trialling winger Kyle Edwards had one pulled to him on a plate but for a point-blank save by Blues stopper Eduoard Mendy.

Although a late double-salvo saw the visitors snatch victory from the home side, fans can be encouraged by Scott Parker’s high intensity style and the rewards will hopefully be reaped as the season commences and fitness reaches its peak.

Speaking directly after the game, Stacey, 25, told the Daily Echo: “Yeah I think it was a really good test, like you say champions of Europe.

“Their last proper game probably was that Champions League final so to play against that standard of opposition and impose ourselves the way did, we can be really happy with that.

“Yeah it would have been nice to get a win, it’s nice to breed winning habits. But at the same time it’s not the most important thing, getting the fitness in and getting the style of play the gaffer wants is most important.

“If we carry on like that when we get into the season hopefully the wins will come.”

Towards the end of the game, Stacey did drop to the floor to recieve minor treatment on the pitch. 

Taking no chances, head coach Parker removed him from the field of play with Brennan Camp his replacement. But Stacey moved to reassure fans quickly. 

He told us: "Yeah for sure I had a little bit of a knock but hopefully I should be alright.

"It was only precautionary, I’ve had a little bit of a problem with my knee in the past but touch wood I’ll be good to go on Saturday."

The fixture was also a first opportunity to play in front a capacity crowd since the last time they played Chelsea, a 2-2 draw in February 2020.

The stands looked fill considerably as kick-off approached - with one end of travelling Chelsea supporters too - to the delight of Cherries’ players: “We were saying for a pre-season friendly that was probably the best atmosphere we’ve had.

“That’s probably partly because the fans have been away for so long and yeah to have them back it makes a massive difference, it didn’t feel like a friendly as a result.”