IT WAS a tale of two halves as Cherries development squad were pegged back by hosts Watford in the Professional Development League, drawing 2-2.

Two goals in the closing stages of the first half at Watford’s training ground gave Cherries the advantage at the break, Kian Tydeman and Jonny Stuttle on target within minutes of each other.

But the hosts replied through a similar quickfire double courtesy of Michael Adu-Poku, who ensured that the spoils would be shared.

Cherries enjoyed fleeting chances in the first 20 minutes, Dominic Sadi twice going close.

The midfielder first struck a powerful effort from the edge of the area, before being thwarted by Hornets keeper Jonathan Macaulay at the near post.

Watford defender Charlie Stallard had to be alert to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent a dangerous Cherries counter from developing further on the half-hour mark.

A minute before the break, Cherries would find their breakthrough.

Stuttle saw his initial effort saved only for the rebound to fall kindly to Tydeman, the midfielder cooly tucking home to open scores.

In first-half stoppage time, Cherries would find another.

This time Stuttle made no mistake, latching onto Noa Boutin’s cross from the left and steering past Macauley to double Cherries’ advantage heading into the break.

Boutin went close shortly after the restart, but the hosts slowly grew into the ascendancy.

Two minutes before the hour mark Adu-Poku was played through on goal, allowing the striker to halve the deficit with a cool finish.

Watford quickly won the ball back from Cherries’ restart, Adu-Poku racing through again and levelling less than a minute after bagging his first.

Neither side could find a winner in the remaining 30 minutes, meaning they picked up a point apiece.

Cherries: Plain; Tonks, Kinsey, Harris, Boutin; Brown, Sadi, Tydeman, Gregory (Osborne, 88), Landa; Stuttle (Okoh, 70).

Unused subs: Holman, William, Crisp (g/k).