Eddie Howe praises new signings

AFC BOURNEMOUTH recorded their second win of  pre-season at Fratton Park yesterday.

Lys Mousset and Benik Afobe were the Cherries’ match-winners, as manager Eddie Howe gave a run-out to summer signings Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Jermain Defoe.

‘It was a tough game,’ said Howe. ‘It always is coming here and that’s why we wanted the fixture.

‘I don’t think we are at full pelt yet but I don’t think we’d want to be.’

Howe was pleased with his newcomers. ‘Asmir was very good, he didn’t have a great deal to do with his hands but was good with his feet today,’ he said.

‘It was great to see Jermain in, albeit for a shorter period of time, and Nathan is Nathan; he slots in and looks like he’s never been away.’

The Cherries boss also had praise for goalscorer  Mousset. ‘He has all the attributes to be a really good performer for us,’ he predicted. ‘He’s got an eye for goal, he’s very strong, he’s very quick, technically he’s very good so he has all the ingredients.’

Bournemouth were quick to turn the screw, with four early corners in quick succession and the best chance falling to Tyrone Mings, who saw his close-range shot was saved by Luke McGee.

However, it wasn’t long before they made their dominance count with Mousset tucking away Benik Afobe’s cut back from ten yards out.

Moments later, Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth came looking for am equaliser, with Kyle Bennett shooting over the bar.

A neatflick from Afobe set up a one-two with Mousset after the break but the Congolese international saw his shot saved for a corner.

Portsmouth, with former Cherries man Brett Pitman at the heart of everything they did, were still looking to level matters.

The striker saw a shot saved well by Begovic, before playing in Pompey youngster Conor Chaplin, and the 20-year-old calmly set himself before finishing confidently.

But Bournemouth were soon back in front. Simon Francis did well down the right and cut the ball back to Ryan Fraser, before his mis-hit fell to Afobe who back-heeled the ball home from five yards out  for a deserved goal.

Pompey almost grabbed a late equaliser. Bennett found Chaplin, who was in space in the box, but the youngster’s shot fired back off the post and was cleared to safety.