Hampshire Senior Cup matches have rarely made the headlines for AFC Bournemouth. The competition is regularly used for the Cherries to field a youth side in, to fulfil obligations of playing in the Hampshire FA’s primary non-league competition.
But on Tuesday night, the lights were on at Dean Court with several hundred their to watch the match with Southern League Division One South Basingstoke Town.
The reason was the return from injury for two players of the AFC Bournemouth first team.
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) September 17, 2019
Lloyd Kelly made the move to Dean Court as the Cherries first summer signing of 2019. The 20-year-old cost a reported £13million from Championship side Bristol City.
Unfortunately, before the season began however he picked up an injury in training and is yet to make an appearance.
He can play at either left-back or in central defence, so his return could prove timely with Charlie Daniels out for the season.
The other player returning was AFC Bournemouth captain Simon Francis, nine months after he injured his knee in a Premier League game with Tottenham Hotspur.
— Harry Arter (@HarryArter2) September 17, 2019
With Francis capable of fulfilling two roles either at right full-back or centre back, AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe’s defensive options with Adam Smith still sidelined have also improved.
AFC Bournemouth went on to win the game 8-0.
Full time here at the Vitality Stadium as the Cherries beat Basingstoke Town 8-0.
A convincing victory for the under 21's headlined by a hat-trick for Gavin Kilkenny and the return of Simon Francis and Lloyd Kelly from injury!
— AFC Bournemouth U21s and Academy (@AFCB_Academy) September 17, 2019
Kelly told the Daily Echo…
“…Everything went smooth. It (the ankle) felt good, I wasn’t really thinking about it which was a positive, so everything went well…”
“…(the injury) happened at a bad time really, a week before the season started. I felt like I was having a good pre-season, but luckily enough I came back ahead of schedule.
“I managed to get back a lot quicker than we first expected, but I think mentally it is a bit of a tough period to get through, especially when most of the time you’re working one-to-one with the physios and everyone else is out on the pitches training.
“But I’m happy to get through the other side now.”
It was looking pretty bleak on the injury front a few weeks ago but to have Lewis Cook, Lloyd Kelly, Simon Francis and Danjuma either playing or close is great.
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