B Team Report: Burnley 2-1 Saints


Southampton's B team were stunned late on as Burnley came from behind to snatch all three points in Premier League 2.

After a bright start, the visitors took a deserved lead when Ramello Mitchell rounded off a flowing team move with 17 minutes on the clock.

The opener saw the Clarets press for an equaliser which came on 33 minutes courtesy of a neat Dara Costelloe finish, to tee up a finely balanced second half.

With chances hard to come by, both defences reigned supreme in the second half to seemingly force a share of the spoils, only for substitute Max Thompson to complete the comeback with 89 minutes on the clock.

Dave Horseman made four changes to the side that lost out to Wolves last time out, with Matt Hall coming in between the sticks and Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo taking Jack Turner’s spot on the right.

In midfield, Ethan Burnett lined up alongside Jack Turner and Kamari Doyle while the prolific Kazeem Olaigbe returned up front.

Looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat, Saints began in confident fashion and saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges.

Finding early joy down Thierry Small’s left flank, it was the wing-back’s lofted ball to the back post that picked out Olaigbe, but the Belgian’s volley was importantly blocked by Finlay Armstrong.

Having been on the back foot to begin with, the hosts responded on the 10-minute mark when Hall failed to gather a cross into the box, but the 18-year-old recovered to safely gather Dara Costeloe’s curling strike following a scramble in the box.

The chance did little to alter the momentum of the game, however, as the yellows were soon back on the offensive, in devastating fashion.

Manoeuvring Olaigbe into space 20 yards from goal, the attacker played a neat ball into the feet of Doyle who had sprung up on the right, with the youngster delivering a perfect ball across goal for Mitchell to easily guide home.

The opener triggered a response from the Clarets, who, having won their first game in four last time out, were keen to avoid a quick return to losing ways.

Enjoying some sustained pressure an equaliser was teased at when Richard Nartey had the ball in net, only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul in the build up.

Failing to heed the warning, parity was restored shortly after the half-hour mark with the help of some Premier League quality.

Matej Vydra - gaining fitness following injury before a return to the first team - played a perfect through ball for Costelloe to run onto, with the striker coolly rounding Hall before converting.

Now evenly poised, the game ebbed and flowed from end-to-end although chances remained at a premium, setting up an intriguing second half.

Making a telling contribution for the leveller, Vydra almost handed Burnley the perfect start after the break.

Picking up the ball midway into the Saints half, the Czech drove into the area and unleashed a well-hit strike as the angle began to narrow, forcing Hall into a strong one-handed save over the bar.

Showing his class, Vydra was growing in influence and had the game’s next chance as the hour-mark closed in.

Once again working a yard of space on the right-hand side of the box, his low drive was this time stopped by the legs of Hall, who once again had his angles perfected.

Despite having a stranglehold on possession, the yellows were unable to find a route to Sam Waller’s goal, but would have been relieved to see Vydra withdrawn on 63 minutes.

In a bid to create something, Saints introduced some fire power of their own in the form of Luke Pearce from the bench, but it was Mitchell who saw a rare sight of goal as the final 10 minutes approached.

The striker was looking to latch onto Doyle’s clever through ball, but with Waller advancing the striker couldn’t lift his effort over the home stopper.

Sensing a potential late winner, Thierry Small had a similar chance smothered by Waller, as the visitors looked the most likely to steal a late winner,

However, against the run of play, a misplaced Jack Turner pass saw Burnley turnover possession deep inside the Saints half, which allowed Thompson to turn and fire a devastating low strike into the bottom corner to grab all three points for the hosts.