Southampton's B team suffered a heavy defeat in their second Premier League Cup game on Thursday night, losing 6-0 to West Brom.
Saints got off to the worst possible start, Rico Richards giving the Baggies an early lead just two minutes into the game.
The hosts responded to going behind with a period of relative dominance, looking the more likely team to score as the half wore on.
But their task at getting anything from the game grew much greater three minutes into first-half additional time. Quevin Castro with an inch-perfect free-kick which nestled in the top corner to double West Brom’s lead.
The third goal came in the 48th minute as Jamie Andrews converted from the penalty spot.
Dave Horseman’s starting eleven included Ollie Wright in goal, who kept his place after coming on last week, and a return for Dare Olufunwa to the back line after a spell out with injury.
The notable players amongst the visiting line-up were the towering figure of Caleb Taylor in the heart of defence, who has featured amongst first team squads in recent weeks, and the lively Richards, who also caught the attention of the senior coaches.
It certainly didn’t take long for the latter to make his mark, storming into the Saints box and giving the visitors the lead after just two minutes.
In typical fashion Saints responded, Dominic Ballard on his second successive start producing a low cross into the penalty area which Kazeem Olaigbe was just beaten to amongst a penalty area scuffle.
Ballard then came inches away from connecting with Lewis Payne’s long ball forward, keeper Tedd Cann quick off of his line to come and collect.
In the 14th minute Ramello Mitchell thought he had scored after being played through by Caleb Watts and seeing his shot squeeze under Cann. Unfortunately the keeper got enough of a touch to allow a backtracking defender to clear off the line.
Since the early goal West Brom struggled to get any sort of look in; Saints’ quick one-touch passing and fast breaks proving a lot for the visitors to deal during the first half.
Watts continued to cause havoc all over the park, pressing the Baggies defenders into mistakes and driving his side forward at any given opportunity.
Next came another opening for Olaigbe, who carried the ball through the middle of the pitch before drilling his shot wide on 27 minutes.
The possession kept coming for Saints as the half wore on, Horseman’s side only missing that final ball at the vital moment.
West Brom’s second effort of the first half came in the 36th minute, a corner headed towards goal by captain Saul Shatton which Wright did well to hold onto.
Saints’ response was once again spearheaded by Ballard, who stormed down the right wing and produced another dangerous low cross which West Brom were able to reach first.
A quick Baggies counter then produced another chance for the visitors, Richards forcing Wright into a fine stop low to his left-hand side.
With the half becoming more of an even affair the half-time whistle was coming at just the right time for the hosts, who needed to regroup and go again after the break.
But that task would grow even greater just shy of the interval, an unbelievable free-kick courtesy of Castro which somehow found the top corner.
As was to be expected Saints came out for the second half with a point to prove. Olaigbe again the focal point after he burst through the middle of defence and forced Cann into a strong save.
Then came an opportunity for the visitors; Tom Fellows replicating the run Olaigbe made and Wright replicated the save made by Cann.
It was with West Brom’s next attack that the game really got away from the hosts; Owen Windsor bought down just inside the penalty area and Jamie Andrews scoring from the spot on 48 minutes.
Saints understandably struggled to get their game going again after those two quick-fire goals either side of the break, sitting back and having to deal with waves of Baggies pressure.
Payne was the one to thank for denying a fourth West Brom goal on 65 minutes, a superb sliding challenge taking substitute Reyes Cleary by surprise who was readying a shot.
Watts then profited from his strong closing down with possession inside the West Brom box but slipped at the vital moment before he could take his strike.
The Australian international managed to get a strike away minutes later; Mitchell played in down the left-hand side before squaring the ball to Olaigbe, who found Watts but his shot was well saved by Cann.
But the visitors added a fourth in the 72nd minute, substitute Faal beating the offside trap and firing past Wright as the Saints defenders waiting for the flag.
Things got worse for Saints as the clock ticked past the 80-minute mark, Windsor lashing one in across goal following a corner for five, before Faal broke down the left and added a sixth.
Luckily the scoring stopped there for Horseman and his side, who will be looking to the trip to Birmingham City on Monday in Premier League 2 as a way of bouncing back.