Southampton’s B team extended their unbeaten streak to eight games in all competitions with a 4-1 victory over Newcastle United under the lights at Staplewood.
Lewis Payne opened the scoring early on with a delightful control and finish.
Despite having two goals ruled out for offside in the first half, Saints led at the break.
Quickfire second half strikes from Kamari Doyle and Jimmy-Jay Morgan, along with a late penalty from Dom Ballard, secured three points even with Michael Ndiweni’s consolation goal.
After a busy week off the field which saw loan moves for Nico Lawrence and Will Tizzard, along with the recall of Jake Vokins, Dave Horseman made five changes to his side which dispatched Derby County a week earlier.
Olly Lancashire returned in defence alongside Leon Pambou, who was making his first appearance of the season, whilst Cam Bragg and Luke Pearce were given starts after coming off the bench last week.
The visitors, who were winless in nine matches coming into the game, were almost the architects of their own downfall during the opening minutes.
A misplaced pass across goal rolled straight into Sam Bellis’s path, with the forward only denied a shooting chance by an excellent recovery tackle.
Saints thought they had an opener before the 10-minute mark through Kamari Doyle’s cushioned volley, but the forward was denied by the offside flag before he could wheel away in celebration.
Horseman’s energetic youngsters didn’t have to wait long for their first goal of the evening, however, as captain Lewis Payne produced a moment of magic in the 15th minute.
After a composed spell of possession Jack Turner sent a long ball over the Newcastle defence for Payne to race on to, which the full-back plucked out of the sky at pace before delicately lifting the ball over a sprawling Jude Smith and into the net.
Just after the half hour, Saints were again denied by the linesman as Jimmy-Jay Morgan’s lobbed effort from the edge of the area was their second goal to be chalked off.
Newcastle had their first shot moments later, but Amadou Diallo’s low drive from distance was fairly routine for Matt Hall to stop.
The early opener remained the difference at half time - a blocked effort from Pearce the only other chance of note - as Saints entered the break on top.
It was a completely different story as the second half began, as the visitors came out firing in search of an equaliser.
A dangerous free-kick from Jamie Miley was met by a diving punch away by Hall, before the Newcastle midfielder tried his luck again a minute later with a shot that whistled over the crossbar via a deflection.
Saints needed another goal to ease the pressure and almost found one on the breakaway when Pearce’s through ball was misjudged by Smith, but Thierry Small was denied a tap-in by a last-ditch defensive block.
As the hour mark passed, Horseman’s side burst back into life with two quickfire goals that gave themselves much-needed breathing space.
Turner launched another long ball forward for Doyle to chase as he steadied himself to beat a defender in the area and slot the ball underneath the goalkeeper to double the lead.
Barely two minutes later, Saints had a third; Morgan was next to be played in behind the Magpies’ defence as he calmly passed the ball in from a tight angle after his initial shot was saved.
There was almost another goal within two minutes of the third, but Doyle could only hit the goalkeeper with his next attempt.
The visitors rallied once more as substitute Ndiweni caught out Hall in possession, but Payne recovered with a goal-saving tackle.
Niall Brookwell and Joshua Scott then tried their luck, with efforts cleared off the line and hitting the crossbar respectively, before Doyle hit the woodwork himself up the other end.
The result was put beyond any doubt in the final ten minutes when substitute Ballard converted his eighth PL2 goal of the season from the spot, after 15-year-old sub Jay Robinson was fouled in the area.
The visitors had the final highlight as Ndiweni slotted home a consolation goal with five minutes remaining, but Saints’ second-half salvo had caused enough damage to earn another vital win in the race for top spot in the league.