B Team Report: Saints play out entertaining draw


Southampton's B team responded to going behind early on to lead at Bodymoor Heath training ground, but couldn't hold on for three points on Friday afternoon.

Kahrel Reddin gave the hosts an early lead inside two minutes, firing into the roof of the net from the back post.

Saints’ response was a good one, enjoying the lion’s share of possession and chances before grabbing a deserved equaliser on 28 minutes through Kazeem Olaigbe.

The game was flipped on its head on 33 minutes, Lewis Payne with his nomination for goal of the month from range finding the top, left corner.

Saints could’ve been ahead from kick-off; Jayden Smith played through one-on-one inside two minutes and forcing a strong save from Viljami Sinisalo.

But it was Villa who took an early lead at their training ground, Reddin firing into the roof of the net at the back post inside two minutes.

The Saints response was positive. A brief spell of possession resulting in a shot from range from the more advanced Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo, who just dragged his effort wide.

Smith was involved in the action again soon after, played through with a slightly tighter angle to his first chance but working Sinisalo again on 15 minutes.

They went even closer five minutes later, Will Tizzard rising highest from a corner and rattling the crossbar as the search for a leveller intensified.

A deserved equaliser came just shy of the half hour mark; Luke Pearce coming out of a 50/50 the better before the ball fell to Olaigbe, who took a touch before confidently slotting into the bottom corner.

Things got even better for Saints just six minutes later, Payne finding space on the right side of the box before firing an effort into the top corner.

Olaigbe looked to make it three in the final five minutes of the half as Saints finished with a flurry, drilling his low shot just wide of the left post.

Into the second half and Saints continued their grip on the game. Villa struggling to deal with the likes of Payne and Olaigbe whose pace continued to cause problems.

It was the latter who conducted a double chance on the hour. Pearce fed through by Olaigbe and forcing a save, before Smith’s rebound was touched behind.

The young Belgian was certainly enjoying his afternoon in the Midlands, rattling a free kick from the edge of the box against the post on 64 minutes.

Although relatively untested for the majority of the game, Ollie Wright was called into action soon after to tip away Reddin’s back-post header.

Saints’ hosts went even closer on 72 minutes, skipper Young clipping the far post with a cross-goal shot.

Their best spell of the game then saw an equaliser on 74 minutes, Young involved again this time to tap the ball in from close range after Wright’s initial save.

The final ten minutes saw both sides search for the winner, Saints going closest two minutes from time. Payne seeing his close-range effort tipped wide after neat inter-play involving Pearce and Olaigbe.

Villa's faithful thought they had won it in stoppage time with Reddin clean through, only for Wright to make a strong double save.

Ultimately both sides had to settle for a point on what was an entertaining afternoon at Bodymoor Heath.

Saints are next in action on Sunday 20th March, hosting Reading in Premier League 2 at Snows Stadium.