B Team Report: Saints stroll to victory at Snows


Southampton's B team made it two-from-two in Premier League 2 on Friday night, seeing off West Brom with a dominant 4-1 victory.

West Brom profited from a bright start to the game on 11 minutes as Akeel Higgins finished from close range.

Despite being second best for much of the half Dave Horseman’s side drew level just four minutes shy of the break, Dom Ballard flashing past the keeper after a dinked through ball from Jimmy-Jay Morgan.

The same two combined early into the second half to turn the game on its head, Ballard this time chipping the goalkeeper after being put through one-on-one.

A third followed seven minutes later, full-back Matt Carson heading home from close range at the back post.

The dominance didn’t stop there, substitute Ryan Finnigan adding a fourth via a deflection with one minute of normal time to play.

Saints made three changes to the side who won at Forest on opening day, the most notable being the inclusion of summer signing Mateusz Lis between the sticks.

Elsewhere in came Matt Carson and Morgan in place of Kayne Ramsay and Jake Vokins respectively.

West Brom started the game brightly and could’ve gone ahead on seven minutes. Tom Fellows looking to square the ball into the path of Mo Faal but mishitting his low pass.

But the Baggies soon got their reward for a positive start, Higgins finding space inside the box and flashing his shot past Lis on 11 minutes.

With the temperatures failing to drop Saints attempted to mount a fightback, in what was a stop-start first 45.

Diamond Edwards was at the heart of everything positive as far as Dave Horseman’s side were concerned.

After 35 minutes the forward used his quick feet and close control to skip past two men, before feeding Dom Ballard who forced Ronnie Hollingshead into a strong stop.

With the half drawing to a close West Brom looked to have the game under control, until a moment of magic from young Morgan.

The exciting youngster dinked a ball over the top of the Baggies defence into the path of the prolific Ballard, who slotted his chance under Hollingshead for the equaliser.

Saints could have turned the game on its head before the break, skipper Lewis Payne breaking down the right and flashing a chance across the face of goal which went narrowly wide.

Buoyed by their strong finish to the first, Saints started the second half with a bang.

The same two combined on 58 minutes to put the hosts ahead, a low through ball from Morgan this time finding Ballard, who chipped his effort over the keeper with confidence.

Horseman’s side continued their dominance as the hour mark came and went, adding a third on 64 minutes.

Edwards dinked a ball towards the far post, where full-back Carson was ready and waiting to head home from close range.

The quick-fire goals at the start of the second put Saints in cruise control at Snows Stadium, meaning Horseman could ring the changes.

Finnigan, Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo and Luke Pearce were amongst those who took to the field, looking to extend their side’s advantage as the heat, thankfully, died down.

They came closest after a superb team move on 87 minutes, starting from the full-back position and reaching the penalty area inside six seconds. Unfortunately, the final shot from Pearce was deflected wide.

It was on the cards and the fourth soon followed with a minute of normal time to play, Finnigan letting fly from the edge of the box and seeing his deflected effort beat a helpless Hollingshead.

There were chances for a fifth in additional time, Ballard understandably eager for that hat-trick.

But ultimately Saints gladly settled for a three-goal advantage, making it two wins from two in Premier League 2.

Next up is a trip to Stoke City on Friday 19th August at 7pm BST.