Southampton's B team suffered defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday afternoon during their return to Premier League 2.
Brighton took the lead on the 21st minute as Teddy Jenks netted for the sixth time this season after an even opening few minutes.
Their second came on the half hour mark, as Danny Cashman burst down the same right flank and found the same far corner.
Despite a much improved second half performance by Saints, Jenks managed to make it seven for season during the final ten minutes to seal all three points.
It was a youthful eleven which took to the field at the AMEX Performance Centre.
Making a habit of a starting place for the B team were Ethan Burnett and James Morris, who featured alongside each other in midfield.
Brighton’s line-up was far more familiar, the reliable midfield presence of Jenks being the standout name from the team sheet.
The opening ten minutes proved to be a tightly fought affair with limited goal mouth action; the nearby airport proving more activity with its regularly departing planes than the game itself.
Both sides enjoyed plenty of possession in midfield without any real cutting edge, until the hosts broke the deadlock in the 21st minute.
Forward Cashman turned inside the box, before finding Jenks who netted his sixth goal of the season into the bottom corner.
Following the goal Brighton controlled possession, looking to nullify any form of fightback from their visitors.
Soon they doubled their advantage, Cashman hitting a shot across Jack Bycroft into the far corner just past the half hour mark.
From then on in Saints enjoyed a bit more of the ball themselves but found it hard to break down the stubborn Brighton defence before the interval.
Sam Bellis broke into the hosts’ penalty area in first half stoppage time before being fairly challenged, but this gave Dave Horseman and his side hope for the 45 minutes that remained.
The second 45 started much like the first did, as both teams enjoyed a fair share of possession but forced little in terms of goalmouth action.
The likes of Jayden Smith and Kazeem Olaigbe combined well when Saints got forward, with Saints just missing the final ball as they searched for a foothold.
Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo used to pace to good effect too down the right flank, as the visitors started to dominate the early second half stages.
Ramello Mitchell was introduced on 55 minutes and instantly provided an outlet out on the right flank, which Saints used to good effect.
He was involved in a neat one-touch move with Ethan Burnett and then Smith, who was just beaten to the through ball by Brighton’s Jack Wakely.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes the visitors continued to dominate possession, as well as working hard to quash any Brighton threat going forward at its source.
But for all of the ball that Saints had Brighton’s Carl Rushworth remained relatively untested.
Olaigbe had a rare glimpse of goal in the 80th minute, forcing Rushworth into a low save to his left-hand side.
Eventually it was the hosts who scored the next goal, despite the pattern of play during the second half.
Michał Karbownik skipped past two Saints players inside the box, before cutting the ball back to Jenks who thundered home his second of the afternoon first time.
Saints had battled hard in the second 45 in particular, but were unable to test their hosts enough.
They will look to bounce back with a trip to Chelsea on Monday night.