U18 Preview: Brighton vs Saints


Southampton’s youngster travel to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Under-18 Premier League.

Brighton vs Saints

Under-18 Premier League

The Amex Elite Football Performance Centre

Saturday 22 January, 11am GMT

It’s been a rocky season for Brighton so far, currently sitting ninth in the Under 18 Premier League table.

They’ve seen a resurgence in recent weeks, though, as the hosts claimed an impressive 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the week, after claiming a vital point on the road at Chelsea last weekend.

Saints’ youngsters will feel disappointed after their narrow defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

Tommy Lee-Higgs netted from the penalty spot after just two minutes of play at Staplewood before Thomas Bloxham equalised for Spurs before the break.

Saints were then forced to play 25 minutes of the match with just ten men as Matt Carson was shown a red card, with Charlie Sayers scoring a late goal to give the visitors the win.

Carl Martin’s side will be looking to bounce back with three points on the road.

It was a tight contest when the two sides met in the reverse fixture at Staplewood back in October, despite Saints having a three goal advantage at the break.

Luke Pearce fired the hosts ahead after just 16 minutes of play, with Rylee Wright netting just three minutes later to double their lead.

Shortly before the break, Pearce got his second of the afternoon and Saints’ third but the second-half told a different tale.

Zak Emmerson pulled one back for the visitors at 64 minutes before Samy Olivier Chouchane scored their second from the penalty spot at 72 minutes.

The drama didn’t stop there as Cameron Bragg received a red card five minutes before time was up but Saints managed to hold on to claim all three points.


“We’re looking forward to the game,” confirmed Under 18 Individual Coach Mikey Harris. “I think last week was a really challenging game.

“There were some really good learning experiences for the boys having to play half of the second half with ten men and succumbing to a goal.

“In terms of tomorrow, it’s going to be a really tough game. Brighton will be full of confidence having just beaten Man City in the FA Youth Cup in the week.

“The boys have responded really well in training this week and again we had lads involved in the B team on Monday night and performing to a really high level.

“Despite the result it’s been a really positive week and hopefully the boys will put in a good performance tomorrow.

“I think it’s going to be a balancing act; we’ll definitely have some schoolboys involved in our game again which is really positive.

“Part of the academy philosophy is to stretch the players and play them up and give them those expriences.

“Every time there’s someone that steps up, whether that’s out lads from the 18s in to the B team or 16s into the 18s it has a knock on effect and gives more players more opportunities.”