Southampton’s youngsters continue their bid for Under-18 Premier League South Champions as they travel to Reading on Saturday…
Reading vs Saints
Under-18s Premier League
Bearwood Park Training Ground
Saturday 30th April, 11am BST
The hosts currently sit tenth in the table, having fallen to a 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last time out.
Carl Martin’s side will be looking to make it four games unbeaten in the league as they continue to set their sights on league victory.
Claiming a vital three points over Leicester City last time out, Saints could be crowned Under-18 Premier League South Champions with victory over Reading if closest rivals West Ham United slip up at Brighton and Hove Albion.
With Saturday’s clash the first of a double header with Reading, Saints haven’t faced them since a dramatic ten-goal thriller in the 2020/21 season.
Reading found themselves with the advantage after just four minutes at Staplewood Campus last May, with Harvey Maunder finding the back of the net.
Goals from Ben Purcell and Jahmari Clarke then saw the visitors with a three-goal lead, with Kamari Doyle pulling one back just before the break.
A different tale was to be told in the second half, with Doyle adding a second before Dom Ballard made it 3-3 upon 68 minutes.
Saints then took the lead through a Louie Holzmann own goal, with Maunder then drawing Reading level again with less than ten minutes of the match remaining.
A resilient performance from Saints’ youngsters ensued, with Dom Ballard and a trialist adding two further goals before the final whistle to secure an impressive 6-4 victory.
“It has been a really positive week,” admitted Under-18s Individual Player Coach Mikey Harris. “It’s going to be a challenge across the weekend for the two games.
“Obviously the B team are playing as well and we’ve basically got one squad between us at the moment so we’ve got to manage across the two games, so that’s going to be quite challenging.
“Some players might be involved in both games which is again a great development experience for them.
"Hopefully if we can get a positive result it’s a very exciting situation to be going into the last two games.”