Southampton's youngsters fell to a 7-1 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion in the Under-18s Premier League on Tuesday afternoon.
Saints started the game quickly and seemed to catch Brighton sleeping when Diamond Edwards opened the scoring by finishing an incisive attack inside a minute.
However, the hosts soon replied and struck back with two quick goals of their own from striker Zak Emmerson and defender Ed Turns to take the lead.
Despite the setback, Saints fought their way back into the game and enjoyed a strong spell of possession midway through the first-half - limiting Brighton to rare counter-attacks as they looked to draw level.
The equaliser did not materialise though and Seagulls winger Andy Moran showed strong determination to win the ball back on the edge of the Saints box and fire low into the bottom corner for 3-1.
Two further chances came Saints’ way just before half-time. Goran Babic’s clever pass put Ramello Mitchell through on goal, and he saw his shot handled well outside the area by Brighton goalkeeper Roco Rees.
Rees was awarded a yellow card for the incident but was not forced into further action as Babic curled the resulting free-kick over the bar.
Into the second-half, Saints goalkeeper Matt Hall was called into early action to stop Todd Miller’s low effort sneaking inside the near post, and then he tipped Zak Emmerson’s volley over the bar to keep his side in the contest.
Hall’s teammates looked to take advantage of this up the other end of the pitch and forced successive corners – the second of which saw Luke Pearce flick a header just wide of the far post once play had been recycled.
A late flurry of Brighton goals would ultimately mean a heavy defeat for the visitors though.
Andy Moran claimed his second with an excellent free-kick and Zak Emmerson also recorded his brace when he turned home from inside the six-yard box.
Substitute Marcus Ifill left Matt Hall with no chance when he curled in from range and a late penalty from Samy Chouchane made it seven.
Saints are next in action when they travel to face Leicester City away from home this coming Saturday 20th February, with kick-off at 1pm.