Southampton Under-18s confirmed their second straight win in the Premier League Cup with a 1-0 victory at Derby County on Saturday.
Saints controlled a tight affair with their work-rate from the early stages, and Nick Oyekunle’s goal in the 44th minute proved the difference between the two teams.
Both sides were positive from the off. Harrison Miles had Saints’ first effort on goal when his powerful strike flew well over from range and Derby responded as striker Lennon Wheeldon twice went close to breaking the deadlock.
Mikey Harris’s visitors were moving the ball quickly as they attacked. Alex Iwumene placed a shot over from a promising position, before Will Merry hit the crossbar in the next attack.
The home side responded again, though, and twice the hit post themselves before Saints goalkeeper Adli Mohamed was forced into a superb save to deny opposing striker Wheeldon from close-range after Derby had won the ball back in the box.
Mohamed looked to be in inspired form between the sticks, and he was on hand to deny the hosts again just after the half-hour mark. A low ball was flicked goalwards at the front post and the Saints man reacted again to stop the ball flying in at the near post.
Having seen off a strong spell from their opponents, Saints took full advantage of a goalkeeping mistake at the other end.
A high ball was not gathered cleanly by Derby’s Josh Shattell and this presented an opportunity to Nick Oyekunle, who was on hand to side-foot home from inside the box on the verge of half-time.
Into the second-half, it was Derby who had the first shot in anger. Jack Perry advanced to the edge of the area and struck an effort that drifted narrowly wide of the far post.
As the half went on, both sides knew a goal would be a crucial one. Both numbers nines – Wheeldon for Derby and Merry for Saints – saw chances come and go.
Saints battled and pressed well for the majority of the game and managed to control the tempo of proceedings through their consistent winning of possession in midfield.
They continued to work hard until the final whistle and saw out their win well, to take their points tally in the Premier League Cup to six following their win over Chelsea earlier in this competition.
Saints are in action again on Saturday 22nd October when they host Norwich City at Staplewood in the Under-18 Premier League.