Southampton FC's Under-18s were beaten 4-1 by Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday 29th April, in their penultimate game of the season.
A brace from Dubem Eze and single strikes from Ken Aboh and Elliott Myles made it a profitable day’s work the Canaries in their home stadium.
Saints striker Princewill Ehibhatiomhan found the net to score his first goal for the club with a nicely taken finish in the second-half that ensured the visitors registered on the scoreline.
Home goalkeeper Caleb Ansen was forced into the first action of the game when he turned a drifting cross from Saints captain Sonnie Davis over the bar.
At the other end, Norwich looked to test Ansen’s opposite number Josh Jeffries; Eze found some space to drive a low shot at goal but his effort was easily held.
Saints then saw a good chance come and go without reward as Davis met a cutback to a good position in the box but sliced his left-footed shot wide.
Norwich were also confident going forward in the early stages; Finlay Welch had an effort deflected wide after cutting in from the left before Eze failed to keep his lofted shot down with Jeffries stranded out of his goal.
It was proving to be an open first-half as both sides continued to trade opportunities to break the deadlock.
Norwich forward Eze went close twice more, working space for himself outside the penalty area on both occasions and sending two powerful strikes narrowly wide.
Isaac Bailey then had Saints’ best opening of the first period when he screwed wide of the far post from a central position.
On balance, it was home side’s half based on quality of chances though as Welch curled a shot against the far post after cutting in on his right foot again before Jeffries was forced into an excellent save to tip over Alfie Pinyoun’s fizzing half-volley.
The Canaries eventually found their opener in the 42nd minute, Aboh was played through into the left side of the Saints box and his precise finish across goal found the bottom corner.
Into the second-half, Saints searched for an equaliser early on and Will Merry forced Caleb Ansen to turn wide with a fierce strike at the near post.
However, Norwich doubled their lead on 52 minutes with their first attack of the half when Eze collected the ball outside the area and found the net with a low, skidding shot.
It was soon 3-0 as some excellent combination play on the edge of the Saints area saw Myles skip through on goal and poked home well one-on-one.
Saints did find a goal of their own with 25 minutes remaining though, as patient build-up ended with a weighted pass through the defence by Tommy Dobson-Ventura that Ehibhatiomhan calmly finished after timing his run to perfection.
A good spell for Saints was ended by Norwich netting their fourth of the contest as influential wide man Eze weaved his way into a shooting position from range and clipped a perfect strike into the corner make it 4-1.
Saints play their final league game of the 2022/23 season when they host Arsenal at Staplewood on Friday 5th May, with kick-off at 12pm.
Norwich City: Caleb Ansen, Alfie Pinyoun, Tyler Williams (Jaiden Owen 46), Charlie Wilson, Alfie Doy [c], Uriah Djedje, Finley Welch (Harrison Thompson 63), Elliott Myles, Michael Reindorf (Alex Roberts 63), Ken Aboh, Dubem Eze.
Unused subs: Leon Giller, Pedro Amadou.
Goals: Aboh, Eze (2), Myles.
Southampton: Josh Jeffries, Sonnie Davis [c] (Alfie Prescott 77), Ethan Hartness, Tommy Dobson-Ventura, Tyler Edmonson, Joe Andrews, Will Merry, Jay Robinson (Ryan Chavez Munoz 63), Princewill Ehibhatiomhan (Tommy Lee-Higgs 77), Tyler Dibling, Isaac Bailey (Reggie Evans 53).
Unused subs: Adli Mohamed.