U18 Report: Saints 0-3 Crystal Palace

2023-24/U18s/Matchdays/20240413 Southampton vs Crystal Palace/20240413_Southampton_CrystalPalace_013_joisj5

Southampton Under-18s fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace in the Under-18s Premier League on Saturday.

Three first half goals from Palace saw them claim the three points, with Joseph Gibbard netting a brace and Ben Casey also finding the net.

Saints enjoyed some good spells of pressure but were unable to break down a stubborn visiting defence.

It was Palace that made a fast start to the game and duly took the lead on three minutes, when Gibbard drilled a shot into the corner after a loose ball fell to him on the edge of the area.

Saints had their first effort on goal after their first threatening spell, Josh Pitts cut in from the right wing and looked to bend a shot with with his left foot, but the ball flew wide of the far post.

Josh Pitts had Saints' first effort. (Photos: Isabelle Field)

However, Palace stretched their advantage to 2-0 with 22 minutes on the clock when striker Casey turned well in the box and fired low past Dylan Moody in the Saints goal.

Leading up to half time, chances for Pitts and Princewill Ehibhatiomhan came and went for Saints before Palace’s Asher Agbinone missed a golden opportunity for 3-0.

Unfortunately for Saints, the visitors did add a third in the 39th minute when Gibbard netted his second of the contest.

Early in the second half, Saints twice went close to scoring from two very similar moves as Barnaby Williams and Nick Oyekunle flashed shots across the face of goal and wide.

The hosts were enjoying a healthy spell of possession but were struggling to find a real opening once they reached the final ball or finish.

Palace were dangerous on the counter and Gibbard almost had his hat-trick when his deflected effort from range hit the post.

Into the final 10 minutes, more good play from Saints saw two substitutes combine well, as Korban McMullan’s deep cross was headed wide by Sufianu Sillah Dibaga at the far post.

The home side’s final opportunity of the game saw a superb pass from Jayden Moore find the run of James Martin, who couldn’t turn home first time.

Saints are in action again on Saturday 20th April when they travel to face Reading in the Under-18s Premier League, with kick-off set for 11am.

Saints: Moody, Okonola-Matthews (Martin 52), Moore, Dobson-Ventura (c), Sesay (Fry 52), Daley, Pitts, Rohart-Brown, Oyekunle (Sillah Dibaga 60), Williams, Ehibhatiomhan (McMullan 60).

Subs not used: Upstell.

Yellow Cards: Rohart-Brown, Fry.

Crystal Palace: Eastwood, Marjoram, Cowin, King, Grante, Browne, Dashi (Redhead 81), Gibbard (c), Casey (Lusale 81), Williams, Adams-Collman (72), Agbinone (Whyte 86).

Subs not used: Hill.

Goals: Gibbard 3, 39, Casey 20.

Yellow Cards: Adams-Collman, Gibbard.