U18 Report: Saints 1-2 Chelsea

2023-24/U18s/Matchdays/20240507 Southampton vs Chelsea/D4S_1342_wzpz7n

Southampton Under-18s fell to a narrow defeat against league leaders Chelsea in the Under-18 Premier League on Tuesday.

Chelsea led at half time thanks to Ato Ampah’s first half goal, but Aston Daley equalised for Saints early in the second half.

Saints dominated for large spells of the game and saw some good chances wasted, before Chelsea took advantage when Frankie Runham netted a late winner.

It was another strong line-up at Staplewood, as Saints again fielded Under-21s regulars Tyler Dibling, Sam Amo-Ameyaw, and Jayden Meghoma.

Jayden Meghoma captained the side again. (Photos: Craig Hobbs)

The first shot on target of the contest came courtesy of Daley, who diverted Will Merry’s cross straight at Chelsea goalkeeper Jack Austin.

Shortly after, Saints striker Nick Oyekunle stole possession high up the pitch and strode towards goal but failed to really test Austin.

The high-tempo start and pressure from the hosts continued as two efforts from Amo-Ameyaw and another from Daley went close.

However, it was league leaders Chelsea who opened the scoring against the run of play, when Ampah swept home a cross in the 20th minute.

More opportunities for Saints came and went, including an opening for Daley after being played through by Dibling’s excellent pass.

Dibling himself had seen a placed shot from the edge of the area and a free kick narrowly off target.

Saints began the second half in lively fashion again, but it was Chelsea who went closest to finding the net when Tyrique George flashed a free kick wide.

But Saints soon had their goal, and it was well worked down the right side as Amo-Ameyaw slid a pass through for Daley to finish via the far post.

Aston Daley celebrates his equaliser.

Chelsea and almost retook the lead when Olutayo Subuloye headed straight at Saints' Trialist goalkeeper, who was on hand again to deny Donnell McNeilly excellently from range soon after.

Saints didn't deserve to be behind in the game again, but that was the case late on when Chelsea substitute Runham curled a shot through a crowd of bodies from just inside the penalty area.

The hosts at Staplewood were also reduced to 10 men in stoppage time, when Meghoma was sent off for two bookable offences.

Saints are in action again on Saturday 11th May when they host West Bromwich Albion in their final fixture of the Under-18 Premier League season.

Saints: Trialist, Williams, Boot (Moore 45), Dobson-Ventura, Meghoma (c), Sesay (Trialist C 82), Amo-Ameyaw (Pitts 66), Dibling, Oyekunle (Ehibhatiomhan 66), Daley, Merry.

Subs not used: Upstell.

Goals: Daley 55.

Yellow Cards: Moore, Meghoma.

Red Cards: Meghoma 90+3.

Chelsea: Austin, Acheampong, Subuloye, Murray-Campbell, Samuels-Smith, Harrison, Ampah (Runham 68), Russell-Denny (c), McNeilly (Mhueka 71), George, Ngumoha (McMahon 68).

Subs not used: Akomeah, Bernal.

Goals: Ampah 20, Runham 81.

Yellow Cards: George, Harrison.