U18 Report: Saints 3-1 West Brom

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Southampton Under-18s claimed a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in their final league fixture of the season.

West Brom took the lead through Dan Chimeziri, and Saints equalised shortly before half time through Brandon Charles.

Saints’ sixth and final win of the campaign was secured by a late penalty, which was confidently dispatched by Nick Oyekunle, before Alejandro Gomes Rodriguez also found the net deep in added time at the end of the game.

Alejandro Gomes Rodriguez in action. (Photo: Craig Hobbs)

The first shot of the contest came courtesy of West Brom’s Divine Onyemachi, who saw his effort deflected over the crossbar.

The visitors then took the lead when a low ball across the six yard line was turned home by Chimeziri.

Saints looked to respond to the early setback and Gomes Rodriguez, operating off the left flank, almost found an equaliser when he drove past his marker and slid a shot narrowly wide of the far post.

There was another good opportunity after a flowing move saw Trialist A set the ball back to Charles, who had a shot blocked with the ball on course to find the net.

The Trialist goalkeeper for Saints made a good save to deny West Brom from stretching their lead, getting down well to parry away a firm free kick from Cole Deeming.

However, Saints did find their equaliser before half time as Charles drove towards the left side of the box and fired across goal to find the bottom corner.

Early in the second half, after some patient play, James Martin’s dummy gave Trialist C – a half time substitute – a free shot at goal, but he curled his effort over the crossbar.

Calum McFarlane’s side were piling on the pressure and Tommy Dobson-Ventura headed a Moses Sesay corner over the bar, before Trialist C was denied by an excellent save.

The game opened up further late on and both sides had opportunities on the counter, with both Chimeziri and Josh Pitts denied at either end by superb last-ditch blocks from Barnaby Williams and Alfie Maughan.

Late drama followed though, as Saints were awarded a penalty that was hotly disputed by West Brom’s players; Oyekunle stepped up to convert and secure three points for his side on the final day of the campaign.

Oyekunle celebrates his late penalty.

In stoppage time, Gomes Rodrigeuz added his name to the scoresheet for some further gloss to the scoreline with a driving run and cute finish late on.

Saints end their season in the Under-18s Premier League six wins, securing a 10th-placed finish.

Saints: Trialist (GK), Trialist A, Boot (c) (Sheaf 45), Dobson-Ventura, Sesay, Williams, Oyekunle, Martin (Pitts 62), Trialist B (Trialist C 45), Charles (Daley 45), Gomes Rodriguez.

Subs not used: Upstell.

Goals: Charles 41, Oyekunle 87 (pen), Gomes Rodriguez 90+7.

Yellow Cards: Martin, Williams.

West Brom: Brady, Maughan, Sears (Mandey 63), Mfuambe, Dupont, Humphries (c), Kirton (Walker 45), Deeming, Chimeziri, Beedie (Parmar 62), Onyemachi.

Subs not used: Wilkes, Abudu.

Goals: Chimeziri 17.