U18 Report: Saints storm into FA Youth Cup fifth round


Southampton Under-18s marched into the FA Youth Cup fifth round with a dominant win at Villa Park over league rivals Aston Villa.

The young Saints led at the break at Villa Park thanks to Jimmy-Jay Morgan's opener just before the half hour.

Tyler Dibling scored a second half brace before Morgan added another goal to his tally in a rampant second half.

Saints fielded a strong side once again in their second trip to the Midlands for this season's FA Youth Cup, as B team regulars Morgan, Dom Ballard, and Kamari Doyle led the line alongside Dibling in a potent attack.

Nathanael Boot returned from a recent injury to partner Will Armitage in defence, whilst Sonnie Davis skippered the side from right-back with Jayden Meghoma occupying the left side of the back line.

Saints started the game confidently. Some dangerous moves were pieced together in the opening five minutes, with Kamari Doyle and Tyler Dibling taking up some good positions between the lines.

At the other end, Villa had the game’s first effort on goal when a whipped cross from the left found the head of home captain Josh Feeney, but a good challenge stopped him from getting a clean connection as Adli Mohamed claimed the ball easily.

It was a tight opening period as both sides tussled for control of the game. However, it was the visitors who managed to claim the lead in the 28th minutes after a good attacking spell.

Morgan had seen a shot well saved and cleared by Villa seconds earlier before, from the resulting corner, he took advantage of a spill by goalkeeper James Wright to stab the ball home from close-range.

The in-form youngster wheeled away in delight in front of the famous Holte End, with his clever finish making it 16 goals in 18 games across all age groups this season.

Saints were looking a real threat and Morgan’s strike partner Ballard forced an excellent save from home man Wright when he was slid in on goal shortly after the opener.

Villa seemed determined to get back to level terms quickly though; a dangerous corner led to the hosts winning multiple headers in the penalty area, with Kyrie Pierre only able to loop his attempt over the crossbar.

Towards half-time, both teams knew the importance of the next goal.

Morgan finished a lively first period by turning and striking a rising effort over the bar, and Villa tested Adli Mohamed in the Saints goal with two efforts from long-range.

It was the visitors who were looking by far the most likely to find the net though.

Clever movement from Ballard saw him create space to fire low towards the near post, but his strike was beaten away as the lead remained at one goal at the break.

Soon after the restart it was 2-0, as Saints began to turn on the style in the second half.

Morgan found space on the right and fired a cross into the near post area, where Dibling’s run allowed him to turn home a first time finish expertly in the 51st minute.

Villa attempted to respond immediately when Pierre found some promising space to drive into outside the Saints box, but his subsequent shot flew well wide.

With the home side struggling to break the visitors down, two soon became three as Saints broke away to devastating effect.

In truth, it was all Dibling’s work as he doubled his tally for the afternoon, receiving the ball inside his own half before picking up speed, pushing towards the edge of the Villa area and firing a firm, low strike into the bottom corner.

The visitors’ attacking sharpness was emphasised again in the 69th minute when they further extended their lead.

Doyle and Ballard did well to win possession in the Villa half, and the latter slid Morgan through on goal for another calm finish to put the game beyond all doubt.

After assisting for Morgan, Ballard was then inches from adding his own name to the scoresheet after pushing the ball onto his left foot in the area and seeing his shot cannon back off the near post.

Despite being second best for much of the game, Villa managed to get themselves a goal late on when Omari Kellyman produced a smart finish across goal with the help of the upright.

Saints will host the winners of Sunderland and Fulham in the fifth round of the competition, with full fixture details to be confirmed.

The youngsters are next in action on Saturday 21st January when they host West Bromwich Albion in the Under-18s Premier League, with kick-off at 12pm.