Saints U18s 2-0 Stoke U18s: Report

By SFC Media time Sat 24 Nov Club

Saints youngsters saw off their Stoke counterparts with victory at Staplewood.

Second half goals from Omar Rowe and George Mells were enough to  secure the win, as Jason Dodd’s side remain unbeaten at home.

Saints have now won Group Two of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.

Saints: Britt; Flannigan, McCarthy, Colmer (c), Nehemie; Ariybi (Sims 70), Reed (Mells 80), Higgins; Hesketh (Kayembe 70), Seager, Rowe. Unused Subs: Clinton, White.

Stoke: Eve; Cook, Taylor, Monlouis, Hulme, Sanders, Scott (c), Hopkinson, Pilkington, Makrillos, Nardiello.

In persistent rain on Saturday morning, Saints faced the only side to have beaten them so far this season.

In a game of few chances, goalkeeper Will Britt was called into action early on, reacting brilliantly to deny Kristian Scott.

Saints shot-stopper then palmed away Jack  Nardiello’s free kick as the visitors pressed for the opener.

Jason McCarthy had Saints’ best chance of the half, but he couldn’t quite connect with Omar Rowe’s free kick.

Half Time: Saints U18s 0-0 Stoke U18s

It was a forgettable first half, but Saints got the all-important first goal shortly after the hour mark.

Charlie Higgins through-ball picked out OMAR ROWE, who converted from a narrow angle to beat the Stoke ‘keeper at his near post.

Gboly Ariyibi had an excellent chance to double the advantage, but his low right-footed effort was kept out.

Next it was Ryan Seager who shot agonisingly wide as Saints searched for the second.

With the score at 1-0, there was always a danger that Stoke could turn the game around, but Jake Cook’s long distance strike was the best they could muster.

Instead it was substitute George Mells who ensured all three points stayed on the south coast.

Seager laid the ball off to the debutant MELLS, who drilled a right footed strike in via the upright to seal the victory.

Full Time: Saints U18s 2-0 Stoke U18s

Jason Dodd was delighted to see his side come through the game with three points and their first clean sheet of the season.

“It was tough – really windy and a lot of rain – but the lads applied themselves fantastically.

“You know what you’re getting when you play Stoke. It was a test for [us] today, [Stoke are a] big physical side.

“Omar Rowe picked the ball up and it’s a fantastic finish, and then I was really pleased for Mellsy [George Mells]. He’s been performing for the Under-16, he’s been desperate to get around us, and he put his finish away fantastically”.

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