Southampton Under-18s failed to get the reward their performance deserved, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat away to their Manchester United counterparts in their penultimate game of the season.
Craig Fleming’s team controlled much of the proceedings at the J. Davidson Stadium, but were unable to convert their pressure into goals, with Indy Boonen’s strike shortly after half-time separating the sides.
The game was played out amid fluctuating conditions, with sunshine, rain and hail all evident at different times.
Saints were the dominant side in the first half and they went close in the early stages when Tyreke Johnson fired just wide from a Harley Willard cutback.
There was a warning shot at the other end, too, as Tosin Kehinde fired narrowly wide from 20 yards after some intricate work from United outside the visitors’ area.
Olufela Olomola went so close for Saints when his shot struck the post, and Fleming's side were denied by the woodwork in the 29th minute as well.
Ben Rowthorn played a clever one-two with Dan N’Lundulu to get free in the box and, although Ilias Moutha-Sebatoui saved his shot across goal, the rebound fell to Harley Willard, only for his effort to come back off the bar.
United’s Tyler Reid then fired into the side netting shortly before half-time from a good position, but the hosts did convert five minutes after the break, as Angel Gomes slipped a pass into Boonen in space inside the area, and he finished with his left foot.
Harry Lewis had to make two good stops from DJ Buffonge later in the half, and although Saints pressed late on for an equaliser, they couldn’t force one.
It means that, after a four-match unbeaten streak, Saints have lost their last three matches 1-0, following defeats at Stoke and at home to Derby County.
Fleming’s side will finish their season next Saturday, away to Newcastle United.
Manchester United Under-18s: Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui, Tyler Reid, Matt Olosunde, Thomas Sang (Aidan Barlow 64’), Tyrell Warren, Charlie Scott, Indy Boonen, Tosin Kehinde, Tanner, Angel Gomes, DJ Buffonge (Faustin Makela 77'). Unused substitutes:: Jimmy Dunne, George Dorrington, Luca Ercolani.
Goal: Boonen (50).
Southampton Under-18s: Harry Lewis; Richard Bakary (Connor Langan 68), Thomas O’Connor, Ollie Cook, Jake Vokins; Harry Hamblin, Ben Rowthorn; Harley Willard (Siph Mdlalose 74), Dan N’Lundulu (Archie Thomas 88), Tyreke Johnson; Olufela Olomola. Unused substitutes: Neal Osborn, Ben Cull.
Booked: Johnson, Olomola.