U18 Report: Fulham 2-0 Saints

By SFC Media Sat 26 Aug Fulham v Saints

Two second-half strikes saw Southampton Under-18s suffer defeat away to Fulham.

The scores were level at the break at Motspur Park, despite the hosts being awarded a penalty, but strikes from Chris Kelly and a converted penalty from Nicolas Santos-Clase saw Fulham earn all three points.

Craig Fleming made just one change for the visit to Fulham, as Kayne Ramsay came in to partner Christoph Klarer in central defence in the absence of Oliver Gardner.

The hosts created the first real chance of the afternoon when Sonny Hilton wriggled free down the left and flashed a dangerous cross across goal, but Klarer was on hand to turn the ball behind.

This early opportunity appeared to galvanise Fulham who continued to create openings and enjoy the majority of possession – though Saints had a penalty appeal for a foul on Harlem Hale turned down.

Fulham then had a penalty of their own on 35 minutes when Oludare Olufunwa was penalised for a collision with Reece York on the left of the area.

Cameron Thompson stepped up to take the spot-kick, but fired his effort against the left foot of Alex Cull’s post before it then bounced to safety.

Minutes later the opposite post was struck. Tyrese Francois crossed from the left of the area for Kelly to head at goal, but Cull smothered the loose ball once it had struck the upright.

Just before the interval Saints fashioned a chance to take the lead. Jake Vokins burst free down the left and delivered low for Hale, but he had the ball stolen off his toe at the crucial moment.

Saints had the ball in the net soon after the restart. Will Smallbone recycled a long corner back into the area and Klarer poked home from close range, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

Despite an improved start to the second half from Saints, Fulham continued to create opportunities at the other end. Hilton twice rifled just wide and Kelly steered an effort on the hour-mark past Cull’s far post.

They then had their breakthrough with ten minutes remaining as Olufunwa was once again penalised inside the penalty area.

This time Santos-Clase stepped up for the hosts and he converted confidently past Cull to double Fulham’s lead and ensure the win.

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