Southampton Under-23s recorded a resounding 6-2 victory over their Newcastle United counterparts at St Mary’s in Premier League 2, with a scintillating display.
Marcus Barnes struck after just eight minutes to give Saints an advantage, before Jonathan Afolabi doubled the lead shortly before the 20-minute mark and Sam McQueen made it a hat-trick of first-half goals.
Tyreke Johnson's effort made sure of all three points, and they were not done there as James Ward-Prowse sent a beautiful free-kick crashing beyond Freddie Woodman to make it 6-2, after goals from Tom Heardman and Jamie Sterry for the visitors had threatened a fight back.
Radhi Jaïdi’s side included young first-team players such as Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens, Ward-Prowse, McQueen and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg as well as Alex McCarthy in goal.
And Saints set the tempo from the off, as Afolabi’s burst beyond Kyle Cameron saw him tee up Stephens with a cut back, only for the defender’s effort to be blocked behind early on.
From the resulting corner, Stephens turned provider when he kept a corner alive, with Barnes tapping home from point-blank range.
The pressure showed little sign of relenting, and it was another corner which helped give Saints valuable breathing space. Stephens was involved again at the back post, with Afolabi showing killer instinct to finish inside the box.
Jaïdi’s young charges almost had a third goal on 32 minutes, when clever work from Højbjerg set Barnes away, only for Woodman to get a vital touch on his rising shot.
Their reward came minutes later though, when Yan Valery’s right-wing cross found its way through to McQueen at the far post and he headed home with aplomb to extend the advantage.
The second-half continued in a similar vein, with Callum Slattery being introduced for Jake Hesketh as he continues his build up to fitness.
It was the visitors who fashioned the most meaningful chance, when Luke Chapman’s driving run saw him unleash a thunderous effort which cannoned off the underside of the crossbar.
The Magpies did reduce the arrears though on 71 minutes through Heardman’s towering header from a corner, before Jamie Sterry profited from McCarthy taking too long on the ball to make it 3-2.
But McQueen's second of the evening from a tight angle and Johnson's pinpoint drive across goal with his left foot late on made things far more comfortable.
That before Ward-Prowse rounded off proceedings with a superb free-kick to make it six at St Mary's, where 471 supporters watched on.
Line ups not available