U18 Report: Leicester 1-3 Saints

By SFC Media Sat 27 Jan Leicester v Saints
Photo by James Bridle
Sat 27 Jan 12PM
U18 Premier League
Leicester CIty
1
Southampton
3
Shade [25']
Afolabi [35' 90'] Robise [72']
Hansen [82']
Venue: Leicester City Training Ground | Attendance: 0

A brace for Jonathan Afolabi, and a first club goal for Enzo Robise completed the turnaround as Saints came from behind to beat Leicester City in the Under-18s Premier League.

Craig Fleming's youngsters found themselves behind, rather unjustifiably, early on, but Afolabi levelled the tie before half-time, and the visitors dominated proceedings thereafter.

Robise edged in front in the 72nd minute, before Afolabi sealed victory with a well-taken second of the afternoon; the striker coming to the fore in the absence of top scorer Michael Obafemi.

The victory extends Southampton's unbeaten league run to six games, having triumphed in every league fixture since the Christmas break.

The away side were immediately on the front foot, setting the tone from the off, as Jake Vokins crafted Saints' first chance inside five minutes. Driving down the left and looping a diagonal cross, Afolabi chested down neatly to Sean Brennan, but the eventual shot was skewed wide of the target.

Robise, enjoying his second successive start, collected the ball from Will Smallbone on halfway five minutes later, charged forward, and picked out Brennan, but again the effort was tame, and unusually wayward.

Wasteful in possession, the home side struggled to retain the ball, while Saints looked to capitalise on the apparent laxity. Afolabi swivelled in the box, attempting to maneuver the ball on to his favoured foot, before slicing wide of the mark.

In an abrupt change of momentum, Leicester's Tyrese Shade fired a warning sign in the 20th minute, before making good on his threat moments later. The winger cut inside, evaded a challenge, before firing accurately in to the far corner, to give the home side an unforeseen lead.

But, in almost immediate reply, Afolabi had the visitors level. Capitalising on a goalkeeping error, the striker rolled the ball gleefully in to an empty net, ensuring parity was justly restored.

Harry Hamblin had the chance to edge Saints in front just before the interval, but his low drive, fizzing up off the greasy turf, was well held by Rhys Davies.

With a first period littered with chances, the second half had unexpectedly less. Adam Parkes was however called in to action on the hour mark, as substitute Kairo Edwards-John nipped in behind the Saints rearguard, unleashing a low shot which Parkes used his legs to repel.

The momentum swung the way of the home side, momentarily, as a series of corners and dead ball situations asked questions of Southampton's defensive capabilities. Absorbing the pressure well, the visitors then snuffed out a chance of their own.

Smallbone was released down the left, unselfishly spotting the run of Robise at the back post, where the winger's first time finish completed the turnaround for Fleming's youngsters.

Towering centre-half Lukas Husek headed wide in the 83rd minute, but Saints looked largely comfortably for the remaining minutes, dominating possession, and even capping a fine away performance with a second goal for Afolabi.

Worthy victors overall, the brace put the gloss on an honest and hard-working display for the young Irish international striker, and extended Saints' unbeaten league run, as the young side chase down Chelsea and Arsenal at the top of the standings.

Leicester CIty

1
Rhys Davies (GK)
2
Ed Elewa-Ikpakwu
3
Luke Thomas
Lukas Husek (80′)
4
Rubyn Gill
5
George Heaven
6
Calvin Ughelumba
7
Harrison Myring
Kairo Edwards-John (45′)
8
Khanya Leshabela (C)
9
Benni Braithwaite
10
Conor Tee
11
Tyrese Shade
12
Lukas Husek
13
Jakub Stolarczyk
14
Leon James
15
Kairo Edwards-John
16
Alassane Meite

Southampton

1
Adam Parkes (GK)
2
Harrison Davis
Kameron Ledwidge (28′)
3
Jake Vokins
4
Harry Hamblin
5
Kayne Ramsay
6
Christoph Klarer (C)
7
Enzo Robise
8
Sean Brennan
9
Jonathan Afolabi
10
Will Smallbone
11
Kornelius Hansen
Christian Norton (90′)
12
Dan Bartlett
13
Alex Cull
14
Kameron Ledwidge
15
Taymar Fleary
16
Christian Norton
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Sat 27 Jan
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