Southampton Under-23s produced a confident display as they emerged 5-1 winners against their Newcastle United counterparts in Premier League 2 on Monday night.
Goals either side of the break from Nathan Tella and Michael Obafemi lit the blue touch paper for an emphatic success, with Alfie Jones, Jake Hesketh and Siph Mdlalose adding three more to earn maximum points.
Saints started the brighter of the two sides, pressing the hosts high up the pitch and earning a number of corners, with the first meaningful opportunity falling to the feet of Josh Sims.
After Callum Slattery’s corner was cleared as far as Tella, Sims got on the end of the former Arsenal’s winger deep cross, only to see his effort hit the side-netting from a tight angle.
The first-half was stopped for a large period when Newcastle keeper Paul Woolston suffered a serious injury and was forced off shortly before the half hour mark.
On 37 minutes, Saints’ dominance was finally rewarded when Hesketh found Sims on the right, who delivered an inviting low cross, which left Tella with a simple close-range finish.
Undeterred by the interval, the visitors continued on the front foot and soon doubled their advantage. Hesketh, who provided a constant threat, lofted a cross towards Jones and his header was turned in by the outstretched boot of Obafemi.
And the provider turned goalscorer seven minutes later when Slattery’s corner was glanced home by the head of captain Jones, kissing the post on the way in to give substitute keeper Otto Huuhtanen no chance.
Shortly after the hour mark, Hesketh scored the goal his performance merited when his low effort from distance proved too powerful.
The hosts, who had rarely threatened, forced Jack Rose into a stop through Owen Gallacher shortly before reducing the arrears, with Mackenzie Heaney’s corner headed home by Josef Yarney.
It was not enjoy to mount a late comeback though, with substitute Siph Mdlalose making it five for Radhi Jaïdi’s young charges.
Line ups not available