U18 Report: Saints 2-1 Villa

By SFC Media time Sat 21 Apr Saints v Aston Villa
Photo by Matt Watson
Sat 21 Apr 12PM
U18 Premier League
Southampton
2
Aston Villa
1
Davis [24'] Robise [31']
goal
Tait [22']
Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

Southampton's youngsters eased past Aston Villa in their penultimate Under-18s Premier League fixture of the season, with Harrison Davis and Enzo Robise netting the goals.

The hosts fell behind to a superbly struck opener from Michael Tait, but completed the turnaround before half time, with Davis drawing level and Robise finding the winner.

The game also saw an Under-18s debut for teenage stopper Jack Bycroft, who commanded his box well throughout and will have gained vital experience in Craig Fleming's setup.

A couple of changes from the midweek defeat to Arsenal gave Saints some fresh legs, and fresh impetus. The onus was on the hosts finishing, after a lacklustre performance in front of goal last time out, and they didn't disappointment.

Despite going behind from a well hit Tait strike in the 22nd minute, the home side consolidated, and found immediate reply. Almost from the restart.

Robise engineered space on the wing, drove towards the byline, before pulling the ball back to Davis, whose first time finish found the net, and restored parity.

Eight minutes later, and Saints were again on the offensive. Jonathan Afolabi held the ball up well, before finding Robise on the left, and without immediate support, decided to take the chance on himself.

The Frenchman dragged his defender wide, before finding the far corner with his favoured left foot. Kieran Boucher was helpless in the Villa net, as the quick riposte gave Saints a first half lead.

Enzo Robise of Southampton celebrates during the U18 premier league match between Southampton and Aston Villa, at the Staplewood Campus, Southampton, 21st April 2018
Enzo Robise celebrates scoring the decisive goal at Staplewood.

And Craig Fleming's side continued to have the upper hand in the second period. Afolabi produced a good save from Boucher in the early exchanges, and Robise had the chance to extend his tally for the day in the 58th minute, volleying tamely wide.

Villa's Indiana Vassilev asked questions at the other end, attempting to surprise young stopper Bycroft with an effort from distance on the hour mark. The 16-year-old got fingertips to it, turning the ball effectively on to the post, capping a solid maiden performance at this level.

Davis had an oblique sight of goal in the 65th minute, arriving late at the back post in attempt to reach Will Smallbone's searching delivery. And he would have got there, if not for a timely challenge from Dimitri Sea.

In truth, Saints were comfortable throughout, and could have added to their first half tally, notwithstanding some good defending from the Villa rearguard. The points give Saints a good footing to head in to next week's concluding game against Swansea, while also strengthening their position in third.

Southampton

1
Jack Bycroft (GK)
2
Kayne Ramsay
3
Kameron Ledwidge
4
Harry Hamblin
5
Jamie Bradley-Green
6
Christoph Klarer (C)
7
Harrison Davis goal
8
Dan Bartlett
9
Jonathan Afolabi
10
Will Smallbone
11
Enzo Robise goal
12
Sean Brennan
13
Adam Parkes
14
Simon Kozak
15
Callum Wattd
16
Ryan Cluett

Aston Villa

1
Kieran Boucher (GK)
2
Charlie McConnachie
3
Josh Williams
4
Jake Walker (C)
5
Luke Ige
6
Mungo Bridge
7
Colin Odutayo
8
Ben Guy
replace Charlie Farr (68′)
9
Dimitri Sea
10
Michael Tait goal
11
Indiana Vassilev
replace Aaron Pressley (85′)
12
Myles Sohna
13
Emmanuel Idem
14
Aaron Pressley
15
Charlie Farr
16
Bradley Burton
U18 Highlights: Saints 2-1 Villa timeSat 21 Apr
video
Saints v Aston Villa

U18 Highlights: Saints 2-1 Villa

Saints ease past Villa in Under-18s Premier League.

photo U18 Gallery: Saints 2-1 Villa Fleming: Much improved
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