U18 Report: Arsenal 1-0 Saints

By SFC Media time Sat 15 Sep Arsenal v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Enzo Robise
Sat 15 Sep 11.30AM
U18 Premier League
Arsenal
1
Southampton
0
Greenwood [45']
goal
Smith [62']
yellow card
Hansen [59'] Bartlett [88']
Swanson [63']
red card
Venue: Arsenal Training Centre | Attendance: 50

Saints U18s tough start to the season continued following a narrow 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.

Paul Hardyman’s side have now faced four of the U18 Premier League’s top six in their opening five fixtures and were left ruing their luck once more in a tense encounter at London Colney.

An organised, committed and positive first half was blighted by Sam Greenwood’s winner moments before the interval as the ten-man Gunners went on to resolutely protect their lead against a yellow onslaught late on.

After a nervy start, the game’s opening exchanges belonged to the visitors who will be left wondering what could have been after spurning a host of early chances.

A series of blocks from Allan Tchapchet within the opening five minutes might have signalled the beginning of a long afternoon but it was Arsenal who were found wanting at the back at the other end.

With just 12 minutes on the clock, a diagonal ball over the top sprung Enzo Robise in behind and a devilish first touch attracted the challenge of Zak Swanson in the box.

The Frenchman took the resulting spot-kick but could only find the gloves of the diving Arthur Okonuwo before slicing the rebound wildly over the top under pressure.

The setback galvanised Saints who remained the more likely to open the scoring.

Kornelius Hansen twice may have done it himself, hitting the goalkeeper when well-placed on the angle and curling inches past the far post from inside the ‘D’.

Robise followed suite, skewing a shot into the side-netting from Kayne Ramsay’s run and cut-back from the byline.

Going backwards, a pair of firm tackles in quick succession from Kameron Ledwidge to deny an Arsenal counter-attack moments later epitomised Saints’ early determination and focus.

Yet cruelly, for all of Saints’ sterling work, they went in at the break behind at the end of a half in which they had created the better openings.

A corner from the right was allowed to reach Greenwood on the edge of the area and the midfielder fired through the bodies right-footed, a deflection taking the ball past Jack Bycroft in the last action of the half.

Arsenal emerged for the second period the stronger, only for the sending off of Swanson just after the hour mark for a second bookable offence to supply Saints with a lifeline.

A spill from ‘keeper Okonuwo from a routine free-kick from the left wing suggested that nerves may get the better of the hosts as Saints looked to press home their numerical advantage. Sure enough, a second golden chance of the day was not far behind.

With the away side now firmly in the ascendancy, Robise twisted into a yard of space in the box and his parried shot found the feet of Chris Norton who was somehow denied on the goal-line by Arsenal’s Mark McGuiness.

For all of their late control of possession and territory in the final quarter of an hour however, it would be as close as Saints would come to finding what would have been a worthy equaliser.

Arsenal

1
Arthur Okonuwo (GK)
2
Vontae Daley-Campbell
3
Zak Swanson
4
Matthew Smith
5
Mark McGuiness (C)
6
Bayli Spencer-Adams
7
Ben Cottrell
replace Joel Lopet (66′)
8
Harrison Clarke
9
Alfie Matthews
replace Stan Flaherty (46′)
10
Yunus Musah
replace Ryan Alebiosu (86′)
11
Sam Greenwood goal
12
Joel Lopet
13
Karl Hein
14
Josh Martin
15
Ryan Alebiosu
16
Stan Flaherty

Southampton

1
Jack Bycroft (GK)
2
Kayne Ramsay (C)
3
Kameron Ledwidge
4
Dan Bartlett
5
Pascal Kpohomouh
6
Allan Tchapchet
7
Enzo Robise
8
Alex Jankewitz
replace Sean Brennan (78′)
9
Chris Norton
10
Kornelius Hansen
replace Benni Smailes-Braithwaite (67′)
11
Will Ferry
replace Rio Glean (72′)
12
David Agbontohoma
13
Triallist
14
Sean Brennan
15
Rio Glean
16
Benni Smailes-Braithwaite
U18 Highlights: Arsenal 1-0 Saints timeSat 15 Sep
video
Arsenal v Saints

U18 Highlights: Arsenal 1-0 Saints

Watch back the key moments from the young Saints' match on Saturday.

U18 Preview: Arsenal vs Saints
Women's Preview: Poole vs Saints SFC_Camera
Poole Town vs Saints

Women's Preview: Poole vs Saints

Saints FC Women kick off their season away at Poole.

time6 hours ago
Opposition View: José Mourinho Match Pack: Saints vs Tottenham