U23 Report: Saints 0-1 Villa

By SFC Media time Fri 21 Sep Saints v Aston Villa
Photo by James Bridle | Ben Rowthorn
Fri 21 Sep 7PM
Premier League 2 - Division 2
Southampton
0
Aston Villa
1
goal
Clarke [74']
O'Driscoll (64')
yellow card
Doyle-Hayes (9') Walker (62')
Referee: Sam Purkiss | Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 86

It was a first defeat of the season for Southampton's Under-23s at Staplewood, as Villa emerged narrow 1-0 victors in Friday night's Premier League 2 meeting.

Jack Clarke netted the decider in the 74th minute, heading home at the back post after good work down the right from Corey Taylor.

A tight affair, Saints had plenty of chances of their own before the visitors broke the deadlock, but were left to rue missed opportunities after the Midlands outfit snatched all three points midway through the second period.

It means that Villa leapfrog Radhi Jaïdi's youngsters in the table, but still with plenty to play for in these early stages of the campaign.

The hosts threatened for large parts of the first half without creating too many clear cut chances.

The best fell to Michael Obafemi, who was twice denied by a combination of crossbar and Villa keeper Matija Sarkic.

The first chance materialised in the 22nd minute, when a smart knockdown from Callum Slattery allowed the striker to swivel in the box, and crash a volleyed effort off the upright.

The second, arguably easier, was a product of Obafemi's pace. Will Smallbone won the ball in midfield, before poking into the path of the forward, who raced past his opposition defender but fired tamely at Sarkic.

The visitors were reduced to glimpses of goal, despite winger Taylor and frontman Rushian Hepburn-Murphy causing problems in patches.

The two were a handful when combining late in the half, but unable to test Saints stopper Jack Rose, who was largely a spectator in the first period.

The second 45 began more openly. Hepburn-Murphy was again a threat, particularly so in the 55th minute when attempting to head Cal O'Hare's cross goalward. Rose managed to intervene, though, and did well to collect the follow up.

Again Obafemi was Saints' best look at an opener, but it was the visitors' pressure that told.

Taylor used quick feet to manoeuvre a yard of space on the edge of the box, before lofting a cross-cum-shot towards the back post, where Clarke made the necessary contact with his head.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Aston Villa
  • Possession (%)
    52
    comparison angle
    48
  • Shots
    11
    comparison angle
    11
  • Shots on target
    4
    comparison angle
    2
  • Corners
    6
    comparison angle
    3
  • Passes Complete
    342
    comparison angle
    319

Southampton PL2

1
Jack Rose (GK)
2
Yan Valery
6
Thomas O'Connor
5
Aaron O'Driscoll yellow card
3
Jake Vokins
8
Callum Slattery
4
Ben Rowthorn (C)
11
Tyreke Johnson
replace Nathan Tella (76′)
7
Marcus Barnes
10
William Smallbone
9
Michael Obafemi
replace Jonathan Afolabi (76′)
14
Harry Hamblin
12
Christoph Klarer
16
Jonathan Afolabi
15
Nathan Tella
13
Adam Parkes

Aston Villa PL2

1
Matija Sarkic (GK)
5
Jacob Bedeau
3
Dominic Revan
2
Jake Walker yellow card
4
Isaiah Bazeley-Graham
6
Jack Clarke goal
7
Corey Taylor
replace Alex Prosser (75′)
8
Jake Doyle-Hayes yellow card
11
Callum Rowe
replace Jordan Cox (75′)
10
Callum O'Hare (C)
9
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy
replace Harvey Knibbs (88′)
16
Ethan Patterson
15
Jordan Cox
13
Viljami Sinisalo
12
Alex Prosser
14
Harvey Knibbs
U23 Highlights: Saints 0-1 Villa timeFri 21 Sep
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