U18 Report: Reading 1-2 Saints

By SFC Media time Sat 29 Sep Reading v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Kornelius Hansen
Sat 29 Sep 11AM
U18 Premier League Cup
Reading
1
Southampton
2
[Lawless pen 58']
goal
[Hansen pen 21'] [Tchaptchet 79']
[Pendlebury 76'] [Olise 89']
yellow card
[Robise 26'] [Tchaptchet 30']
red card
[Bartlett 90+5']
Venue: Reading Training Ground | Attendance: 0

Southampton Under-18s made it back-to-back wins, as they began their Under-18 Premier League Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory at Reading.

Kornelius Hansen’s first-half penalty and Allan Tchaptchet’s late tap-in ensured a fine start for Paul Hardyman’s side in Group B, which also includes Liverpool and Stoke City.

As well as a win, it was also another encouraging display from the youngsters, following last weekend’s opening triumph of the season, 1-0 at home to Brighton in the league.

Perhaps buoyed by that success, Saints carved out an opportunity within a minute of the match starting at Hogwood Park, as the ball came to Christian Norton in space just inside the area, but his left-footed strike flew just wide of the far post.

Quickly, Reading created their own opening, as Khalid Simmo burst into the right side of the box and fired a shot just wide of the far top corner.

From then on, though, it was Saints who applied the most pressure.

Norton issued further warning in the seventh minute of his threat, spinning and shooting straight at keeper James Hillson after being picked out by Dan Bartlett’s pass.

Hansen then had a good shout for a penalty turned down shortly after, as he appeared to be bundled over just inside the box, before Enzo Robise tested Hillson with a low free-kick from 25 yards that went through the Reading wall.

The breakthrough was not far away, though, and it arrived via the penalty spot, as James Morris played through Norton, who got there just ahead of Hillson and was upended by the Royals keeper.

Hansen took on the responsibility from the spot, sending a firm shot into the bottom-left corner to give the visitors the advantage.

It should have been 2-0 within a minute, but Robise side-footed over from close range after Will Ferry’s stunning ball from the left had found him running in at the back post.

Reprieved, Reading showed a little more threat towards the end of the half, as Michael Olise and Thierry Nevers both tested Jack Bycroft with low shots, but it was Saints who again produced the next major opportunity, as the ball fell to Robise in space a minute before the interval, only for Hillson to make a brilliant, diving save from his strike.

Little changed at the beginning of the second half, as Saints carved out the first big opportunity.

Hansen fed Ferry down the left, and his low ball picked out Norton at the near post. Under pressure, the forward did well to get an effort off, with the ball looping just wide of the near post.

For all their control, though, the lead was only a slender one, and it evaporated in the 54th minute, as Reading were awarded a penalty of their own.

Conor Lawless went over under a Seamas Keogh challenge, with the referee pointing to the spot, and Lawless himself stroked the spot kick into the same corner as Hansen had in the first half.

The match subsequently became a tighter affair, with both sides finding it harder to create any clear-cut openings.

But it burst back into life in the 72nd minute, as, first, Alexandre Jankewitz tested Hillson with a firm, low effort from distance, moments before Bycroft made a stunning save, flinging himself to his left and somehow tipping over an arcing shot across goal from Nevers.

It was then the turn of Hillson to make a spectacular stop, diving to push a fierce strike from Benni Smales-Braithwaite, on as a substitute just seconds earlier, past the post.

It felt like a goal was coming somewhere, and indeed it did, as Saints regained the lead in the 79th minute.

Robise’s free-kick from a deep position skidded through towards Hillson, who had been in fine form all day, but on this occasion the Reading keeper erred, failing to collect the ball properly, as it slipped under him, allowing the on-rushing Tchaptchet a tap-in.

Robise could have sealed it in the second minute of added time, as Smales-Braithwaite played him in, but Hillson made a superb one-on-one save, before the Reading keeper denied Smales-Braithwaite himself at the near post following an incredible solo run.

It didn't matter, though, as Saints kept it tight at the other end to seal the win, although there was one sour note for them late on, as Bartlett was sent off deep into added time for a foul on Simmo.

Reading

1
James Hillson (GK)
2
Jake Pemberton
3
Ethan Bristow
4
Olli Pendlebury (C) yellow card
5
Josh Hewitt
6
Roberto Nditi
7
Khalid Simmo
8
Conor Lawless goal
9
Shamar Moore
replace Jordan Murray (82′)
10
Michael Olise yellow card
11
Thierry Nevers
12
Jordan Murray
14
Fabio Sole
15
Tommy Stevens
16
Imari Samuels
17
Dejan Telek

Southampton

1
Jack Bycroft (GK)
2
Seamas Keogh
replace Oludare Olufunwa (62′)
3
James Morris
4
Dan Bartlett red card
5
Pascal Kpohomouh
6
Allan Tchaptchet yellow card goal
7
Enzo Robise yellow card
8
Alexandre Jankewitz
9
Christian Norton (C)
replace Taymar Fleary (83′)
10
Kornelius Hansen goal
11
Will Ferry
replace Benni Smales-Braithwaite (73′)
12
Oludare Olufunwa
13
Matt Hall
14
Caleb Watts
15
Taymar Fleary
16
Benni Smales-Braithwaite
U18 Highlights: Reading 1-2 Saints timeSat 29 Sep
video
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U18 Highlights: Reading 1-2 Saints

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Academy Focus: Benni Smales-Braithwaite
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