U23 Report: Saints 3-2 Wolves

By SFC Media time Fri 19 Oct Saints v Wolves
Photo by James Bridle
Fri 19 Oct 7PM
Premier League 2 - Division 2
Southampton
3
Wolves
2
Obafemi [39'] Barnes [62'] O'Connor [90+3']
goal
Watt [69'] Ennis [70']
Slattery (30')
yellow card
Pote (45+3') Watt (81')
Referee: Richard Hulme | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 339

Southampton’s Under-23s left it late to seal a dramatic victory over Premier League 2 leaders Wolves at St Mary’s.

The hosts had taken a two-goal lead, with Michael Obafemi opening the scoring, and Marcus Barnes then doubling the lead just after the hour mark.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Radhi Jaïdi’s youngsters, as a second-half Wolves revival meant Saints had to dig deep to earn all three points.

A quick-fire double, scored within 60 seconds of one another, by Elliot Watt and Niall Ennis, drew the visitors level in the second half, and made for a nervy last 20 minutes.

But, in true captain fashion, up stepped Tom O’Connor to have the final say in stoppage time, latching on to a Jake Vokins corner and directing a bullet header past Andreas Sondergaard.

The victory means Saints move to within two points of tonight’s Midlands opponents, and ensures the chase for a promotion spot is very much on.

Wolves began with urgency, clearly keen to put a marker down on away territory. The hosts were fielding the threat effectively enough, though, and were first to test their opposition goalmouth.

Will Smallbone knocked the ball down for Obafemi, who, anticipating the pass, turned his defender well and fired at Sondergaard.

The Wolves stopper got a strong hand to the shot, palming to safety, but it wasn’t long before the young striker’s pace was causing more problems.

This time, Callum Slattery was the architect. What looked to be an innocuous forward pass from the midfielder was pounced upon by Obafemi, who made effective use of some good fortune off defender Max Kilman and then only had Sondergaard to beat.

The forward waited for the keeper to make his move, before rolling the ball calmly inside the near post in the 38th minute. Wolves had indeed enjoyed plenty of possession, but it was the home side who held a slender advantage at the break.

An action packed second half followed. Pedro Goncalves was lucky to escape a second yellow for a cynical foul on Slattery just after the restart, before Barnes, growing in influence, delivered retribution.

Yet more good work from Obafemi created the opportunity, as he lay the ball off for Yan Valery to fizz a first time cross into Barnes' path, who applied the easiest of finishes in the 61st minute.

Two goals to the good, and Saints looked comfortable. But simplicity wasn’t to last. A quick-fire response had the visitors on level terms before Jaïdi’s side could even catch their breath.

Scored in the 68th and 70th minutes, Watt was on target from the edge of the box, before Ennis swivelled well in the area two minutes later, firing top right to restore parity.

Not to be deterred, though, it was the hosts who had the final say. Deep into stoppage time, and after a late flurry of corners, skipper O’Connor made the difference. The midfielder towered above his opposition defender, and sent a thumping header past Sondergaard to seal a vital three points for his side.

It was no less than the hosts deserved, but certainly made harder than it needed to be after Saints failed to press home their advantage. Maximum spoils, nonetheless, and a characterful performance from Jaïdi's young troops got the job done - eventually. 

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Wolves
  • Possession (%)
    45
    comparison angle
    55
  • Shots
    15
    comparison angle
    14
  • Shots on target
    5
    comparison angle
    5
  • Corners
    6
    comparison angle
    3
  • Passes Complete
    344
    comparison angle
    433

Southampton PL2

1
Jack Rose (GK)
5
Aaron O'Driscoll
3
Jake Vokins
6
Christoph Klarer
2
Yan Valery
8
Callum Slattery (C) yellow card
4
Thomas O'Connor goal
10
William Smallbone
7
Sam Gallagher
replace Nathan Tella (48′)
11
Marcus Barnes goal
9
Michael Obafemi goal
13
Adam Parkes
12
Kayne Ramsay
16
Nathan Tella
15
Tyreke Johnson
14
Alexandre Jankewitz

Wolverhampton Wanderers PL2

1
Andreas Söndergaard (GK) (C)
5
Cameron John
4
Max Kilman
3
Alexander Molberg
2
Oskar Buur
8
Elliot Watt yellow card goal
6
Ryan John Giles
10
Sadou Diallo
9
Benny Ashley-Seal
7
Pote yellow card
replace Carlos Heredia (82′)
11
Niall Ennis goal
replace Daniel Csoka (92′)
14
Paulo Alves
15
Carlos Heredia
16
Austin Samuels
13
Harry Beasley
12
Daniel Csoka
U23 Highlights: Saints 3-2 Wolves timeFri 19 Oct
video
Saints v Wolves

U23 Highlights: Saints 3-2 Wolves

Youngsters overpower PL2 leaders Wolves at St Mary's.

photo U23 Gallery: Saints 3-2 Wolves Video: Jaïdi assesses Wolves victory
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