U18 Report: Saints 2-3 Stoke

By SFC Media Sat 10 Nov Saints v Stoke
Photo by James Bridle | Will Ferry
Sat 10 Nov 11AM
U18 Premier League Cup
Southampton
2
Stoke
3
Ferry [38'] Smales-Braithwaite [45']
O'Driscoll-Varian [57'] [73'] [89']
Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

Southampton's youngsters were outdone by a second-half Stoke City revival at a blustery Staplewood Campus on Saturday morning.

The conditions, less than ideal, did little to deter Paul Hardyman's young side in the first half, where they dominated and scored two well-taken goals to command a deserved lead at the break.

Will Ferry notched the opener, chopping inside and gaining some good fortune off a visiting defender to find the net, before Benni Smales-Braithwaite made it two inside the first 45 minutes, finishing off a neat one two with scorer of the first, Ferry.

But the visitors eventually sprung into life in the second period, netting three, ultimately decisive, goals of their own.

Jack Bycroft would have felt aggrieved with the visitors' first strike, having pulled off a superb initial save from a close range volleyed effort, before poacher Ethon O'Driscoll-Varian stuck in the rebound to halve the deficit.

Their second, required rather less fortuity. Saints failed to clear their lines from a Stoke corner, inviting chaos in the box, before the ball was eventually stabbed over the line by O'Driscoll-Varian for the leveller.

Keen to atone, the hosts pushed forward in search of a reply of their own, leaving themselves vulnerable at the back, which played into the hands of an ascendent Stoke.

Winger Abdoulaye Toure launched a counter attack in the dying stages, before fizzing a cross goalward, which was awkwardly dealt with by Dare Olufunwa, with Bycroft again performing heroics on the goal line, but the familiar face of O'Driscoll-Varian predictably arrived on the scene at the right moment, and in similar fashion to his first two, poked home from close range to complete his hat-trick.

A true game of two halves left Saints disappointingly empty handed, as the visitors' three second-half strikes were enough to secure maximum points.

The defeat leaves Hardyman's side with one win and one loss in this year's Premier League Cup campaign, with all to play for in their final group stage showdown with Liverpool in December.

Southampton

1
Jack Bycroft (GK)
2
Kayne Ramsay
3
Kameron Ledwidge
4
Sean Brennan (C)
5
Oludare Olufunwa
6
Allan Tchapchet
7
Kornelius Hansen
8
Alex Jankewitz
Dan Bartlett (82′)
9
Benni Smales-Braithwaite
Taymar Fleary (79′)
10
Roland Idowu
Christian Norton (58′)
11
Will Ferry
12
James Morris
13
Matt Hall
14
Dan Bartlett
15
Taymar Fleary
16
Christian Norton

Stoke

1
Adnan Kanuric (GK)
2
Max Murphy
3
Kieran Coates
4
Dan Malone
5
Lewis Macari
6
Will Forrester (C)
7
Joel Mvovi
8
Adam Porter
Reece Jones (70′)
9
James Jennings
10
Ethon O'Driscoll-Varian
11
Abdoulaye Toure
Mohamed Akandji (90′)
12
Mohamed Akandji
13
Paul Cooper
14
Tom Sparrow
15
Reece Jones
16
Ruben McIntosh
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