FAYC Report: Watford 2-1 Saints

By SFC Media Thu 17 Jan Watford v Saints
Photo by James Bridle
Thu 17 Jan 7PM
FA Youth Cup
Watford
2
Southampton
1
Cassidy [22' 50']
Hansen pen [35']
Venue: Wingate And Finchley FC | Attendance: 207

Southampton’s youngsters exited the FA Youth Cup after a disappointing fourth round defeat to Watford at Wingate and Finchley on Thursday evening.

The hosts had taken the lead in the 22nd minute - Hornets striker Ryan Cassidy swivelling in the box and firing home, before Saints rallied and responded from the penalty spot.

But Cassidy had the final say, heading home the game’s winner in the 50th minute, after some lapse defending from the visitors.

Saints bow out of the competition at the same stage as this time last season, where Blackpool progressed by virtue of a penalty shootout victory.

Paul Hardyman’s side started brightly, creating the first sight of goal in the opening few minutes, when David Agbontohoma headed narrowly wide from a corner.

There were chances for the hosts too; Jayden Bennetts with a superb effort from range, which curled off the upright, with Jack Bycroft beaten.

A lively opening, it was striker Cassidy, Watford’s danger man, who made a timely breakthrough midway through the first half, turning well eight yards from goal and firing into the far corner.

With the home side pressing, Saints were camped in their defensive third for the following ten minutes, and were lucky not to concede another, when Bycroft was forced to parry an awkward, but necessary, interception made by centre-half Agbontohoma.

Despite being on the back foot, there was chance for parity when Enzo Robise was illegally upended in the box ten minutes before the interval. Kornelius Hansen despatched the resulting spot-kick, sending the keeper the wrong way and levelling the tie ahead of half time.

But five minutes after the restart, Saints’ good work was once more undone. A lose ball was pounced upon in the area by Cassidy, who, unmarked, looped a header beyond Bycroft.

Saints were unable to wrestle back control of the tie, but still had opportunity to affect the scoreline, especially in the final quarter.

Christian Norton had a golden chance in the 78th minute, racing onto a through ball from Caleb Watts, and beating everyone bar Hornets stopper Dante Baptiste to the ball. It ran lose, and the striker had a split second to poke the ball goalward, but was forced to watch his effort roll marginally wide.

The final chance fell to substitute Taymar Fleary, after some fine play from Will Ferry down the right. The winger beat two opposition defenders, before pulling the ball back towards the penalty spot, where Fleary met it, but fired agonisingly off target in stoppage time.

Watford

1
Dante Baptiste (GK)
2
George Langston
3
Harry Hudson
4
Ben Tricker
5
Ryan Maclean
6
Imaad Sankoh
7
Domonic Hitchinson
8
Dan Phillips
9
Ryan Cassidy (C)
10
Jayden Bennetts
11
Emmanuel Adebiyi
12
James Matthews
13
James Hoskins
14
Rio Campbell
15
Kai Sanders
16
Jack Burchell

Southampton

1
Jack Bycroft (GK)
2
Dare Olufunwa
3
Kameron Ledwidge (C)
4
Caleb Watts
5
David Agbontohoma
6
Allan Tchaptchet
7
Enzo Robise
8
Alex Jankewitz
Dan Bartlett (60′)
9
Christian Norton
10
Kornelius Hansen
Taymar Fleary (72′)
11
Will Ferry
12
James Morris
13
Ollie Wright
14
Dan Bartlett
15
Taymar Fleary
16
Rio Glean
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