U18 Report: Saints 2-0 Reading

By SFC Media Sat 30 Mar Saints v Reading
Photo by James Bridle | Christian Norton
Sat 30 Mar 11AM
U18 Premier League
Southampton
2
Reading
0
Norton [12'] Hansen [31']
Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

Southampton's youngsters ran out comfortable 2-0 victors over their Reading counterparts in the Under-18s Premier League on Saturday morning, strengthening their grip on the league's fourth spot.

First-half strikes from Christian Norton and Kornelius Hansen secured maximum points, allowing Paul Hardyman's side to edge away from closest rivals Brighton and Aston Villa, ahead of this season's final three league encounters.

The opener, a well-taken side-foot finish from Norton, arrived in the 12th minute, after a period of sustained pressure from the hosts; Will Ferry predictably at the heart of things.

The winger had teed up Benni Smales-Braithwaite in the sixth minute, aided by a clever Norton step-over, but the striker had his shot repelled by visiting keeper Jokull Anderson.

The shot, and save, were only the precursor to another wave of Saints attacks, though; the outcome resulting in the game's breakthrough.

Norton himself was the instigator, as well as the scorer. Winning the ball on the half-way line, he set Ferry on his way down the right, before making a dash for the edge of the box, where a simple square pass found his feet, and he swept home with a precise first-time finish.

Although Saints were in firm control, stopper Jack Bycroft wasn't redundant. He was called into action twice before the home side's second; clawing away a free-kick from Conor Lawless, before denying Thierry Nevers, who had cut inside menacingly from the left.

Successfully carrying out his defensive duties, Bycroft then got Saints travelling in the opposite direction. His hasty distribution found Jack Turner in the 31st minute, who advanced over half-way before finding Hansen, lurking in space.

The Norwegian motored towards goal, created a yard of space by shifting the ball onto his favoured right foot, and bent a shot sumptuously around Anderson, into the far corner.

Further chances, incidentally for both Saints scorers, were passed up on the hour mark, as Norton was rebuffed, before the rebound fell to Hansen, who wasn't able to capitalise.

The closing stages presented yet more opportunity for the hosts, as Norton was released by another incisive Turner through ball. The striker's pace made short work of substitute defender Nelson Abby's efforts to recover, but Anderson was alive to the danger, saving with his legs and ensuring the scoreline remained at two.

Southampton

1
Jack Bycroft (GK)
2
Kayne Ramsay (C)
3
James Morris
4
Caleb Watts
Seamas Keogh (63′)
5
Pascal Kpohomouh
Ryan Cluett (74′)
6
Allan Tchaptchet
7
Will Ferry
Roland Idowu (80′)
8
Jack Turner
9
Christian Norton
10
Benni Smales-Braithwaite
11
Kornelius Hansen
12
Roland Idowu
13
Oliver Wright
14
Ryan Cluett
15
Seamas Keogh
16
Rio Glean

Reading

1
Jokull Andersson
2
Marcel Elva-Fountaine
3
Ethan Bristow
4
Dejan Tetek
5
Roberto Nditi
6
Jeriel Dorsett
Nelson Abby (87′)
7
Lynford Sackey
8
Conor Lawless
Yaw Turkson (63′)
9
Nahum Melvin-Lambert
Imari Samuels (75′)
10
Claudio Osario
11
Thierry Nevers
12
Nelson Abby
13
Harvey Collins
14
Imari Samuels
15
Yaw Turkson
16
Pedro Neves
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