Southampton’s youngsters booked their place in next week’s Premier League 2 play-off final with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at St Mary’s on Friday night, teeing up a decider with Newcastle United.
The goal of the night was scored by captain Tom O’Connor, who struck a sublime free-kick in the second half, backing up Will Smallbone’s opener.
O’Connor believes that Saints have earned another shot at promotion, after so narrowly missing out on the league's top spot, and was especially pleased to have contributed to tonight’s victory.
“I had one in the first half which I just hit over the bar, so I tried to strike it the same and luckily it went in,” the Irishman reflected.
“I had a couple of chances to score tonight - especially when Will [Smallbone] played me in. I was probably due a goal, so I'm happy.
“When all the lads jumped on me, it was a great feeling. I thought we were solid throughout the game; the back three defended really well.
“I felt like we controlled the game, we dominated the chances and the performance deserved the win.
“We were disappointed to ultimately lose the league, but we're in with another chance of getting promoted now. These are a great bunch of lads, hopefully they'll be plenty of people watching the final and we'll give them a good night.”