Dave Horseman hailed the performance of his Under-23s side as “a moment for everybody in the academy,” following the 3-1 Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final victory over Havant & Waterlooville.
Saints booked themselves a place in the semi-finals of the Senior Cup against National League side Eastleigh, as goals from Kornelius Hansen, Caleb Watts and Ramello Mitchell saw aside Havant.
Horseman praised the performance of his side, which featured plenty of youngsters in a much changed Under-23s side.
“I’m really proud of the boys,” said Horseman. “To have a team out at the age they were and to play, particularly in the first half, how we did to tear a really good team, a really experienced team, apart as we did was a great moment."
Saints were two goals ahead after just four minutes and saw out the Havant pressure whilst adding a third midway through the second half.
“We’ve scored the goals and then second half they showed a different side that, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know they had because they are so young.
“To be able to stand up, head it, block it, I thought we were physically dominant. It was a nice surprise as we had nine scholars finishing the game.”
“I’m really, really proud because they showed outstanding footballing ability, were quick and slick with their movement, then also had the bravery to stand up against older players.”
Dave HorsemanIt was a moment for everybody in the academy, because they are not just our players. They've come through the system.
Southampton Under-23s Head Coach
“That’s a real technical group of players who move the ball quick, they showed today there is also a physical side and they are able to compete.
“It was a moment for everybody in the academy because they are not just our players, they’ve come through the system.”
The win sets up a tie with National League side Eastleigh, which Horseman sees as another test for his young side.
“It’s another tough game, hopefully we get a bit of a crowd because this competition sometimes can bring a crowd in.
“I think it’s something for everybody to look forward to and now there’s a bit of competition for places in the next round, which is fantastic.”