Saints bow out of FA Youth Cup

By SFC Media time Tue 23 Mar Saints vs Burton Albion
Photo by Isabelle Field | Lewis Payne
Tue 23 Mar 7PM
FA Youth Cup
Southampton
0
Burton Albion
1
goal
McLean [62']
Mitchell (22') Finnigan (75')
yellow card
Williams (90+2')
Referee: Alex Blake | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 0

Southampton's youngsters suffered defeat and subsequent exit in the FA Youth Cup to Burton Albion on Tuesday night.

Burton broke the deadlock after an even opening hour in the 62nd minute, as Ben McLean nodded home at the back post from a corner routine.

The hosts had several chances to score at St Mary's but were denied by a stubborn Brewers' defence.

Saints’ opening chance fell to Ramello Mitchell, who surged through the middle of the park and dragged his shot just wide after four minutes.

Next to test Brewers’ keeper Greg Lewis was Kazeem Olaigbe, who hit the right-side netting with a fierce effort just inside the penalty area.

The visitors’ main threat early on came through Callum Niven, who picked up the ball on the edge of the box and forced Saints’ keeper Oliver Wright into low saves at his left and then right inside the first 15 minutes.

Mitchell’s agility and close control sparked another superb run through midfield on 17 minutes, leaving four Burton players in his wake as Saints looked to grab momentum.

20210323 Southampton v Burton Albion
Ramello Mitchell battles for possession.

Saints’ neat passing moves helped move them up field with efficiency; one particular move landing at the feet of Jayden Smith, who couldn’t control the ball inside the six-yard box as his touch landed at the feet of an offside Sam Bellis.

Burton’s threat remained, Said Idouarab captialising on Saints’ failure to clear and almost punishing the hosts but for a strong Wright save.

The next Saints chance came for Smith, who met Mitchell’s chested pass before volleying an effort just over the bar just shy of the half hour mark.

With the half drawing to a close and both sides having their own share of chances, Saints turned up the intensity.

The pace of full-backs Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo and Josh Lett, coupled with their crossing ability, pushed Burton back before midfielder Ryan Finnigan forced Lewis into a superb save down to his left from a particular rebound.

Before the half was out Lewis was called into action again, tipping behind Olaigbe’s long-range effort.

But it was Burton who had the final effort of the first 45, Charlie Williams looking for the spectacular into the far, top corner and almost finding it as Wright scrambled back.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23:  during the FA Youth Cup fourth round match between Southampton and Burton Albion at St Mary's Stadium on March 23, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ryan Finnigan plays the ball from midfield.

Saints were the side who assumed authority in the early stages of the second half, pushing Burton back and winning a free-kick, which Olaigbe fired just over.

52 minutes on the clock saw the chance of the game so far which fell to the hosts; Olaigbe skipping past his man with ease on the left-flank, before firing an effort towards goal which Lewis spilled.

The Brewers’ keeper more than made up for this mistake, however, saving once from Smith and then from Mitchell with Saints looking destined to take the lead.

That triple save seemed to lift the visitors, who were in the ascendancy for the next ten minutes, managing to push Saints back and win dangerous set-pieces themselves.

Williams stepped over a free kick on 56 minutes and tried to catch Wright out with an effort at the near post, which just failed to hit the target.

Much like the first the second half started to have more of an end-to-end feel to it as it grew older; Mitchell carrying the ball forward for Saints again before the stubborn Burton defence launched a counter of their own in response.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23:  during the FA Youth Cup fourth round match between Southampton and Burton Albion at St Mary's Stadium on March 23, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Will Tizzard carries the ball out of defence.

Saints’ defence proved to be as resilient as their visitors’, as Lewis Payne made a great challenge to deny a certain chance inside the penalty area, before Wright did well to tip over a fierce left-sided shot.

But this resilience fell in the 62nd minute, as Burton took the lead at St Mary’s.

The visitors lofted in a deep ball to the back post, which after a bit of head tennis between defenders and attackers was nodded home by full-back McLean.

It nearly got worse for the hosts just seven minutes later as Idouarab’s free kick scraped the crossbar on its way over.

Saints strived to get forward as the clocked ticked down but failed to connect with the final ball.

Smith made a superb darting run through the heart of the Brewers’ defence but couldn’t connect with the through ball from midfield in the 80th minute.

Olaigbe was involved again at the back post in the 85th minute, unmarked and with time to shape his effort he went high and saw his shot blocked behind for a corner. Sparking celebrations from the Burton youngsters.

20210323 Southampton v Burton Albion
Jayden Smith reacts to going close during the second half.

The final five minutes saw Saints dominate possession, looking for that vital equaliser.

As three minutes of stoppage time was announced the hosts threw everyone forward, passing and moving the ball but unable to break down the Burton defence.

Ultimately the visitors held out, winning 1-0 at St Mary’s and cementing Saints’ exit from the FA Youth Cup.

Southampton

1
Oliver Wright (GK)
2
Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo
3
Josh Lett
4
Ryan Finnigan yellow card
5
Will Tizzard (C)
6
Lewis Payne
7
Jayden Smith
8
Diamond Edwards
9
Sam Bellis
10
Kazeem Olaigbe
11
Ramello Mitchell yellow card
replace Luke Pearce (67′)
13
Eddie Beach
12
Sonnie Davis
14
Josh Squires
15
Rylee Wright
16
Luke Pearce
17
Dom Ballard
18
Cameron Bragg

Burton Albion

1
Greg Lewis (GK)
2
Ben McLean goal
3
Thierry Latty-Fairweather
4
James Matthews
5
Ben Radcliffe
6
Luke Redfern
7
Said Idouarab
8
Matty Richardson
9
Yewo Nyirenda (C)
10
Callum Niven
replace John-Joseph Power (89′)
11
Charlie Williams yellow card
12
Huw Emery
13
Daniel Moore
14
Braeden Noon-Brandy
15
Tommy Hill
16
John-Joseph Power
17
Max Raine
18
Finn Delap

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