B Team Report: Defeat at St Mary's

By SFC Media time Sun 19 Sep Saints vs Burnley
Photo by Isabelle Field | Thierry Small

Goals in either half saw Burnley defeat Southampton's B team in Premier League 2, in front of a crowd of Saints fans at St Mary's stadium.

The game’s first major development came in the 31st minute; goalkeeper Harry Lewis challenging Burnley forward Joe McGlynn leaving the referee with no option but to dismiss the Saints man.

Despite the dismissal the half brought very few in the way of chances, until the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Substitute Sam Unwin heading past Ollie Wright to hand Burnley the lead just shy of the interval.

Saints came out invigorated for the second half, but almost went two behind when Max Thompson was awarded a penalty for the visitors.

Luckily for the hosts Wright was equal to it, producing a fine stop from a powerful spot kick just shy of the hour.

Despite this providing another lift for Saints, the visitors doubled their lead on 74 minutes; Ne-Jai Tucker curling a free kick in from just outside the penalty area.

Thierry Small was the standout name on the Saints team sheet, making his first start for the club amongst a youthful eleven which featured scholars Kamari Doyle, Lewis Payne and Dom Ballard.

Burnley’s side featured Thompson who, with two goals in four games so far, was the side’s leading goal scorer going into the game.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  during the Premier League 2 match between Southampton B Team and Burnley at St Mary's Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Caleb Watts during the first half.

With both sides eager to kick-start their season with a first win the opening five minutes or so proved to be a cagey affair.

Caleb Watts had the opening half chance of the game for the hosts; a strong run down the right wing saw the Australian international beat Owen Dodgson, before a looping effort towards the far corner proved just off the mark.

Burnley then responded with a spell of pressure themselves. Dodgson this time over a free kick just outside the air which keeper Harry Lewis, on his second start of the season in Premier League 2, easily claimed.

Saints responded; Watts breaking with the ball and feeding Ballard, who kept hold of possession under pressure and forced Sam Walker into a fingertip save to push the ball over the bar.

The pressure from the home side continued, Watts and Payne combining well down the right flank with some neat interchanges.

Payne was then needed at the other end of the pitch. Burnley’s Joe McGlynn surging into the box and preparing to take a strike before the youngster slid in with a perfectly timed challenge to deny a certain goal.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  during the Premier League 2 match between Southampton B Team and Burnley at St Mary's Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Youngster Dom Ballard comes close. 

After an early opening few minutes Saints well and truly started to turn the screw, Burnley unable to get out of their half thanks to a back line orchestrated by Dynel Simeu and Olly Lancashire.

Down the other end Ramello Mitchell almost danced his way into the Burnley box, getting past two before being denied at the death by the foot of Mark Helm on 23 minutes.

But on the half hour mark the game turned in Burnely’s favour. McGlyunn running in towards goal before being taken down by keeper Lewis, leaving the referee with no choice but to send the keeper off.

Mitchell was the player sacrificed as Wright went in between the sticks for the hosts.

The sending off changed the tempo of the game dramatically, Saints sitting back far more than they were in the opening half an hour.

Burnley’s efforts to capitalise were slim but led in the whole by Thompson, who headed towards goal following a corner which substitute Wright did well to collect down low.

With five minutes of stoppage time added on the hosts will have been wanting the half-time whistle to come to allow for some time to regroup.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  during the Premier League 2 match between Southampton B Team and Burnley at St Mary's Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ollie Wright is introduced after Harry Lewis is dismissed.

Burnley denied any such wish; substitute Unwin beating the offside trap to head past Wright after latching onto the end of Dodgson’s cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Saints came out for the second half firing, eager to take the game to Burnley during the opening stages.

Small was involved in both of the opening chances for Dave Horseman’s side. First the young full-back produced a superb cross for Ballard which was brilliantly saved by Sam Walker, before going on a mazy run and producing a shot himself which Walker was also somehow equal to.

But it looked like despite the pressure Saints would be punished once again, after Simeu’s foul in the box led to Burnley being awarded a penalty.

Thompson stepped up but Wright guessed the right way and sparked a huge cheer from the St Mary’s faithful.

The save and the cries from the crowd spurred Saints on and Burnley were really on the back foot as the game entered the final 25 minutes.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  during the Premier League 2 match between Southampton B Team and Burnley at St Mary's Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ballard goes close again following Thierry Small's cross.

But as has been the case on many occasions for Horseman’s side this season, their opposition proved more clinical.

Their lead was doubled on 74 minutes thanks to Tucker’s curled free kick from just outside the penalty area.

The game lost its edge following the second goal, with Burnley sitting back and defending well.

Watts had a glimpse of goal from far out with two minutes to go, which Walker did well to meet again and tip the ball over.

In all it wasn’t to be Saints’ day at St Mary’s, with attentions now turning to a meeting with West Brom in the Premier League Cup at Snows Stadium on Thursday 23rd September.

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