B Team Report: Saints finish on a high

By SFC Media time Tue 09 Nov Crawley Town vs Saints
Photo by Isabelle Field
Tue 09 Nov 7PM
Papa Johns Trophy
Crawley Town
0
Southampton
4
goal
Olaigbe [27'] [58'] Mitchell [41'] Small [88']
Ashford (67')
yellow card
Lancashire (26') Doyle (50') Chauke (56')
Referee: Christopher Pollard | Venue: The People's Pension Stadium | Attendance: 0

Southampton's youngsters thrashed League Two side Crawley Town away from home, ending their Papa John's Trophy campaign on an almighty high.

After withstanding a great deal of pressure Saints took the lead on 28 minutes, Kazeem Olaigbe amongst the goals again finding the bottom corner after impressive work by Thierry Small.

Saints made it two five minutes shy of the break, a counter led by Caleb Watts and finished off by a grateful Mitchell inside the box.

Crawley’s pressure continued shortly after the break, but it was Saints who once more proved more clinical. Olaigbe with his second of the game from close range on 58 minutes after Lewis Payne’s burst into the box.

The sealer could’ve been the pick of the bunch, Small adding to his assist two minutes from time with a superb finish from the tightest of angles.

Crawley fielded a mixture of youth and experience; amongst the were first team regulars Tony Craig and Tom Dallison in defence with Sam Ashford and Jack Payne further ahead.

On the bench saw a return for Reece Grego-Cox, his first involvement for over 600 games.

For Saints it was a change in shape, reverting to a 4-2-2-2 formation as Ramello Mitchell partnered Olaigbe up top.

With Dynel Simeu missing out through suspension, Olly Lancashire returned to the side alongside Dare Olufunwa in the heart of defence.

In front of over 300 fans, including a strong Southampton travelling contingent in the far corner, the visitors got the game under way.

The opening chance fell to the hosts and was one they probably should’ve done better with.

CRAWLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  during the Papa John's EFL Trophy Group match between Crawley Town and Southampton B Team at The People's Pension Stadium on November 09, 2021 in Crawley, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints had to withstand considerable Crawley pressure during the opening minutes.

David Rodari on the end of Archie Davies’ low cross inside the box but firing his first-time effort straight over on six minutes.

Crawley went on to enjoy the better of the first 15 minutes as Dave Horseman’s side struggled to retain possession for any real period under constant pressure from the hosts.

Payne, who used to ply his trade at fellow Hampshire club Eastleigh in the National League, stepped over a free kick on 17 minutes, which fell to feet of Tyler Frost whose shot was blocked.

Saints’ first effort came on the break a minute later; Olaigbe carrying the ball through midfield before feeding Mitchell, who forced keeper Blondy Nna Noukeu, on only his second start for the club, into a fingertip save.

After a period of strong results in Premier League 2 the first 20 minutes of Saints return to Papa John’s Trophy action showed the step up in physicality for this young side. A step they were more than matching defensively during the opening stages despite the pressure.

Another Crawley chance came on 26 minutes, as Jack Powell stepped over a free kick slightly to the right of the penalty area which narrowly missed the top corner.

CRAWLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  during the Papa John's EFL Trophy Group match between Crawley Town and Southampton B Team at The People's Pension Stadium on November 09, 2021 in Crawley, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Kazeem Olaigbe celebrates his first of the evening.

Saints responded in the best possible fashion two minutes later.

Small broke down the left wing with plenty of space, before cutting inside and laying the ball off to Olaigbe, who made no mistake in finding the bottom corner for his third goal in two games.

Frost led the Crawley response, finding space on the left wing and taking time to shoot, but Jack Bycroft proving equal to it.

Then came a strike from Amrit Bansal-McNulty, hitting his half-volley on the edge of the box just over the bar on 37 minutes.

But the next goal of the game fell Saints way once more. Watts fed through on goal and rounding keeper Nna Noukeu with ease, before firing across goal where Mitchell was ready and waiting to tap the ball home.

It could’ve been three on the stroke of half-time; another counter leading to a clever Watts flick with Mitchell again waiting at the back post to fire home but adjudged to be offside.

CRAWLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  during the Papa John's EFL Trophy Group match between Crawley Town and Southampton B Team at The People's Pension Stadium on November 09, 2021 in Crawley, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ramello Mitchell reacts to scoring his goal just shy of the break.

Saints started the second half much like they finished the first; a ball finding Olaigbe inside the box who fired just wide under pressure.

The hosts’ first chance came following a set-piece, Dallison rising highest by unable to find the target after the corner was recycled.

Crawley’s pressure continued. Bansal-McNulty shooting from range and Bycroft doing well to punch clear, before Sam Ashford was left unmarked behind the Saints backline but couldn’t connect to the through ball.

But once more Horseman’s side proved more clinical, Olaigbe making amends for that early second half miss by firing home triumphantly inside the six-yard box, after a strong run by Payne on the right flank.

That third goal took any potential sting out of the Crawley attack, despite Grego-Cox’s introduction lifting the crowd on 64 minutes.

Saints did well to control the game despite Crawley holding most of the ball, dealing with every attack that came at them and sitting comfortably at 3-0.

CRAWLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  during the Papa John's EFL Trophy Group match between Crawley Town and Southampton B Team at The People's Pension Stadium on November 09, 2021 in Crawley, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Kazeem Olaigbe and Ramello Mitchell wheel away in celebration after the third goal.

The points were sealed two minutes from time where the impressive Small found the far corner with a superb finish from the tightest of angles. Three goals in three games for the youngster.

Few will have had this down as a clear Southampton win at the beginning of the night but that’s exactly how it turned out.

Despite Crawley’s pressure at times the young visiting defence stood strong, proving the more dangerous of the two sides at the other end of the field.

It’s now five successive wins for Saints, keeping five clean sheets in that time too against strong opposition.

The team will look to continue that run next time out away at Sunderland in Premier League 2 on Sunday.

Crawley Town

40
Blondy Nna Noukeu (GK)
2
Archie Davies
5
Tony Craig
6
Tom Dallison
8
Jack Powell
11
Tyler Frost
replace Sam Matthews (81′)
15
Ludwig Francillette
23
Sam Ashford yellow card
28
Jack Payne
replace Mark Marshall (46′)
30
Amrit Bansal-McNulty
35
Davide Rodari
replace Reece Grego-Cox (64′)
1
Glenn Morris
7
Reece Grego-Cox
12
Alex Battle
14
James Tilly
20
Sam Matthews
26
Szymon Kowalczyk
45
Mark Marshall

Southampton

51
Jack Bycroft (GK)
36
Olly Lancashire yellow card
16
Thierry Small goal
42
Dare Olufunwa
46
Caleb Watts
48
Kegs Chauke (C) yellow card
replace Ethan Burnett (64′)
49
Ramello Mitchell goal
53
Kazeem Olaigbe goal goal
61
Lewis Payne
65
Kamari Doyle yellow card
replace Ryan Finnigan (64′)
66
Dom Ballard
replace Jack Turner (70′)
47
Ollie Wright
50
Ryan Finnigan
55
Jack Turner
56
Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo
59
Ethan Burnett
67
Matt Carson
70
Leon Pambou

Related

Feature Interview: Nathan Tella
chevron right
B Team Highlights: Crawley 0-4 Saints
Crawley Town vs Saints

B Team Highlights: Crawley 0-4 Saints

Full highlights as Sants B win at Crawley.

timeWed 10 Nov
photo B Team Gallery: Crawley 0-4 Saints Video: Horseman on improved second half
Staplewood Soccer Schools are back for Christmas
UK & International Football Programmes

Staplewood Soccer Schools are back for Christmas

Get expert coaching at Southampton’s state-of-the-art training campus.

time8 hours ago
U18 Preview: Saints vs Sheffield Wednesday Sportsbet.io Goal of the Month: November