Southampton Under-18s started their Under-18 Premier League campaign with a 4-1 defeat to their Tottenham Hotspur counterparts away from home.
Goals from Samuel Shashoua, Jack Roles, Reo Griffiths and Tashan Oakley-Boothe condemned Saints to defeat, with substitute Will Smallbone’s goal little consolation on a difficult afternoon.
Craig Fleming named summer recruit Aaron O’Driscoll as his captain for the clash against Spurs and also welcomed back Callum Slattery after a lengthy injury last season.
Fleming’s side fell behind in the 15th minute, as Shashoua coverted from the penalty spot after O’Driscoll had felled Reo Griffiths in the area.
There was almost an immediate response for the visitors when Connor Langan’s cross found an unmarked Dan N’Lundulu in the penalty area, but the striker’s shot was just wide of the near post.
But an error from goalkeeper Adam Parkes allowed the hosts to add a second shortly before the 30-minute mark. A shot from Roles looked comfortable for Parkes, but the ball squirmed through his legs and into the back of the net.
N’Lundulu had a great chance to bring Saints back into the game shortly before half time, but the striker was superbly denied by Brandon Austin in the Spurs goal.
The third goal arrived just before the hour, as the hosts extended their lead. Griffiths cut in from the left before slotting the ball beyond Parkes and into the bottom corner.
Saints provided an immediate response however, as substitute Smallbone finished well from the edge of the box to give Fleming’s side hope of a comeback.
There was to be no fightback however, as the hosts added a late fourth through Oakley-Boothe to condemn Saints to an opening-day defeat.