U23 Report: Saints 3-1 Reading

By SFC Media Mon 12 Sep Saints vs Reading
Mon 12 Sep 7.00PM
Premier League 2
Southampton
3
Reading
1
Jones [10'] Sims [64' 89']
Novakovich [84']
Bakary [32'] Sims [41'] Hesketh [90']
Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

Southampton’s Under-23s ran out 3-1 winners over their counterparts from Reading in Premier League 2 at Staplewood Campus on Monday night.

Goals in either half from Alfie Jones and Josh Sims earned a relatively comfortable success for the hosts, who were denied time and again by Reading goalkeeper Stuart Moore.

Saints suffered a late scare when Andrija Novakovich pulled a goal back inside the last ten minutes, but Sims struck his second of the game with a minute to play when he crashed home from close range following Thomas O’Connor’s corner.

The victory ensured that Saints made it three wins from their opening four matches of the league season.

Technical Director Martin Hunter fielded a more experienced side from the one that took on Sunderland last time out in the league which Saints lost 3-0, with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy among those getting some game time.

Defensive duo Richard Bakary and Jack Stephens as well as midfield pair Harrison Reed and Lloyd Isgrove were also involved from the start, with the latter making his first appearance of the season.

Pre-match, assistant coach Radhi Jaïdi highlighted that he wanted to see a reaction from the defeat at Sunderland, and he was rewarded with a fine first half of football from the hosts.

The threatening signs from Southampton were there early on when Sims forced a save from Reading goalkeeper Stuart Moore, before the winger also teed up Isgrove to fire wide inside the opening ten minutes.

Having forced the Royals into a couple of mistakes already, Saints won a corner which led to the first goal of the game.

One of many fantastic deliveries from O’Connor on the night was met by Sam McQueen, whose shot was blocked, but defender Jones was on hand to stab home from close range to put Saints in front.

The home side pushed for a second strike and saw Olomola denied by a wonderful save from Moore low to his left, and the visiting ‘keeper would go on to thwart Isgrove again past the half hour mark.

He saved his best however to deny Harrison Reed’s rising shot on 38 minutes which he tipped onto the crossbar, before Hesketh’s follow-up went over.

Saints deservedly held their lead going into the break, but there were no doubt calls to be more ruthless in the second 45 from the dressing room.

Reading made two changes at half time and were rewarded with an improved performance at the start of the half.

They drew a good chance just before the hour mark when Liam Kelly’s dinked free-kick was headed back across goal by substitute Harry Cardwell, with Andy Rinomhota seeing his goalbound effort cleared from the line by Jack Stephens.

Southampton responded to that pressure in the perfect way though, when Josh Sims notched his third effort of the campaign on 64 minutes. He drilled home a shot just inside the area which went into the bottom left corner from Hesketh’s assist.

Saints resumed control of the contest after that strike and had opportunities to extend their lead further when Hesketh laid on a chance for Olomola who was denied by a fine save from Moore, and the shot stopper was on hand to keep out an effort from Sims moments later.

The visitors did manage to find a way back into the game with six minutes remaining when Andrija Novakovich drove home a shot from the edge of the area, but after briefly letting their guard down, Saints went onto restore their two-goal margin of victory with a minute to play.

O’Connor’s corner was pushed away by Moore as Jones rushed in, and Sims was on hand to follow in with a finish from two yards out for 3-1.

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
2
Richard Bakary
Will Wood (74′)
3
Sam McQueen
4
Harrison Reed (C)
5
Jack Stephens
6
Alfie Jones
7
Lloyd Isgrove
Tyreke Johnson (68′)
8
Thomas O'Connor
9
Olufela Olomola
10
Jake Hesketh
11
Josh Sims
12
Harley Willard
13
Adam Parkes
14
Callum Slattery
15
Tyreke Johnson
16
Will Wood

Reading

1
Stuart Moore (GK)
2
Jake Sheppard
3
Shane Griffin
4
Harrison Bennett
Tyler Frost (46′)
5
Thomas McIntyre
6
Zak Jules
7
Josh Barrett
8
Andy Rinomhota
9
Dominic Samuel
Harry Cardwell (46′)
10
Liam Kelly (C)
11
Andrija Novakovich
12
Terrence Vancooten
13
Luke Southwood
14
Axel Andresson
15
Tyler Frost
16
Harry Cardwell
U23 Highlights: Saints 3-1 Reading
Saints vs Reading

U23 Highlights: Saints 3-1 Reading

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