U23 Report: Saints 1-2 Bristol City

By SFC Media Fri 30 Sep Saints U23 vs Bristol City U23
Fri 30 Sep 7.00PM
Premier League Cup
Southampton
1
Bristol City
2
O'Connor [90+1']
McCoulskey [55' 86']
Lyons-Forster [62'] Lemonheigh-Evans [72']
Referee: Dean Treleaven | Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

Southampton Under-23s suffered a 2-1 defeat to Bristol City in their opening Premier League Cup group game.

Two second-half headers from visiting striker Shawn McCoulskey proved to be the difference between the two sides in a tight affair at Staplewood.

Thomas O'Connor grabbed a consolation late on, but Saints could not find an equaliser.

It could have been a different story had Saints made the most of four good first-half chances, but Radhi Jaïdi’s side were unable to take anything away from their opening cup game.

Jaïdi named five second-year scholars in his starting line-up, as Tyreke Johnson started in the lone striker role with Olufela Olomola on first-team duty in Israel.

There was also a first start at this level for Siph Mdlalose, while youngsters Callum Slattery and Thomas O’Connor were again selected in midfield.

After a slow opening ten minutes, the hosts burst into life as Mdlalose twice went close in a matter of minutes. The playmaker was first denied by a smart save from Jojo Wollacott, before flashing a shot just wide of the near post shortly after.

As the visitors worked their way back into the game, Saints were forced into a double substitution. Will Wood and Josh Sims both had to make way, with Richard Bakary and Jake Vokins the two introduced.

It was Bakary’s excellent vision and then pass that created Saints’ next opportunity, as he picked out Harley Willard, but the midfielder’s curling low effort was tipped away from danger.

Siph Mdlalose shows his frustration

Saints would have gone into the break ahead, had it not been for some incredible defending from Lloyd Kelly on the stroke of half time. As Mdlalose's shot look destined for the net, the defender somehow chested the ball over the crossbar to deny the hosts.

The visitors had rarely troubled Harry Lewis in the first half, but they began the second period brightly and the Saints stopper had to be alert to tip Joe Morrell’s low drive round the post.

The opening goal did arrive soon after, and it was the visitors who went ahead. A corner from Morrell found McCoulskey, and he was able to loop his header back across goal and just inside the post.

It was from another corner in which the visitors almost doubled their lead. The ball came all the way through to Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, but his goalbound strike was diverted away by Vokins.
The game's second goal arrived with four minutes remaining, as McCoulskey grabbed his second, again from a Morrell set-piece.

O'Connor did pull one back in stoppage time for Saints, but the Robins held on to take all three points.

Southampton

1
Harry Lewis (GK)
2
Yan Valery
Will Smallbone (83′)
3
Will Wood
Richard Bakary (31′)
4
Thomas O'Connor
5
Ollie Cook
6
Alfie Jones (C)
7
Josh Sims
Jake Vokins (31′)
8
Callum Slattery
9
Tyreke Johnson
10
Siph Mdlalose
11
Harley Willard
12
Richard Bakary
13
Adam Parkes
14
Harry Hamblin
15
Will Smallbone
16
Jake Vokins

Bristol City

1
Jojo Wollacott (GK)
2
Charlie Harris
3
George Nurse
Shabazz Omefe (90′)
4
Kodi Lyons-Foster (C)
5
Jack Challis
6
Lloyd Kelly
7
Shawn McCoulskey
8
Joe Morrell
10
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans
11
James Difford
Opi Edwards (63′)
18
Jake Andrews
12
Harvey Moss
13
Lochlan Robertson
14
Aden Baldwin
15
Shabazz Omefe
17
Opi Edwards
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