Report: Man United 1-2 Saints (FA Youth Cup)

By SFC Media Mon 12 Dec Man United vs Saints
Mon 12 Dec 7.00PM
FA Youth Cup
Man Utd
1
Southampton
2
Chong [64']
O'Connor [82'] Smallbone [85']
Slattery Afolabi
Referee: Jack Nield | Venue: Old Trafford | Attendance: 0

Southampton came from behind to secure a place in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup with a 2-1 success at Old Trafford.

Following a close, goalless first half the tie swung in the hosts’ favour when substitute Tahith Chong scored an impressive close range volley, but two goals inside the last ten minutes from Saints turned the game on its head.

First, Thomas O’Connor arrowed in a shot from the left side of the area, and then substitute Will Smallbone fired in a superb dipping strike from the edge of the area to seal a memorable win which knocked out the competition’s most successful side.

Saints settled into a good early rhythm as they took the game to the hosts and carved out the first chance of the contest on six minutes when striker Jonathan Afloabi cut in from the right and saw his shot saved by Belgian ‘keeper Moutha-Sebtaoui.

There was little to choose between the two teams in the opening exchanges, with Saints defending assuredly against the counter-attacks from the hosts.

Afolabi was booked as he tried to earn a penalty for the visitors by going down inside the area, but match official Jack Nield acted swiftly to award a free-kick the other way, and brandish a yellow card to the Saints forward.

At the other end, Adam Parkes was called into action to deny Joshua Bohul after he had made a mazy run to the byline. Then, from a partially cleared corner Angel Gomes should have done better for United from inside the area, but he blazed a shot over the crossbar.

Ten minutes before the break, Lee O’Connor saw his header crash back off the bar, and while Saints initially struggled to clear their lines, the ball was soon put away to safety.

Siph Mdlalose in first half action at Old Trafford

Saints went close again when Thomas O’Connor stepped up to a free-kick around 30 yards from goal, and his strike flew narrowly over the right side of the target.

United asserted themselves more towards the end of the half and Ethan Hamilton had a header saved by Parkes, but the game remained scoreless going into the break.

Saints made a strong start to the second 45 and had their best chance of the match up to that point when Mdlalose got past a defender on the right flank to cross for Afolabi, and the striker’s header went narrowly over.

The hosts introduced the Marouane Fellaini-like presence of Tahith Chong ten minutes into the new half, with United adding a more physical side to their game.

The visitors continued to press though, with Slattery seeing a shot blocked, before Christoph Klarer had a downward header saved at the back post from a corner.

But it was Chong’s almost immediate impact which ultimately turned the game and on 65 minutes he gave United the lead. A crossfield ball to Jake Kenyon created the space, and the full-back’s cross was brought down by Chong who then swivelled to volley in a fine finish to the top left corner of the net for 1-0.

Saints brought on Harlem Hale and Will Smallbone as they chased a response. And the visitors were rewarded for their bravery when Thomas O’Connor drove into the area on the right and unleashed a drove into the far corner with seven minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish.

And what an ending they created. With four minutes left on the clock, substitute Will Smallbone crashed home a thunderbolt from long range.

Joshua Bohul had a terrific opportunity to draw the game level again late on, but somehow couldn’t convert from close range, leaving Saints to toast a brilliant comeback victory.


Man Utd

1
Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui (GK)
2
George Tanner
3
Jake Kenyon
4
Tyrell Warren (C)
5
Lee O'Connor
6
Callum Whelan
7
Darren McIntosh-Buffonge
Tahith Chong (56′)
8
Ethan Hamilton
9
Joshua Bohul
10
Callum Gribbin
Aidan Barlow (78′)
11
Angel Gomes
13
Alex Fojticek
12
Max Dunne
14
Tahith Chong
15
Aidan Barlow
16
Nishan Burkart

Southampton

1
Adam Parkes (GK)
2
Yan Valery
3
Jake Vokins
4
Ben Rowthorn
Will Smallbone (76′)
5
Aaron O'Driscoll (C)
6
Christoph Klarer
7
Siph Mdlalose
Harlem Hale (72′)
8
Thomas O'Connor
9
Jonathan Afolabi
10
Callum Slattery
11
Tyreke Johnson
13
Alex Cull
12
Will Smallbone
14
Harlem Hale
15
Harry Hamblin
16
Harrison Davis
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