Report: Saints 1-1 Reading [3-4 on pens]

By SFC Media Wed 21 Dec Saints v Reading
Photo by Naomi Baker | Southampton after the shootout
Wed 21 Dec 7.00PM
Checkatrade Trophy
Southampton
1
Reading
1
Reading win 3-4 on penalties
Isgrove [30']
Keown [50']
Vokins [81']
Cooper [26']
Referee: Lee Collins | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 1,679

A young Southampton side suffered a 3-4 defeat on penalties against Reading in the Checkatrade Trophy. 

A first-half strike from Lloyd Isgrove gave Saints the lead, but the visitors fought back through Niall Keown to take the game to a penalty shootout.

Saints were always going to have a mountain to climb having missed their first two spot kicks, and Yakou Meite eventually converted Reading's fourth to secure the Royals safe passage to the next round of the competition.

It took just five minutes for Yan Valery to create the first meaningful chance of the evening for the hosts. Bursting forward from inside his own half, the full-back eased past two Reading players before hitting his effort straight at goalkeeper Anssi Jakkola from the edge of penalty area.

Saints had another chance to take the lead just five minutes later. A slip across the visiting backline gifted Jonathan Afolabi the ball 30-yards out. The striker bore down one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but was dispossessed just as he looked to cut back and strike at goal.

Martin Hunter’s men did eventually break the deadlock on the half-an-hour mark. Isgrove drove from distance with a superb run and then rifled into Jakkola’s far corner to ensure Saints went into the break with the advantage.

Southampton celebrate taking the lead at St Mary's.

It didn't take the visitors long to level after the interval, as Josh Barrett's in-swinging corner was headed in from close range by Keown to level proceedings just five minutes after the restart. 

Having pulled themselves level, the Royals continued to press for the lead. Meite released a strike from the edge of the Saints area just moments later, but Harry Lewis was on hand to parry away the danger.

Barrett then found space on the left byline to cut back for the on-rushing Ramarni Meford-Smith inside the penalty area, but he guided his effort wide of Lewis' far post.

Saints then made their first change of the evening, as Siph Mdlalose replaced fellow winger Tyreke Johnson.

Jake Vokins drives forward with the ball at St Mary's.

The visitors could well have sealed a win in the closing five minutes. Barrett was causing trouble once again and unleashed a dangerous strike from range, only to see it ricochet clear off of Lewis' crossbar.

Saints responded immediately and Isgrove broke into the right of the visitors' penalty area and fired low across goal, but Jakkola steered the effort clear with his right foot.

At the other end Lewis was again called into making another stop. He showed superb reactions to get down low and deny Barrett in the closing minutes to ensure the tie would be decided by a penalty shootout.

The visitors flew to an early lead in the shootout, with captain Jake Cooper and Sandro Weiser dispatching their spot kicks whilst Alfie Jones and Thomas O'Connor missed for Saints.

Callum Slattery and Armani Little then calmly finished their efforts, as did Tennai Watson for the visitors, but Tyler Frost was denied by Lewis to make it 2-3.

Isgrove converted to keep Saints in the running, but Meite hammered his effort home past Lewis to ensure a 4-3 victory and progression into the next round for the visitors.

Southampton

41
Harry Lewis (GK)
43
Yan Valery
48
Ollie Cook
35
Alfie Jones (C)
57
Jake Vokins
31
Armani Little
49
Thomas O'Connor
55
Callum Slattery
27
Lloyd Isgrove
59
Jonathan Afolabi
51
Tyreke Johnson
Siph Mdlalose (68′)
56
Adam Parkes
30
Will Wood
47
Richard Bakary
50
Ben Rowthorn
54
Siph Mdlalose
60
Will Smallbone
61
Michael Obafemi

Reading

31
Anssi Jakkola (GK)
3
Jake Cooper (C)
17
Sandro Wieser
19
Yakou Meite
29
Josh Barrett
30
Tennai Watson
34
Niall Keown
42
Andy Rinomhota
55
Sam Smith
Tyler Frost (67′)
62
Danny Loader
63
Ramarni Medford-Smith
56
Luke Southwood
33
Shane Griffin
48
Harrison Bennett
51
Ryan East
58
Terence Vancooten
60
Tyler Frost
Highlights: Saints 1-1 Reading [3-4 on pens]
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Highlights: Saints 1-1 Reading [3-4 on pens]

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