U23 Report: Bristol City 0-2 Saints

By SFC Media Thu 16 Feb Bristol City U23 vs Saints U23
Photo by Naomi Baker | Marcus Barnes scores

Southampton Under-23s moved to the top of their Premier League Cup group with a 2-0 victory away at Bristol City. 

An early opening goal from Ryan Seager and second-half strike from Marcus Barnes were enough to ensure Saints ran out comfortable victors at Twerton Park. 

Radhi Jaïdi made three to changes to the side that suffered a 1-0 defeat against Swansea City in the same competition at the beginning of the week.

Harry Lewis and Seager were gifted starting berths, as Mouez Hassen and Josh Sims missed out.

Whilst Under-18s captain Aaron O’Driscoll started in the heart of defence, as Alfie Jones moved into midfield in the absence of Tyreke Johnson.

Seager didn’t take long to make the most of his starting position. Latching on to a loose pass across the backline, he bore down on goal and rifled a thunderous strike in off the underside of the crossbar to give Saints the lead after just four minutes.

The hosts fought back and soon fashioned two half-chances of their own. Joe McNulty tried his luck from range and then Freddie Hinds showed quick feet to work space and strike, but both were easily stopped by Lewis in goal.

Saints had a chance to double their lead just before the half-time whistle. Ollie Cook met Callum Slattery’s in-swinging corner at the back post, but was unable to direct his header goalwards.

Ryan Seager and Marcus Barnes celebrate the opener.

Having missed the chance to extend the lead just before the break, Saints quickly set about looking to do so in the second half.

Olufela Olomola broke from within his own half and teed up Slattery on the corner of the City penalty area immediately after the restart, but he was unable to keep his strike down.

Just before the hour mark Olomola then had a chance of his own. Picking up a second ball he drove from 30 yards and cut inside into space, but struck just wide of the near post.

Five minutes later Saints did double their tally. Seager controlled the ball inside the hosts' half and swivelled to play in Barnes, who calmly slotted under Jojo Wollacott in goal.

There was almost a third in slightly fortuitous circumstances just moments later, as Yan Valery saw his cross from deep ricochet off the roof of the Bristol City crossbar.

With ten minutes remaining Jaïdi made his only change of the afternoon, as goalscorer Barnes made way for Siph Mdlalose.

Freddie Hinds could have then sparked a late comeback for the hosts as he found space in the penalty area and struck at goal, but dragged his shot wide of Lewis' far post.

Slattery also had a penalty claim waved away in the closing exchanges, as Saints cruised towards completing a confident 2-0 victory. 

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