U18 Report: Saints 2-0 Swansea

By SFC Media Sat 18 Feb Saints U18 vs Swansea U18
Photo by Matt Watson | Saints celebrate
Sat 18 Feb 11.00AM
U18 Premier League
Southampton
2
Swansea
0
Afolabi [8'] Gardner [41']
Referee: John Pike | Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

Southampton Under-18s completed a confident 2-0 victory over Swansea City at Staplewood Campus in their latest league fixture.

First-half strikes from Jonathan Afolabi and Oliver Gardner did the damage for Saints, as they picked up a valuable three points in the Under-18 Premier League.

Craig Fleming made four changes to the side that suffered defeat away at Fulham last weekend, with the most significant coming through the middle of the team.

Ben Rowthorn and Oliver Gardner came into the heart of defence in the absence of usual duo Aaron O’Driscoll and Christoph Klarer.

Harry Hamblin started in central midfield alongside Thomas O’Connor, whilst Alex Cull returned in goal and Tyreke Johnson started wide left.

The opening goal came after just eight minutes. Javen Siu’s throw-in from the left wasn’t dealt with by the Swansea backline and Afolabi rolled his man before rifling a left-footed strike into the far corner to make it 1-0.

Will Smallbone then tried his luck at extending the advantage on the half-hour mark. Cutting inside one man he unleashed a drilled effort from range, but dragged it just wide of the far post.

Saints did eventually double their lead just before the break through Oliver Gardner. The defender headed in Tyreke Johnson's in-swinging free-kick on 41 minutes to ensure Fleming's men took a two-goal advantage into the break. 

Oliver Gardner wheels away to celebrate doubling the lead before the break.

It was very nearly 3-0 soon after the restart. Afolabi headed back across goal to tee up Harry Hamblin in the penalty area, but the midfielder saw his goal bound volley blocked at the vital moment.

At the other end, Cull was soon called into action. The Saints goalkeeper did superbly well to deny Mael Davis from close range following a half-cleared corner, before Oli Cooper then fired the rebound over from close range.

The visitors made three substitutions on the hour mark, as Matthew Roberts, Joe Lewis and Jack Fox were all introduced.

But it did little to the outcome of the match as Saints continued to create chances and, although unable to capitalise on any, held out to complete a convincing 2-0 victory.

Southampton

1
Alex Cull
2
Harrison Davis
3
Javen Siu
4
Harry Hamblin
5
Oliver Gardner
6
Ben Rowthorn
7
Siph Mdlalose
8
Thomas O'Connor
9
Jonathan Afolabi
10
William Smallbone
11
Tyreke Johnson
13
Adam Parkes
12
Harelm Hale
14
Archie Thomas
15
Rugare Musendo
16
Daniel Bartlett

Swansea

1
Alex Lang
2
Mael Davies (C)
3
Matthew Blake
Joe Lewis (66′)
4
Marco Dulca
5
Dan Jefferies
6
Ben Erickson
7
Causso Darame
8
Cameron Berry
9
Liam Edwards
10
Oli Cooper
Jack Fox (65′)
11
Kieran Evans
Matthew Roberts (65′)
13
Matthew Roberts
12
Joe Lewis
14
Rhydian Williams
15
Finley Hazell
16
Jack Fox
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