U18 Report: Saints 1-0 Brighton

By SFC Media Sat 25 Nov Saints v Brighton
Photo by James Bridle | Harlem Hale
Sat 25 Nov 11.00AM
U18 Premier League
Southampton
1
Brighton & Hove Albion
0
Hale [79']
Smallbone [90']
Roberts [43'] Cochrane [62']
Referee: Robert Ablitt | Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

Southampton Under-18s extended their winning run in the Under-18 Premier League to three matches, as a late Harlem Hale strike gave them a 1-0 victory over their Brighton & Hove Albion counterparts.

Fresh from a 3-0 win at Reading last time out, Saints recorded another clean sheet – their third in a row in the competition – and picked up another full complement of points, in the clash at Staplewood Campus.

Saints started impressively, with Kornelius Hansen firing a free-kick from 25 yards just over inside two minutes.

The threat from the home side continued, and Michael Obafemi went close after ten minutes, as his surging run into the left side of the area saw him power past a defender before prodding just wide of the far post from a tight angle.

Shortly afterwards, Will Smallbone produced another promising moment, with a long-range drive that whistled a yard or two over the bar.

The pressure continued, and Obafemi again nearly broke the deadlock, as his speed saw him dispossess Brighton keeper Tom McGill in the area, only for the ball to just run away from the Saints forward as he won it.

There was a reminder midway through the half, though, that the visitors were not without a threat of their own, as they worked the ball to Isaac Hutchinson 20 yards out, with his fierce drive being brilliantly turned round the post by a diving Alex Cull.

Brighton had another decent sight of goal in the 24th minute, as Stefan Ljubicic was judged to have been tripped by Kornelius Hansen just outside the box, but Jayden Onen bent the resulting free-kick well over.

The tide of the game had turned a bit by this stage, with Albion now on the front foot, and a nice move on the half-hour mark ended with Hutchinson feeding Ljubicic in space on the left edge of the area, only for his curling effort to come back off the bar.

Saints responded, though, as Javen Siu played the ball into Hale 25 yards out, with the midfielder spinning, then going past one defender with nimble footwork, before firing a low, left-footed drive inches wide from the edge of the area.

Moments later, the action went back up the other end, as a loose ball fell to Ryan Longman just inside the box, but his low shot was straight at Cull in the Saints goal.

There were no changes for either side at the break, with the home team carving out the best opportunity at the start of the second half, as Will Ferry brilliantly lifted the ball over his man on the corner of the box, before finding Hansen, whose low strike on the turn was superbly saved by McGill.

Captain Christoph Klarer earned a good sight of goal after 63 minutes, as Hansen’s in-swinging cross from the left picked out the centre-half, who had remained forward from a free-kick, but he glanced his header wide.

Back at the other end, Albion also went close with a headed opportunity, but Longman’s effort from Hutchinson’s driven free-kick bounced just wide.

It appeared as though the game was heading towards a goalless draw, but Saints finally made the breakthrough with 11 minutes left on the clock.

Obafemi showed excellent strength to hold the ball up in the area, laying it off to Hale, who struck a firm low shot past McGill from inside the corner of the area to give Craig Fleming's side another win.

Southampton

1
Alex Cull (GK)
2
Javen Siu
3
Jake Vokins
4
Harry Hamblin
5
Ollie Gardner
6
Christoph Klarer (C)
7
Harlem Hale
Christian Norton (90′)
8
Will Smallbone
9
Michael Obafemi
10
Kornelius Hansen
Harrison Davis (68′)
11
Will Ferry
12
Harrison Davis
13
Adam Parkes
14
Christian Norton
15
Kayne Ramsay
16
Taymar Fleary

Brighton and Hove Albion

1
Tom McGill (GK)
2
Hamish Morrison
3
Mamadou Kone
4
Jordan Araujo
5
Ben Clark-Eden
6
Hayden Roberts
7
Isaac Hutchinson
Tyrese Fornah (84′)
8
Alex Cochrane
9
Stefan Ljubicic
10
Jayden Omen
Danny Cashman (60′)
11
Ryan Longman
Shihab Tareq (72′)
12
Shihab Tareq
13
George Bentley
14
Danny Cashman
15
Charlie Ferguson
16
Tyrese Fornah
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