Fleming delighted with resilient Under-18s

By SFC Media Sat 25 Nov Saints v Brighton
Photo by Matt Watson | Craig Fleming

Southampton Under-18s coach Craig Fleming was delighted with the resilience his side showed in their 1-0 home win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Harlem Hale's 79th-minute strike gave Saints a third consecutive victory – and a third clean sheet in a row – in the Under-18 Premier League.

The hosts had to work hard for the three points at Staplewood Campus, and Fleming was pleased with how his players battled for the points.

"We probably haven't reached the heights there that we have done in previous weeks, but testament to them, they dug in and ground out a result really," he said.

"In recent weeks we've probably been better in possession and creating a lot more chances and really putting teams to bed, but I thought there they really showed the other side, which is just as pleasing in all honesty.

"We've been working for a few seasons now on trying to teach them the other side of the game. Technically they're very good players – Southampton's famed for it – but we've been trying to get them really hard to beat, difficult to play against and resilient, and they're showing it now, week in and week out."

The decisive moment came when Michael Obafemi showed tremendous strength to win and hold the ball up in the area, before laying it off to Hale, who took a touch and despatched a low shot into the bottom corner.

Fleming said: "Michael's been tremendous. I thought first half he was almost unplayable at times. His pace is very, very good, and really pleasing for Harlem again. He's got electric pace as well, and end product is something we've been working on with him and obviously great for him to get the goal."

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