U18 Report: Reading 1-0 Saints

By SFC Media Sat 02 Dec Reading v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Harlem Hale
Sat 02 Dec 11.30AM
U18 Premier League Cup
Reading
1
Southampton
0
Faniyan [70']
Hamblin [42']
Venue: Reading Training Ground | Attendance: 60

A single goal settled a lively affair at Hogwood Park, as Samuel Faniyan's second-half strike proved decisive for Reading.

Saints twice struck the woodwork, while Michael Obafemi's first-half penalty kick also rebounded off the upright, and a frustrating afternoon was typified by Will Smallbone's late 20-yard curler, which for all its quality, deserved an equaliser.

The visitors could have been ahead in the opening three minutes, as Harlem Hale roamed freely down the right wing and fired a low cross to the back post. Will Ferry made a late dash in attempt to connect with the delivery, but the pace on the ball was too vicious.

An open half saw both sides enjoy chances, with Ethan Coleman Reading's biggest threat from midfield. A succession of corners fell kindly to the 17-year-old, as the home side attempted to capitalise on a brief spell of pressure, but a timely intervention from the industrious Harry Hamblin ensured Saints were not undone.

Captain Christoph Klarer connected with a Smallbone free-kick in the 11th minute, guiding his header with exactness, and calling upon Adam Desbois to make a fine save low to his right.

Midway through the half, a good interchange between Ferry and Jake Vokins provided Hale with the invitation to flood the box. The winger received a nudge in the back as he looked set to test Desbois, which the referee brazenly waved away.

Saints' pressure was mounting, and the youngsters were unlucky not to enter the half-time interval with an advantage. Quick and astute on the break, Ferry whipped another characteristically accurate cross in to the danger area, where Obafemi looked set to score, before some expert goalkeeping from Desbois, whose alertness eventually proved to be the difference between the two sides.

A lively half was tinged with slight disappointment for the visitors, as Vokins' charging run was unfairly halted in the 40th minute, leading to a spot-kick. Obafemi, confident in his stance, struck the effort with enough power, but the ball cannoned awkardly off the crossbar and away to safety.

Saints reemerged the quicker, as Hale embarked on a solo run in the 57th minute. A combination of pace and luck saw him dismiss two opposition defenders, before his low shot was well held by a resilient Desbois.

Harrison Davis had to be alive as the clock ticked over the hour mark, tracking his runner at the back post and thwarting a tap in for Faniyan. But, the match-winning wideman made no mistake when presented with a second chance in the 70th minute, replicating his earlier run and this time turning his effort in off the post.

Saints upped the tempo after the setback, and dictated the closing stages. Smallbone curled a 20-yard stunner towards goal, only to be denied by the assulted upright once more, before substitute Christian Norton headed narrowly wide.

The visitors continued to probe, but weren't able to find a way past an organised Reading rearguard, whose stand out performer was undoubtedly 'keeper, Desbois.

Reading

1
Adam Desbois (GK)
2
Joe Wilson
Conor Lawless (55′)
3
Odimayo Akinwale (C)
4
Roberto Nditi
5
Marcel Elva-Fountaine
Michenaidgelo Hansen (80′)
6
Jack Buchanan
7
Samuel Faniyan
8
Ethan Coleman
9
Jack Nolan
10
Charlie Lawrence
11
Khalid Simmo
Thierry Nevers (64′)
12
Tommy Stevens
13
Myles Roberts
14
Conor Lawless
15
Thierry Nevers
16
Michenaidgelo Hansen

Southampton

1
Adam Parkes (GK)
2
Harrison Davis
Kayne Ramsey (75′)
3
Jake Vokins
4
Harry Hamblin
5
Ollie Gardner
6
Cristoph Klarer (C)
7
Harlem Hale
8
Will Smallbone
9
Michael Obafemi
10
Javen Siu
Kornelius Hansen (75′)
11
Will Ferry
Christian Norton (80′)
12
Kornelius Hansen
13
Alex Cull
14
Kayne Ramsey
15
Christian Norton
16
Taymar Fleary
Gallery: Reading 1-0 Saints
Reading v Saints

Gallery: Reading 1-0 Saints

Saints' U18s unfortunate to be on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline

Sat 02 Dec
Butterfield: Missed chances cost us U18 Highlights: Reading 1-0 Saints
Inside Track: Leicester City
Saints v Leicester

Inside Track: Leicester City

Get the lowdown on Leicester City from journalist Rob Tanner.

Just now
Stat Pack: Saints vs Leicester City U23 Gallery: Saints 2-4 Wolves