U23 Report: Saints 1-0 West Brom

By SFC Media Fri 02 Nov Saints v West Brom
Photo by James Bridle | Marcus Barnes
Fri 02 Nov 7PM
Premier League 2 - Division 2
Southampton
1
West Bromwich Albion
0
Barnes [60']
Afolabi (90+6')
Tulloch (68')
Referee: Carl Brook | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 276

Marcus Barnes headed the only goal of the game as Southampton Under-23s chalked up a third straight victory in Premier League 2.

The young Saints were sharp out of the blocks against their West Brom counterparts at St Mary’s, but would have to wait until the hour mark to make the decisive breakthrough, as Barnes headed home Will Smallbone’s corner from close range.

Both Jonathan Afolabi and Barnes saw shots blocked early on, before Callum Slattery and Yan Valery fired wide in a dominant first ten minutes from the hosts.

Striker Afolabi was looking dangerous again when he dropped into a deeper position and turned to face goal, driving at the Albion defence and forcing goalkeeper Alex Palmer into a stooping save from 20 yards.

Radhi Jaïdi’s side continued to be the team in the ascendancy, but were being restricted to shots from distance.

Skipper Thomas O’Connor sent a rising drive whistling over the crossbar, before Will Smallbone forced another low save from Palmer.

It was through an unlikely source that Saints came closest to breaking the deadlock before the interval, as defender Christoph Klarer connected with a teasing free-kick from Tyreke Johnson, only to see his header sail agonisingly wide of the far post.

Klarer was soon showing his defensive prowess at the other end, halting Rakeem Harper in his tracks after the West Brom man had escaped a couple of tackles in midfield.

Jaïdi’s side remained on top at the start of the second period, but would have to wait until the hour mark to convert their pressure into an opening goal.

After Barnes’s positive run and shot drew another save from Palmer, the winger was in the right place to head home Smallbone’s corner, nodding in via the inside of the post from no more than a couple of yards out.

Still Jack Rose remained untroubled in the Saints goal, but such a slender lead is never safe, and Saints were intent on scoring the killer second.

Palmer performed heroics again to keep out O’Connor, who appeared to wrong-foot the West Brom stopper in shooting towards the near post, but an outstretched right hand kept the skipper at bay.

Then Smallbone had the chance to steer one into the far corner, but his shot just eluded the angle of post and bar.

With stoppage time looming, the Baggies came close to snatching a point when Nick Clayton-Phillips headed across the face of goal, but no final touch was forthcoming and Saints had the three points they deserved.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

West Bromwich Albion
  • Possession (%)
    44
    56
  • Shots
    21
    7
  • Shots on target
    6
    0
  • Corners
    5
    2
  • Passes Complete
    242
    335

Southampton PL2

1
Jack Rose (GK)
3
Jake Vokins
6
Christoph Klarer
5
Aaron O'Driscoll
2
Yan Valery
Kayne Ramsay (93′)
8
Thomas O'Connor (C)
4
Callum Slattery
7
Marcus Barnes
10
William Smallbone
11
Tyreke Johnson
9
Jonathan Afolabi
14
Alexandre Jankewitz
13
Adam Parkes
15
Nathan Tella
16
Daniel N'Lundulu
12
Kayne Ramsay

West Bromwich Albion PL2

1
Alex Palmer (GK)
5
Kyle Howkins
6
Kevin Healy
George Harmon (88′)
4
Nathan Ferguson
8
Rekeem Harper
7
Nicholas Clayton-Phillips
3
Morgan Rogers
2
Dan Meredith (C)
10
Rayhaan Tulloch
Finn Azaz (69′)
11
Jonathan Leko
9
Callum Morton
14
Jamie Soule
13
Jasko Keranovic
16
George Harmon
12
Finn Azaz
15
Zak Brown
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