U23 Report: Saints 2-0 Stoke

By SFC Media Fri 04 Jan Saints v Stoke City
Photo by James Bridle |
Fri 04 Jan 7PM
Premier League 2 - Division 2
Southampton
2
Stoke City
0
Tella [63'] Ferry [80']
Afolabi (90+1')
Dunwoody (38') Niakate (40')
Referee: Adrian Quelch | Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 64

It was the perfect start to 2019 for Radhi Jaïdi's youngsters, who saw off Stoke City with two second-half strikes.

The opener, scored just after the hour mark, was a well-taken sidefoot finish from winger Nathan Tella, and gave the hosts control, before substitute Will Ferry put the game beyond Stoke's reach with ten minutes remaining.

The win takes Saints, temporarily at least, to the top of the Premier League 2 table, two points clear of Manchester United, who have played a game less.

The first 45 minutes were cagey, and rather uneventful. Saints were pressing high, restricting the visitors from playing out, and maintained good tempo in possession, but chances were few and far between.

Tom O'Connor's deflected free-kick, after Tella was upended in the 40th minute, was the best opportunity of the half, but a deflection off the wall took the sting out of the strike, allowing Daniel Gyollai to save comfortably.

The pace of Thibaud Verlinden remained a threat down the left for the Potters, but his only chance, a shot on the swivel, did little to trouble Jack Rose who was a virtual bystander for much of the first period.

The second half carried more excitement. The away side, playing in their purple strip, had a series of corners early on which resulted in goalmouth confusion, but Saints managed to scramble to safety.

And the hosts sprung into life thereafter. Dare Olufunwa got forward well down the right in the 63rd minute, squared the ball inside to Jonathan Afolabi, who almost dummied it by holding off his marker, allowing Tella the space he needed to finish bottom left.

The lead was the perfect tonic for more of an offensive mindset, as Will Smallbone crashed a fierce shot off the post moments later, and the second goal wasn't far behind.

Christoph Klarer, from inside his own half, clipped a cross-field pass into the path of substitute Will Ferry, who took it neatly on his chest, before striking low across goal with his favoured left boot in the 80th minute.

A perfect start to the New Year for Southampton's youngsters then, who now have a nine day wait until their next fixture - an away trip to Middlesbrough. 

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Stoke City
  • Possession (%)
    35
    65
  • Shots
    14
    12
  • Shots on target
    5
    4
  • Corners
    2
    7
  • Passes Complete
    184
    414

Southampton PL2

1
Jack Rose (GK)
4
Thomas O'Connor (C)
6
Christoph Klarer
5
Aaron O'Driscoll
2
Oludare Olufunwa
8
Harry Hamblin
3
Jake Vokins
10
Alexandre Jankewitz
Enzo Robise (74′)
9
Jonathan Afolabi
7
William Smallbone
11
Nathan Tella
Will Ferry (74′)
14
Enzo Robise
13
Alex Cull
15
Will Ferry
16
Christian Norton
12
Allan Tchaptchet

Stoke City PL2

1
Daniel Gyollai (GK)
5
Semi Scott Wara
2
Sim Thanjit
Mohamed Diallo (82′)
6
Josh Tymon
3
Moussa Niakate
Abdoulaye Toure (69′)
10
Oliver Shenton (C)
4
Jake Dunwoody
8
Dan Jarvis
Rachid Balde (45′)
11
Thibaud Verlinden
9
James Jennings
7
Tre Pemberton
13
Adnan Kanuric
12
Mohamed Diallo
15
Abdoulaye Toure
16
Jacob Twyford
14
Rachid Balde
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