U18 REPORT: Southampton 3-0 Aston Villa

By SFC Media time Sat 31 Oct Club

Southampton Under-18s picked up their first clean sheet of the season as they beat their Aston Villa counterparts 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Having lost 2-1 against the Villans on the opening day of the campaign, Saints rarely looked like suffering defeat again once Connor Langan had opened the scoring.

A quick-fire double just before the hour mark put Craig Fleming’s side in control against their Villa counterparts as Harley Willard and Tyreke Johnson found the net.

The convincing win made it four games without defeat for Fleming’s side and saw them move up into the top eight in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.

Four changes were made from the draw with Norwich City as Willard, Langan, Ollie Cook and Stuart Wilkin came in for Richard Bakary, Ben Rowthorn, Carel Kayembe and Joe Lea.

With just ten minutes on the clock, Langan repeated the trick of Maya Yoshida for the first team on Wednesday night by opening the scoring from right-back at the Staplewood Campus. 

He latched on to a smart pass from Willard, before firing beyond visiting goalkeeper Emmanuel Idem from a tight angle to mark his first start with a goal.

Villa’s main threat looked to be coming from Moustafa Zeiden, and after cutting inside and beating two men, he fired narrowly wide of Harry Lewis’s goal just after the 30-minute mark.

Callum Slattery, named in the latest England Under-17s team this week, then almost doubled the lead for Fleming’s side. After a slip from Jake Humphrey, the midfielder was able to advance, but saw his shot tipped narrowly wide of the far post. 

It was Slattery’s midfield partner, Thomas O’Connor, who went closest in the opening stages of the first half. The Irishman’s low drive from distance was pushed away well by Emmanuel Idem.

It seemed as though the next goal would be crucial, and so it proved as Saints scored twice in a minute to put themselves 3-0 ahead.

The second came in the 55th minute as Johnson teased his marker before standing the ball up at the back post for the onrushing Willard who headed home for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Johnson was rewarded for a fine assist just a minute later. Olomola won back possession and raced cleared before laying it on a plate for the 16 year-old to smash home from close range.

The goal capped a memorable week for the youngster, who after making his Under-21s debut last Monday, will celebrate his 17th birthday on Tuesday.

Villa had rarely troubled the Saints goal during the second 45 minutes, but it took two brilliant stops from Lewis to deny the visitors a late consolation.

Zeidan’s cross was inch perfect for Jordan Cox, but the winger’s volley was kept out by Lewis and then cleared away by Cook. The stopper then made another smart save moments later to keep out substitute Harvey Knibbs.

Villa continued to press for a consolation, but Saints kept them at bay well to earn all three points and pick up their first clean sheet of the campaign.

Southampton Under-18s team: Harry Lewis (GK), Connor Langan, Ollie Cook, Oskar Cvjetičanin, Ben Cull, Thomas O’Connor, Callum Slattery, Harley Willard, Stuart Wilkin (Archie Thomas 76), Tyreke Johnson (Carel Kayembe 76), Olufela Olomola (c). 

Unused substitutes: Adam Parkes (GK), Ben Rowthorn, Rugare Musendo.

Goals: Langan (10), Willard (55), Johnson (56)

Booked: Langan (23), Olomola (66), Willard (90)

Aston Villa Under-18s team: Emmanuel Idem, Joe Linley, Mitch Clark, Jack Coates, Jack Clarke, Jordan Cox, Jake Humphrey (Louie Hall 52), Jake Hayes, Moustafa Zeidan, Kelsey Mooney (Harvey Knibbs 65), Callum O’Hare (c).

Unused substitutes: Charlie Bannister (GK), Alex Prosser, James Finnerty.

Referee: Lukasz Sipior

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