U18 Report: Saints 1-2 Tottenham

By SFC Media time Sat 09 Sep Saints v Tottenham
Photo by Chris Moorhouse | Michael Obafemi

Southampton Under-18s suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in their latest league encounter.

First-half strikes from Reo Griffiths and Phoenix Patterson put the visitors ahead and despite a late strike from substitute Kornelius Hansen, they were able to hold on to all three points.

The visitors threatened early on as Griffiths wriggled clear in the area after just five minutes to fire a strike at goal, but it was straight at Alex Cull who parried the ball to safety.

Craig Fleming’s men responded immediately and down the other end Harlem Hale threaded through Jonathan Afolabi, but he too struck directly at the goalkeeper.

It was the visitors, however, that opened the scoring on 11 minutes. Griffiths burst through the Saints backline and fired a low drive from the edge of the area low into the bottom corner.

The lead was then doubled just before the half-hour mark. Matt Lock surged forward from right-back and played in Patterson who snuck his effort past Cull at his near post.

Despite the deficit, Saints continued to create chances and could have pulled one back ten minutes before the break.

Afolabi cut in from the left and teed up the on-rushing Will Smallbone at the edge of the area, but his effort was tipped onto the post by Tottenham ‘keeper Austin Brandon.

Saints should have pulled level just 10 minutes after the restart. Michael Obafemi burst into the left of the area and squared for Hale in space, but he struck high and wide of the Tottenham goal.

On 65 minutes Fleming made his first change of the afternoon, as Kornelius Hansen replaced Dan Bartlett.

The woodwork was then stuck twice within ten minutes. The first came from a Jake Vokins corner before Afolabi then saw his fierce effort from a tight angle bounce clear.

Spurs almost further extended their advantage in the closing stages. The two goalscorers combined as Patterson cut back for Griffiths in plenty of space, but he struck over from close range.

With just ten minutes remaining, Afolabi was again denied by the crossbar. The Irish striker showed great feet to work space before unleashing a thunderous effort from 25-yards, only to see it crash clear off the woodwork.

There was eventually a way through for the Saints youngsters. Good pressure from the front saw Christian Norton win back possession and square for fellow substitute Hansen inside the area, who calmly tucked in to pull one back.

But despite a late surge of pressure in search of a leveller, it was only to be a consolation as the visitors held on to secure all three points.

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