U18s Report: Saints 3-0 Swansea

By SFC Media Sat 30 Sep Saints v Swansea
Photo by James Bridle | Saints celebration
Sat 30 Sep 1PM
U18 Premier League
Southampton
3
Swansea
0
Obafemi [65'] Gardner [75'] Vokins [79']
Hamblin [3'] Obafemi [90']
Fox [49'] Lewis [64']
Referee: D Austin | Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 0

A hat-trick of second half goals, scored by Michael Obafemi, Oliver Gardner and Jake Vokins, ensured Saints claimed all three precious points in Saturday's U18s Premier League offering.

After a dreary first half, Saints sprung in to life in the second period, dictating play, and finding the net three times to cap an impressive display. 

Defender Vokins stole the show, assisting the second goal, while scoring the third, to ensure the home side emerged convincing victors.

The visitors were perhaps the quicker out the starting gate, maintaining possession in the middle third, but it was Saints who lay first assault on their opposition goal.

Starting in place of the injured Harrison Davis, Dan Bartlett's volleyed layoff found the feet of Vokins, who whipped an inviting ball in to the path of Obafemi.

Fresh from his goal last week, the striker collected the pass in his stride before unleashing a shot that was well blocked by recovering Swans defender Ben Cabango.

Moments later Saints skipper Christoph Klarer had punctured the Swansea backline with a bullet header from Vokins' inswinging corner, only for the referee's whistle to curtail celebrations.

The Welsh side adopted a higher press midway through the first period, committing men forward to pressurise the ball, and it nearly paid dividends in the 25th minute.

Arnor Gudjohnsen, half-brother of former Chelsea and Barcelona star Eidur, escaped his marker six yards from goal but couldn't direct his diving header on target.

Saints had a chance to enter the break with a narrow advantage on the stroke of half time, as Obafemi continued to be the home side's most likely threat. The Irish international killed the ball well, before shuffling sideways to engineer room for the shot, but fired disappointingly over.

Eager to get on the front foot, Kornelius Hansen emerged from the interval intent on testing opposition 'keeper Alex Lang. Operating in a less familiar role on the wing, the Norwegian approached the box with pace in the 50th minute, before curling a chipped effort over Lang but wide of the far post.

And the Swans shot stopper was scrambling once more minutes later, when a neat Southampton move was rounded off by a fierce Bartlett drive from 20 yards. Clever with his movement, Obafemi was involved in the build-up, but the eventual shot kissed the wrong side of the side netting.

The deadlock was deservedly broken in the 65th minute, when clumsy defending saw Obafemi upended in the technical area. The striker was quick to claim the penalty, and duly rolled the ball under Lang to put Saints in command.

Before long the floodgates opened, as defensive pairing Gardner and Vokins gave Saints an unassailable lead. A quick-fire double from corners; Gardner was on hand to tap in Vokins' in-swinging corner, before the England international helped himself to a goal, directly from a left-sided corner.

Good value for the win, Saints' youngsters cruised to victory, and decreased their margin on the top half of the table in the U18s Premier League.

Southampton

1
Alex Cull (GK)
2
Javen Siu
Kane Ramsey (88′)
3
Jake Vokins
4
Harry Hamblin
5
Oliver Gardner
6
Christoph Klarer (C)
7
Harlem Hale
Christian Norton (88′)
8
Will Smallbone
9
Michael Obafemi
10
Dan Bartlett
11
Kornelius Hansen
12
Jamie Bradley-Green
13
Adam Parkes
14
Kane Ramsey
15
Simon Kozak
16
Christian Norton

Swansea

1
Alex Lang (GK)
2
Joe Lewis
Cameron Evans (86′)
3
Matthew Blake
4
Kees De Boer
5
Ben Cabango
6
Brandon Cooper (C)
7
Mason Jones-Thomas
Matthew Roberts (45′)
8
Jack Fox
Finley Hazell (69′)
9
Arnor Gudjohnsen
10
Oliver Cooper
11
Marc Walsh
12
Matthew Roberts
13
Nathan Shepperd
14
Cameron Evans
15
Dan Williams
16
Finley Hazell
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