U18 Report: Saints 2-0 Rotherham

By SFC Media Tue 04 Dec Saints v Rotherham
Photo by James Bridle | Taymar Fleary
Tue 04 Dec 7PM
FA Youth Cup
Southampton
2
Rotherham United
0
Norton [16'] Ferry [89']
Robise [62'] Fleary [64']
Beeden [24'] Southern-Cooper [85']
Referee: Michael Ryan | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 250

Goals from Christian Norton and Will Ferry ensured Southampton progressed to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup with victory over Rotherham United at St Mary’s.

Striker Norton nodded in James Morris’s 16th minute cross in a tie the young Saints controlled for the most part.

It would take until the 89th minute for Paul Hardyman’s side to breathe easy, as Will Ferry finished off a flowing move to put the game to bed.

It was a very lively start to the action, as both teams exchanged early chances.

Saints’ number one Jack Bycroft was called upon in the very first minute with a flying save to deny Tyrone Lewthwaite’s well-struck volley.

Back came the hosts, as skipper Kayne Ramsey fed the ball down the line to Norton, who escaped the Rotherham defence but could not beat goalkeeper Charlie Farrar.

Left-back Alex Johnson then had Bycroft scampering across his line when his low free-kick took a deflection that carried the ball inches wide in a very open first ten minutes.

But it was Johnson’s opposite number Morris who was the architect as Saints broke the deadlock 16 minutes in.

Trading passes with Enzo Robise, the young defender took a fine pass in his stride to cross on the run for Norton to gleefully head home from six yards.

Christian Norton is congratulated after opening the scoring for the young Saints at St Mary's 

Having already shown his class for the goal, Robise was terrorising Rotherham again with a sharp dart into the box, followed by a low shot well saved by Farrar down to his left.

Saints were beginning to dominate, but Jacques Etia might have equalised against the run of play with a snapshot on the turn that bobbled wide.

It was an isolated alarm for the hosts. Robise combined neatly with Taymar Fleary, tiptoeing into the box but without quite finding the onrushing Ferry.

While Robise was causing problems down the left, Ferry’s influence was growing on the opposite flank. His perfectly-weighted pass released Norton, who poked the ball between the legs of Farrar but just the wrong side of the post.

Ferry finished the half by going for goal himself, sending Farrar stooping to his right to repel a 20-yard shot that bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper.

It was easy to forget Saints’ lead was so slender, but Jacob Gratton fired a timely reminder shortly after half time with an explosive strike from distance that left Bycroft’s crossbar shaking.

Then Ferry stepped inside off his wing and used the run of Morris to make space for a shot that curled just too late to creep inside Farrar’s far post.

Saints kept pushing for a second, but Rotherham stayed in the game until the end.

Brilliant work from Robise to control a high ball and skip past two defenders sparked a rush of blood to the head as the Frenchman blazed high and wide from a near impossible angle.

It would take until the final minute of normal time for Saints to kill off the tie, as substitute Dan Bartlett split the defence to find fellow replacement Benni Smales-Braithwaite, whose low cross was converted by Ferry from eight yards.

There was still time for Bycroft to make two fine saves from set-pieces in stoppage time, including one particularly sharp reflex stop with his foot, while Ferry was only denied his second and Saints’ third by a goal-line clearance with virtually the last kick.

Southampton

1
Jack Bycroft (GK)
2
Kayne Ramsay (C)
3
James Morris
4
Caleb Watts
5
Pascal Kpohmouh
Oludare Olufunwa (90′)
6
Allan Tchaptchet
7
Enzo Robise
Dan Bartlett (88′)
8
Alex Jankewitz
9
Christian Norton
10
Taymar Fleary
Benni Smales-Braithwaite (66′)
11
Will Ferry
12
Oludare Olufunwa
13
Matthew Hall
14
Dan Bartlett
15
Sean Brennan
16
Benni Smales-Braithwaite

Rotherham United

1
Charlie Farrar (GK)
2
Harrison Beeden
3
Alex Johnson
Joel Spence (46′)
4
Mitchell Carlton
5
Jake Hull
6
Jake Southern-Cooper (C)
7
Regan Hutchinson
8
Wilfred Peel-Evans
9
Tyrone Lewthwaite
10
Jacques Etia
Travon Wenham (74′)
11
Jacob Gratton
12
Elliot Ellis
13
Luke Hodgkinson
14
Joel Spence
15
Robbie Gateshill
16
Travon Wenham
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