Tue 01 Oct 7PM
Venue: Bescot Stadium
Southampton’s youngsters fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against League Two outfit Walsall in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday evening.
The only goal of the game was scored by former Birmingham City defender Dan Scarr on the stroke of half time, who netted from close range after being well found by full-back Zak Jules.
Saints troubled the hosts throughout, though, and were unlucky not to break the deadlock themselves, particularly in the second period – substitute Christian Norton enjoyed the visitors’ best chance of the game.
The result means that Radhi Jaïdi’s are unlikely to progress from their pool, which Walsall incidentally top, but can take plenty of valuable lessons from the experience; not least the knowledge that they are able to go toe-to-toe with senior opposition.
Their final group stage game takes place against Coventry City in early November.
Saints, in their yellow and grey strip, were only once undone, and the goal cruelly arrived in first-half stoppage time. Jules had reached the by-line down the left, and pulled the ball back for Scarr centrally, who was unusually far forward from centre-back.
His first time finish flashed beyond Harry Lewis and gave the advantage to the home side, seconds before the whistle was blown for the break.
Dan N’Lundulu was the first Saints player to trouble keeper Liam Roberts in the second 45, before substitute Norton forced the Walsall stopper into two saves in quick succession.
The first, from inside the area, produced a fine reaction stop, while the second looked destined for the bottom right corner, before the hand of Roberts intervened.
Josh Gordon had the chance to seal the tie ten minutes from time when presented with a 1v1 opportunity, but Lewis stood tall and saved with his legs.
Kayne Ramsay got into a few good positions down the right in the final stages, but the final pass fell short, as Saints continued to create, but were ultimately unable to level proceedings. The visitors were far from outplayed by their more experienced counterparts, but forced to leave the Banks’s Stadium with little to show for their efforts.
Liam Roberts (GK)
Mat Sadler (C)
Elijah Adebayo (79′)
Wes McDonald (45′)
Kory Roberts (90′)
Harry Lewis (GK)
Callum Slattery (C)
Ramello Mitchell (75′)
Christian Norton (63′)