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Season 2017-18
Southampton (h) U23 Premier League Division Two


Monday February 19th 2018, 7.00pm 

 Whitley Park

Conditions: woeful


Newcastle U23s

Southampton U23s

  1 - 5





37 mins Tella shot. 0-1

Half time: Newcastle 0 Saints 1

52 mins
Obafemi flick. 0-2

57 mins
Jones header. 0-3

61 mins
Hesketh shot. 0-4

68 mins
Yarney header. 1-4

86 mins
M'Dalose shot. 1-5

Full time: Newcastle 1 Saints 5



Having lost 2-6 on the South Coast back in October, the U23s were punished once again by Southampton at Whitley Park on Monday night in the return game.

The visitors dominated the opening stages and won a series of corners that were dealt with by goalkeeper Paul Woolston - able to play for United reserves under the terms of his present loan to South Shields.

However, Woolly came second off best after tangling with Michael Obafemi on the half hour and received treatment on the field before leaving on a stretcher.    

His replacement, Otto Huuhtanen was beaten by Nathan Tella seven minutes later when the ball ran across the box for the former Arsenal midfielder to shoot home.

Fortunate to be just one behind at the break after the Saints missed two glaring opportunities and created a host of half-chances, Newcastle couldn't cope with the relentless pressing game of their opponents and caved in completely in the second half.

Obafemi took advantage of statuesque defending to flick home a second on 52 minutes, before unmarked Alfie Jones nodded in a corner five minutes later.

It was 4-0 on 61 minutes when Jake Hesketh hit a low 18 yard drive, the Southampton players now bored with celebrating this one-sided embarrassment.

A rare upfield foray from Newcastle ended with Owen Gallacher's shot blocked by the boot of goalkeeper Jack Rose - and the home side's one bright moment followed from the subsequent corner.

Mackenzie Heaney's flag kick was met by defender Josef Varney and his 68th minute header looked to have crossed the line before rebounding off a couple of other players and ending up in the net (video replays suggest that Mo Sangare's follow-up from point blank range may actually have been the vital touch, but Yarney was credited with the goal).

There was no respite for United though and further away goals always seemed likely, Hesketh's shot moments later beating Huuhtanen but bouncing back off the goal frame and into the 'keeper's grateful arms.

The Finnish youngster did make another couple of decent stops before a fifth goal arrived with four minutes left, substitute Siph M'Dalose cracking home the goal of the night in off the post.

That's now four successive league defeats for the black & whites and just a solitary clean sheet in 11 games - we may be in danger of breaching the Trades Descriptions Act by calling this a Development XI.

It can be argued that playing in four cup competitions means that the squad has to be rotated and we have loaned out a greater number of players than in any other season, further weakening our squad.

However, it cannot be ignored that opposing teams with similar workloads and issues routinely look fitter, better on the ball and more composed than our lot. 

The uneven Whitley Park playing surface was only an impediment for one team tonight....


Page last updated 20 February, 2018