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Match Reports

Ten-man Under-23s beaten by late Saints winner

12 March 2018

A late goal from Southampton's Michael Obafemi inflicted a cruel 2-1 defeat on Norwich City's Under-23s, who ended the match with ten men.

Obafemi scored after just 13 seconds to gives the hosts the lead and City's job to get back into the match was made even harder when Timi Odusina was sent off for an off-the-ball incident just after the first-half was brought to an end.

Adam Phillips equalised with an exquisite free-kick with ten minutes to play but Saints regained the lead in stoppage-time through Obafemi, leaving it too late for City to respond for a second time.

Matt Gill made just the one change from the side which started the 3-0 defeat to Fulham last week with Bilal Kamal coming in for Matt Jarvis. Max Aarons was deployed in a wide midfield role with Kamal filling the full-back position.

City could not have got off to a worse start as, within 13 seconds, Saints took the lead. A cross from Nathan Tella on the right found Jake Hesketh whose shot deflected kindly for Obafemi and he dispatched the ball past Aston Oxborough.

Jordan Thomas fired wide from range as the visitors looked to get themselves back into the game but Southampton could have easily been two ahead midway through the first-half when Obafemi dispossessed Owen Wallis and shot wide of Oxborough’s near post.

City had plenty of the ball in the first-half but couldn’t quite test Jack Rose in the Southampton goal. Their best chance to level came when Savvas Mourgos curled inches over the crossbar from a free kick.

The first-half ended similarly to how it began, with plenty of drama. Tella had an effort deflected over from around six-yards before the referee blew for half-time and shortly after he did so, he showed a straight red card to Odusina for an off-the-ball incident.

City gifted Saints a penalty on the hour mark after overplaying at the back ended with Aarons fouling Tella but Oxborough came to the rescue when he brilliantly pushed away Hesketh’s spot kick.

The visitors then grew in confidence and had a brilliant opportunity to level. A sweeping move resulted in Devonte Aransibia shifting the ball onto his left and firing a low effort inches wide of the post.

But City were eventually rewarded for their endeavours with ten minutes left. After Thomas O'Connor was penalised for a foul on Mourgos, Adam Phillips stepped up and curled the ball superbly beyond the clutches of substitute goalkeeper Kingsley Latham.

With just minutes to play though, City's hard work was undone as Obafemi rifled home from inside the area to steal all three points, despite Phillips hitting the post from the halfway line as the game restarted.


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