Match: Southampton U23s v Aston Villa U23s
Date: Friday 3rd May 2019
Competition: Premier League 2 Division 2
Venue: St Mary’s
Smallbone 7, O’Connor 71
Sinisalo, Bazeley-Graham (Guy, 81), Walker, Suliman, Revan, Clarke (Burton, 81), Vassilev, Brunt, Archer, Ramsey, Bidace-Philogene (Pressley, 66). Unused subs: Lomax, Bridge.
Story in brief
Aston Villa U23s were knocked out of the Premier League 2 Division 2 Play-Off picture with a 2-0 defeat at Southampton U23s.
This was a one-off semi-final leg, with the winners facing a showpiece clash at either Newcastle or Reading.
Goals from Will Smallbone and Tom O’Connor in either half ensured the final will be contested between the Saints and the Magpies, who saw off the Royals on Friday night, too.
It was a game of few chances but Radhi Jaïdi’s side made theirs count.
Saints were ahead on seven minutes from the penalty spot, when goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo upended Tyreke Johnson in the box. Smallbone netted with a low strike into the bottom corner.
O’Connor’s unstoppable free-kick, from 30 yards out, on 71 minutes gave the Saints daylight in their task to progress.
We did have half chances through Indiana Vassilev and Easah Suliman but it was the hosts who made it through to the showpiece.
We have a friendly game coming up next week as we face Leyton Orient.
The match takes place on Friday 10th May, with a 7pm kick-off at the Breyer Group Stadium.