10/12/2014: Saints U18s 2-1 West Ham U18s
Saints U18s progressed to the 4th round of the FA Youth Cup with a 2-1 win over West Ham at St Marys.
West Ham overpowered the home side during the first 20 minutes or so. The Hammers took the lead on 10, with George Pask touching the ball on from a corner. West Ham had chances to make it 2-0 with Niall Mason clearing the ball in the six-yard box after Harry Isted had been beaten. Isted also pulled off a very good save himself.
Josh Sims had Saints' first major effort on goal, a deflected shot which flew over the bar. The hosts levelled soon after. Schoolboy Callum Slattery's perfectly weighted pass went all the way to Dan Demkiv in the penalty area. Demkiv used his skill to dodge a defender before brilliantly rounding the keeper for 1-1. Saints passed the ball with more confidence after the goal. Marcus Barnes headed over the bar with his back to goal.
Not long after the interval West Ham were down to 10 men, when Manny Onariase was deservedly red carded after bringing down Barnes just outside of the area. Saints just about edged it from then on, but it wasn’t completely one-sided. Marcus Browne volleyed just wide for West Ham. At the other end Armani Little's head flew just wide of the back post. Sims also had a chance before Slattery gave Saints the lead. It looked as if nothing was on when the midfielder picked up the ball about 30 yards from goal. With bodies in the way Slattery steadied himself before firing into the roof of the net. West Ham remained in the game until the final whistle, going closest with a header at the back post late on.
Saints struggled during the first 20 minutes, but responded well and put in a competent performance. The team played some good football, but the player who stood out above everyone else was the youngest player on the pitch. Callum Slattery displayed many of the qualities you’d look for in a future star. Even without the goal and the assist his vision and intelligence shone through. His speed of thought was noticeable too. We’ll definitely be hearing a lot more from him in the next few years.
Isted: A couple of minor misjudgements, but shot-stopping good
Mason: Experience gained with the U21s this season shone through. Industrious work down the right
Cook: Picked up a knock in the first half. A few strong tackles
Clinton: Distribution a bit weak early on, but a bit more assured later in the game
Debayo: Steady defensively
Armani: Covered a lot of ground and tidy in possession
Lea: Looked comfortable on the ball and kept the ball moving quickly
Slattery: As mentioned above, a classy showing
Sims: Able to show his skill without ever neglecting his defensive duties
Demkiv: Neat close control. Did brilliantly for the goal
Barnes: A good performance. Led the line well with some good runs and clever flick-ons
Willard: A solid 20 minutes
Olomola: A few decent touches
Jones: Didn’t really have enough time to make an impression on the game
Saints - Demkiv (34) Slattery (69)
West Ham - Pask (10)
Referee: Adam Nunn
Saints: Isted, Mason, Cook, Clinton, Debayo, Armani, Lea, Slattery, Sims (Olomola 81), Demkiv (Willard 68), Barnes (Jones 86)
Subs not used: Hallett, Regis
West Ham: Howes, Pike, Burke, Pask, Onariase, Oxford, Amoo (Sheriff 87), Browne (Bailey 71), Brown, Parfitt-Williams, Borg (Diangana 81)
Subs not used: Bogard, Neufville