Callum Slattery swept the Saints into a 26th minute lead at their Staplewood training ground on Saturday, but we drew level six minutes later when Anthony Georgiou drilled low into the far corner from the left-hand edge of the area.
Kieran, our Under-18s Coach, wasn’t surprised to see the home side take the lead after they enjoyed a spell of pressure, but praised our players for their spirited recovery in what was our first Barclays Under-18 Premier League away game of the new season.
“I thought we had a really positive start in the first 10 or 15 minutes but then dropped away a little bit and we had a really poor spell before they scored their goal,” he said.
“Southampton put a lot of crosses in and obviously scored from one but then credit to the individuals because they turned it around, they got momentum back, got the goal back and then I thought we had the momentum for the rest of the game.”
Kieran reserved praise for Armani Daly, who made his first start for the Under-18s on the right side of midfield and supplied the ball in to Georgiou which led to our equaliser.
“I thought Armani was a constant threat throughout,” he said. “He got the assist and had a really good chance from the right-hand side as well so it was a good effort from him on his first start.
“Ryan Loft and Anthony Georgiou had really good chances as well and overall I thought it was a good building block.
“The performance level was higher than it was last week, even though we didn’t win as we did last week, but I’m happy with the progress and we’re now just looking for individuals to kick on to another level over the next few weeks.”