The forward looked sharp on his return from injury and, having entered the fray immediately after we gifted Saints forward Chris Regis a 61st-minute opener, he provided two cool finishes to bag us maximum points in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.
Sadly, the alertness and zest we showed in the latter stages wasn’t mirrored in the first period as we played out a sluggish opening 45 minutes at the Training Centre.
Saints wide man Dan Demkiv forced goalkeeper Tom Glover into early action with a speculative 25-yard strike, while Cy Goddard’s driven effort following Armani Daly’s pass two minutes later was one of few stops visiting custodian Harry Isted had to make in the opening exchanges.
As the half progressed the visitors were getting their way in the middle of the pitch, although while Glover was routinely tested on a couple of occasions the Saints didn’t manage to create many clear-cut opportunities.
Demkiv almost broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, his right-footed drive from the left side coming back off the crossbar, while a vital touch from centre-half Ollie Cook prevented prowling forward Ryan Loft from getting on the end of Anthony Georgiou’s cross in the six-yard box at the opposite end.
Loft drew a save from Isted with a rising effort following a clever counter-attack involving Charlie Owens and Zenon Stylianides in what was the last real chance of a flat first period on 35 minutes, while the Saints keeper got low to gather Georgiou’s effort 11 minutes into the second half.
Southampton’s opener just after the hour mark came from a defensive mishap as Anton Walkes’ attempted pass didn’t find its intended recipient and Regis collected the ball centrally before striding forward and placing a low shot into the bottom corner.
Harrison then replaced Loft up front, with fellow substitute Marcus Edwards adding an extra attacking dimension a few minutes later. Like Harrison, Lloyd Ross also made his return from injury off the bench – but it was the former who did the business for us in the 74th minute.
Collecting the ball centrally, Harrison fed Georgiou out on the left and, after the winger’s low drive was parried by Isted, the forward finished well from inside the box on the rebound.
Substitute Callum Slattery had a chance to restore Southampton’s lead three minutes later, but he missed his kick at point-blank range as he tried to get on the end of a cross and Glover gratefully gathered.
Our winner arrived in the 89th minute and again the build-up centred around the left side. Good foresight and desire by Joe Muscatt saw the full-back intercept the ball and feed Georgiou, who cut inside and gave it back to Muscatt on the overlap. He then sent in a well-weighted delivery which Harrison turned home from eight yards.
A substantial amount of stoppage time followed, but if either side looked like they could add to the scoreline it was us. Edwards caused the Saints problems in the latter moments, with the final whistle signalling another three points for Kieran McKenna’s side.
Spurs U18s: Glover, Paul (Ross 71), Muscatt, Owens, Maghoma, Walkes, Daly (Edwards 65), Stylianides, Loft (Harrison 62), Goddard, Georgiou. Substitute (not used): McDermott (GK).