Two goals either side of half-time did the damage as Jack Roles added to Samuel Shashoua’s early penalty while the lively Reo Griffiths – who won the spot kick for Shashoua’s opener – and Tashan Oakley-Boothe got on the scoresheet in the second period.
William Smallbone replied for the visitors.
We forged ahead 14 minutes into the Under-18 Premier League curtain-raiser when Saints skipper Aaron O’Driscoll was penalised for a foul on Griffiths in the box and Shashoua stepped up to fire low into the corner from the spot.
Dan N'Lundulu drilled just wide for the visitors before we made it two on 25 minutes as Griffiths, who hassled the Southampton defenders in the box at every opportunity, laid the ball off for Roles to strike from distance and his effort squirmed through the hands of goalkeeper Adam Parkes, the ball trickling over the line.
A fine piece of defending from Jon Dinzeyi denied Southampton a certain goal eight minutes before the break. Ben Rowthorn shook off the attentions of his marker and set up N'Lundulu, who was completely free six yards out. He took a fraction too long to get his shot away, allowing Dinzeyi to come steaming in with a marvellous covering challenge.
Above: TJ Eyoma on defensive duty.
Parkes saved well from Shashoua’s free-kick 11 minutes after the break but Griffiths made it 3-0 within 30 seconds. Keanan Bennetts played him in and he proved deadly inside the box as he slipped the ball past the keeper.
Saints substitute Smallbone replied on the hour mark with a fine left-footed shot from 25 yards that nestled into the bottom corner.
Goalkeeper Brandon Austin denied Southampton’s Archie Thomas with a full-stretch diving save while Smallbone’s fierce free-kick was inches off target before Oakley-Boothe completed the scoring in the 90th minute. He exchanged passes with Griffiths before lashing high into the net from a tight angle on the right.
Spurs U18s: Austin, Eyoma, Brown, Marsh (c), Mukena, Dinzeyi, Shashoua (Omolabi 83), Roles (Oteh 74), Griffiths, Oakley-Boothe, Bennetts (Patterson 61). Substitutes (not used): Tsaroulla, Whiteman (GK).
JOHN MCDERMOTT, HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT, SAID
“I thought we were dangerous on a number of occasions and created chances. There were lots of pleasing elements and performances but our expectations are extremely high and I’d like to think that if we keep working hard there are several more levels to go in terms of what the boys have the potential of achieving. It was an okay start to the season.
“The whole theme of pre-season has been about trying to have penetration on the field and having players who stand out by making or scoring goals. We’ve had a real push on that. I thought Southampton’s best chances were created by ourselves and we just need to find a balance between penetration and control of the game a little bit better but they’re young boys, they’ve shown a real desire to learn and there’s lots of scope for improvement.”
Our youngsters always seem to visit West Ham United in the first couple of weeks of the season and this year is no different. Our first Under-18 Premier League away game of the new campaign takes place next Saturday against the Hammers, who opened their campaign with a 2-0 win at Reading this afternoon.