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Reserve report<br>Saints 3-0 Spurs

FA Premier Reserve League South

A gritty display from our young side wasn't enough as former Spur Peter Crouch did the damage in Tuesday night's reserve clash at St Mary's.

The lanky forward who came through the ranks at the Lane struck at the start of each half to clinch the points for the home side.

Southampton - fielding six players with Premiership experience to our one, plus new recruit, Tunisian international Yahia - had the lion's share of it but development coach Clive Allen will nevertheless take heart from his side's performance.

Goalkeeper Nicky Eyre produced his best display at this level, Chris Riley made a bright reserve debut after coming on early for Mauricio Taricco, there was more experience for the likes of Andy Barcham and Danny Stevens and the youngsters hung in there despite taking a bit of a battering.

We lost Taricco, the only experienced player in our line-up, after only 27 minutes, Paul O'Donoghue and Lee Barnard had to be patched up for head wounds and Jamie O'Hara was lucky to walk away from an over-the-top tackle from substitute James that received the only yellow card of the night.

Yet despite the home side's dominance - especially in the first half - we still carved out a couple of chances in the second half that could have a made a difference.

Jamie O'Hara forced a fine save from Alan Blayney, Blayney then denied Lee Barnard but needed MacDonald to hack the spinning ball off the line, Charlie Daniels might have done better with crosses from Riley and Barcham and Blayney was grasping at thin air as O'Hara's free-kick sailed past him and the post.

Crouch did the damage at the start of each half. He opened the scoring after five minutes with a towering header from Surman's cross and the Saints were on top, McKie somehow clearing Crouch's effort off the line and Eyre denying the same player's point-blank header. Yahia rattled the crossbar just before the whistle.

Crouch was there again to double Saints' lead with a magnificent strike two minutes into the second half, flicking up Van Damme's pass before an overhead kick into the far corner.

The lads responded with their best spell as chances came and went at both ends before a late kick in the teeth as Gillett tapped home Blackstock's pull back for 3-0.


2mins: Poor clearance by McKie, Ormorod fired just wide from 10 yards.

4mins: Deep McKie free-kick from left touchline headed back across goal by O'Donoghue, Daniels missed kick.

5mins: GOAL. Surman cross from right flank, Crouch rose high to loop header into far corner. 0-1.

10mins: Taricco burst through three defenders, deep cross cleared from Malcolm's head by MacDonald.

13mins: O'Hara set Daniels on his way down left flank, carried ball 40 yards, Kenton did enough to take power off shot in challenge and comfortable save for Blayney.

14mins: Gillett decent strike from 25 yards always rising.

18mins: Superb crossfield pass from Price controlled well by Barnard, battled past Kenton but penalised for handball just before shot that hit post.

19mins: SAVE. Ormorod broke into box but Eyre out bravely to save at his feet.

23mins: Ormorod threatened to get onto Crouch's clever flick but O'Donoghue read it and produced perfectly-timed tackle in box.

25mins: OFF LINE. Ormorod pounced on defensive mix-up inside box, squared ball to Crouch just six yards out, taking out keeper Eyre in process, but McKie slid in for superb goal-line clearance.

27mins: PENALTY? Saints claims for handball waved away as Barnard blocked Crouch's header.

29mins: SAVE. Eyre superb reactions to keep out Crouch's close-range header from Gillett's corner.

33mins: Eyre out quickly to take ball as Surman slid in for McCann's pass.

42mins: Gillett free-kick from 25 yards clipped top of net.

44mins: WOODWORK. Yahia met Gillett's corner and clattered crossbar from eight yards.

Injury time: Eyre down low to his right for another decent save from Van Damme's 25-yarder.

Half-time: Southampton 1, Spurs 0

47mins: GOAL. Crouch controlled Van Damme's prod into the box, flicked up and scissor kicked into far corner with Eyre helpless. 0-2.

51mins: SAVE. O'Hara onto loose ball, drove forward, shot from 20 yards tipped around post by Blayney.

54mins: SAVE/OFF LINE. Barnard dribbled along byline, cut across Kenton, Blayney out to block effort that then spun into the air and cleared off line by MacDonald.

56mins: Yahia onto Gillett's driven corner but flick flew just wide.

62mins: MISS. O'Hara's pass intercepted by McCann, instant through ball to Ormorod who fired wide from 12 yards.

67mins: CHANCE. Great work from Riley, skipped past Van Damme and lovely cross on the run that Daniels volleyed over.

73mins: MISS. More good work down the right, this time from Barcham, low cross that Daniels fired wide.

74mins: MISS. Crouch might have done better, heading over Ormorod's cross from six yards.

81mins: More fine defending from O'Donoghue as Ormorod broke into the box.

83mins: CLOSE. O'Hara's free-kick from 25 yards curled a yard wide with Blayney at full stretch.

85mins: Brave header away from Riley in amongst the boots as dangerous cross flashed across goal.

Line-ups: Southampton: Blayney, Kenton, Van Damme, Gillett, Yahia, MacDonld, Davies, Ormerod (Blackstock, 84), Crouch (Best, 84), Surman (James, 40), McCann. Subs: Anaclet, McNeil.

Spurs: Eyre, Taricco (Riley, 27), McKie, O'Donoghue, Defendi, Price (Barcham, 57), O'Hara, Barnard, Malcolm (Stevens, 70), Daniels. Subs: Forecast, Lewis.

Pictures courtesy of