Matthew Dennis scored a superbly-taken solo goal as we beat Southampton to reach the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.
The visitors started brightly and came close to taking the lead inside two minutes when Marco Rus cut the ball back to Caleb Watts from the touchline, and the forward’s powerful strike cannoned off the post.
We grew into the match and our first chance fell to Catalin Cirjan, who collected the ball inside the box, skipped past a challenge and saw his goalbound strike blocked, before Sam Greenwood came close with a trademark free-kick.
Greenwood then almost benefited from a mix-up in the Saints backline as the ball bounced past Bycroft on the edge of the box but unfortunately for our striker, he couldn’t keep it in play.
Kazeem Olaigbe had the first chance of the second half when the ball broke to him on the edge of the box, he took a touch but saw his curling effort well held by Hubert Graczyk.
Nathan Butler-Oyedeji looked lively throughout and he soon collected the ball on halfway, sprinted towards the touchline, cut inside, but saw his low effort blocked by the strong Southampton defence.
With 10 minutes remaining, Dennis settled the tie when he received the ball on the halfway line, drove towards the Southampton goal, shifted it on to his right foot and hit a powerful strike into the top corner from the edge of the box.
WHAT IT MEANS
We are into the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup for the third consecutive season.
Our opponents are yet to be confirmed due to the draw taking place at a later date.
Ken Gillard’s side returns to U-18 Premier League South action on Saturday, January 11 when we face Aston Villa at home at 12pm (UK time).
By Sam Cox
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