By Connor Armstrong at Staplewood Campus
Our under-23s came from behind to beat Southampton 3-1 and make it five wins from their last six outings in Premier League 2.
The hosts took the lead when Jonathan Afolabi powered the ball past Hugo Keto, but we staged a stunning second-half comeback to claim all three points.
Stephy Mavididi sent an angled drive into the net, before Eddie Nketiah rounded goalkeeper Adam Parkes and slotted in just two minutes after replacing Chuba Akpom.
The scoring was completed when Chris Willock curled a shor inside the far post with five minutes remaining.
SETTING THE SCENE
Cohen Bramall was handed a start at left-back - his first appearance for the club - with Chiori Johnson, Krystian Bielik and Ben Sheaf completing the back line.
Keto started in goal with Joao Virginia on the bench.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide started in midfield, with Reiss Nelson, Mavididi and Willock lining up behind Akpom.
Gedion Zelalem was named on the bench, alongside Josh Dasilva, Vlad Dragomir and Nketiah.
The Saints made the stronger start but Keto was in fine form to deny a close-range effort from Callum Slattery after a misplaced pass.
Nelson then threatened at the other end for Gatting’s side as his curling effort from the edge of the area was tipped away from goal.
Sheaf then went closer still, seeing a rasping free-kick turned away by Parkes at the foot of his near post.
The first half proved to be a tale of two goalkeepers, and Keto rose to the occasion when he made a stunning save to keep out a piledriver from Jake Vokins.
The Gunners kicked off the second half with renewed vigour and a noticeably higher tempo to their attacking play.
Southampton were pegged back by the hour mark, as Mavididi’s controlled strike from a tight angle found its way in.
Nketiah then played the role of the super sub, making an instant impact after stepping off the bench. The 18-year-old held his nerve to round Parkes before calmly rolling the ball into the net.
Willock completed an encouraging night's work when he curled past Parkes minutes later.
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