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16/03/2015: Saints U21s 2-0 Liverpool U21s

Saints U21s overcame Liverpool at Staplewood on Monday night. Martin Hunter named a very experienced team, with Florin Gardos, James Ward-Prowse and Filip Djuricic among those dropping down. Will Wood was the only starter without a first team appearance to his name.

Saints took a while to adapt to the wet surface, committing a few minor errors in possession early on. The home some threatened their opponents with some direct play. Jason McCarthy had the first real opening, driving a shot at the keeper on 9 minutes.

Liverpool looked a lot slicker on the ball, but failed to stretch Saints' back-line. Ryan Seager should have scored after intercepting a back pass, but could only scoop the ball wide. Liverpool attempted to play out from the back, but were unsettled by Saints' pressing.

On 33 Harrison Reed turned in his own half before feeding Sam Gallagher with a long through ball. Gallagher's effort wasn't strong enough to beat Dan Ward. Saints dominated the final stages of the first half, but couldn't find the breakthrough. Isgrove blasted over on 43.

Liverpool had their first proper chance on 47. Daniel Trickett-Smith's curling shot was caught by Paulo Gazzaniga. Sergi Canos had an even better chance on 53 as Liverpool found some joy on the counter. Saints slowly improved as the half went on. Ward-Prowse shot straight at the keeper on 59. Six minutes later the home side were ahead. Ryan Seager finished well from the edge of the area from Djuricic's through ball. Gallagher thought he had made it 2-0 soon after, only to see his effort ruled out for offside. Ward-Prowse missed again from distance on 73.

Liverpool's chances were dealt a further blow when Harry Wilson was sent off for dissent. Ward-Prowse nearly scrambled a second, following up on Jake Sinclair's initial effort. Saints finally wrapped it up on 86 when Isgrove fired in low from range. Given the level of experience on show you might have expected a better performance from Saints, but overall the hosts just about deserved the win.

Player Comments

Gazzaniga: Distribution good. Not called into action too often

McCarthy: Reverted to right-back. Showed some skill on the ball

Gardos: Looked a bit awkward in possession on occasions, but no major errors

Wood: Passing a bit wayward at times. A reasonable defensive showing

Targett: Some good direct runs and set piece delivery

Ward-Prowse: Back in the deep lying midfield role. Displayed a good range of passing

Reed: Intelligent use of possession

Gallagher: Not that influential out wide, but involved in a couple of chances after drifting inwards. Put in some good defensive work too

Djuricic: Frustrating at times early on, but more useful in the 2nd half, with some good hold up play and an assist for the first goal

Isgrove: Perhaps Saints' most impressive player on the night. Pressed well and utilised his pace and skill on the flank

Seager: Quiet at times, but another good finish to get Saints going

Substitutes

Sinclair: Bright in the brief period he was on

McQueen: Managed to get a shot off after coming on deep into stoppage time

Match Details

Saints - Seager (65) Isgrove (86)

Line-ups

Saints: Gazzaniga, McCarthy, Gardos, Wood, Targett, Ward-Prowse, Reed, Gallagher (McQueen 90), Djuricic (Sinclair 75), Isgrove, Seager

Subs not used: Britt, Mugabi, Gape

Liverpool: Ward, McLaughlin (Smith 61), Maguire, Cleary, Williams, Stewart, Canos, Chirivella, Trickett-Smith (Hart 80), Brannaghan (Ejaria 80), Wilson

Subs not used: Viouroux, Brewitt

Previous Match Reports

15/03/2015: Chelsea 1-1 Saints
05/03/2015: Saints U21s 4-2 Derby U21s
03/03/2015: Saints 1-0 Crystal Palace
28/02/2015: West Brom 1-0 Saints
23/02/2015: Saints U21s 0-0 Tottenham U21s
22/02/2015: Saints 0-2 Liverpool
12/02/2015: Saints U21s 3-2 Watford U21s
11/02/2015: Saints 0-0 West Ham
07/02/2015: QPR 0-1 Saints
01/02/2015: Saints 0-1 Swansea
24/01/2015: Saints 2-3 Crystal Palace
17/01/2015: Newcastle 1-2 Saints
15/01/2015: Saints U21s 2-0 Norwich U21s
14/01/2015: Ipswich 0-1 Saints
12/01/2015: Fulham U21s 1-2 Saints U21s
11/01/2015: Man United 0-1 Saints
04/01/2015: Saints 1-1 Ipswich
01/01/2015: Saints 2-0 Arsenal
28/12/2014: Saints 1-1 Chelsea
26/12/2014: Crystal Palace 1-3 Saints
20/12/2014: Saints 3-0 Everton
16/12/2014: Sheffield United 1-0 Saints
13/12/2014: Burnley 1-0 Saints
09/12/2014: Saints U18s 2-1 West Ham U18s
08/12/2014: Saints 1-2 Man United
03/12/2014: Arsenal 1-0 Saints
01/12/2014: Saints U21s 1-0 Man United U21s
30/11/2014: Saints 0-3 Man City
24/11/2014: Aston Villa 1-1 Saints
08/11/2014: Saints 2-0 Leicester
01/11/2014: Hull 0-1 Saints
29/10/2014: Stoke 2-3 Saints
25/10/2014: Saints 1-0 Stoke
18/10/2014: Saints 8-0 Sunderland
05/10/2014: Tottenham 1-0 Saints
29/09/2014: Saints U21s 2-0 Norwich U21s
27/09/2014: Saints 2-1 QPR
23/09/2014: Arsenal 1-2 Saints
20/09/2014: Swansea 0-1 Saints
13/09/2014: Saints 4-0 Newcastle
12/09/2014: Tottenham U21s 3-2 Saints U21s
30/08/2014: West Ham 1-3 Saints
26/08/2014: Millwall 0-2 Saints
23/08/2014: Saints 0-0 West Brom
22/08/2014: West Ham U21s 1-2 Saints U21s
17/08/2014: Liverpool 2-1 Saints
09/08/2014: Saints 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
31/07/2014: Brighton 1-3 Saints
25/07/2014: Bournemouth 0-1 Saints
21/07/2014: Swindon 0-1 Saints