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FA Youth Cup Report: Wigan 1-2 Southampton
Southampton came from behind to win 2-1 against Wigan Athletic and book their place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.
Saints went behind to an early Tom Powell strike at the DW Stadium, but fought back to equalise through striker Jonathan Afolabi.
Adam Parkes then denied Shane Donaghey from the penalty spot to ensure the tie remained level at the break, before substitute Michael Obafemi tucked in the match-winner with just 15 minutes remaining.
Having almost taken the lead through a Jamie Cotter head in the opening exchanges, the hosts did eventually have the ball in the net after nine minutes.
The Latics’ top goalscorer Powell latched onto a long ball over the top from goalkeeper Theo Roberts and tucked the ball under Parkes from an acute angle to break the deadlock.
Despite going behind, Saints were not prepared to lie down. Yan Valery’s surging run almost provided an immediate way back into the encounter, but the Frenchman’s shot from the edge of the area was straight at Roberts in the Wigan goal.
Craig Fleming’s men did eventually pull level on the 21st minute. Tireless work from Tyreke Johnson down the left flank resulted in the forward crossing for Afolabi, who turned in the penalty area and hammered home from close range.
The key moment in the game came just ten minutes later. Siph Mdlalose was penalised for a clumsy tackle on Matthew Taylor in the penalty area and referee Peter Gibbons pointed to the spot.
Donaghey stepped up confidently for the hosts, but Parkes did superbly well to get down low to his left and save the midfielder’s spot-kick and keep the scores level going into the break.
~Wigan started the second half brightly and created an early chance to reclaim the lead. Luke Burgess slipped in Callum Lang who fired from the right of the penalty area, but Parkes did well to close the angle and beat the shot away at his near post.
On the hour mark the hosts had the ball in net once more. Aaron O'Driscoll's looped header from Anthony Plant's cross eluded Parkes and dropped into his own net, but was called back immediately by referee Gibbons who had spotted a foul on the Saints goalkeeper.
With 15 minutes remaining Craig Fleming made his first change of the evening, as Michael Obafemi replaced Afolabi up top.
And it did not take the striker long to make an impact. Having won the ball back inside the Wigan penalty area Johnson crossed low towards the near post, and Obafemi finished neatly passed Roberts to give Saints the lead.
The hosts continued to throw all they could at Saints in the closing minutes to take the tie into extra-time, but Fleming's men held firm to secure safe passage into the next round of the competition.
Well done to Aaron and his team mates and the very best of luck in the next round from everybody at Cherry Orchard F.C.
Match Report: https://southamptonfc.com/news/2017-01-11/match-report-southampton-wigan-fa-youth-cup
*Report - Southampton F.C