Ballard brace sends Saints B top of Premier League 2 division

·2-min read
Saints B head coach Dave Horseman (Pic: Ricky Hart)
Saints B head coach Dave Horseman (Pic: Ricky Hart)

SAINTS B recorded back-to-back wins in Premier League 2 to go top of the division, Dom Ballard’s brace firing them from behind again to defeat West Bromwich Albion 4-1.

The 17-year-old wonder-kid’s strikes in each half but the young side ahead after Akeel Higgins’ early opener, before they turned the screw and Matt Carson and Ryan Finnigan finished the job.

Dave Horseman reverted to the 4-2-2-2 studied in detail throughout the academy system, with Dynel Simeu and Nico Lawrencing making an imposing centre-back pairing.

The attacking four, supported by a dynamic captain Lewis Payne at right-back, looked exciting on paper. All of Diamond Edwards, Jimmy-Jay Morgan, Sam Bellis and Ballard are rated highly.

But it was the visitors who got off to a stronger start, Saints just surviving an almost self-inflicted deficit when their sloppy play out the back went unpunished.

West Brom then took the lead through superb individual skill by Higgins, one of three impressive forwards for the Baggies, inside the area, finishing low beyond a helpless Mateusz Lis in net.

On a baking hot evening at AFC Totton, the officials signalled for a drinks break halfway through the first 45’.

It was following that break Saints started to take control, Ballard sending one chance straight at keeper Ronnie Hollingshead before touching down and finishing a clever lofted ball by Morgan.

The prolific forward, following the break, raced through on another Morgan through-pass and chipped it over the onrushing forward.

Saints began to play excellent fluid football and that was rewarded when a team move, lifted a level by Edwards’ cross to the back-post, was headed in by Carson.

Finnigan added the fourth towards the end of the contest, his strike from the edge of the area taking one or two deflections on its way in.

Saints: Lis; Payne, Simeu, Lawrence, Carson; Bragg, Turner, Edwards, Morgan ; Bellis, Ballard.

Subs: Otseh-Taiwo, Tizzard, Finnigan, Pearce, Wright (g/k).

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't just take my word for it - subscribe today.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by searching Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents on Facebook

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated group by searching Hampshire Court and Crime News on Facebook