Saints Under-18s saw victory snatched away from them late on in a 3-3 draw with Stoke City on Saturday morning.
Southampton enjoyed an encouraging start at Staplewood when Jake Hesketh took advantage of a poor clearance to sweep the ball into the top corner.
Positivity grew further as a Saints trialist latched onto a pass lifted over the Potters’ backline before slotting in on the stroke of half-time to hand Jason Dodd’s side a two-goal cushion at the break.
A resurgent Stoke returned after the halfway mark fiercely, reaping the rewards as they snuck their way back on terms with two second-half goals as the clash began to draw to a close.
The hosts regained the lead through individual brilliance courtesy of Chris Regis in the 90th minute before seeing their hopes of three points dashed by a penalty in added time.
FULL-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON U18s 3-3 STOKE CITY U18s
Coach Jason Dodd was left with mixed feelings after the encounter, conveying his disappointment at his side allowing a comfortable lead to slip after such good work to secure it initially.
“It was a game of two halves,” the U18 boss reasoned. “In the first half we started off with a great first goal before getting another and heading in two-nil up at half-time.
“We said at the break that Stoke were going to come after us and that we shouldn’t let our standards drop because it’d be difficult to up it again.
“Sadly, we gave away two sloppy goals. They had a couple of penalty appeals that could have gone their way but they didn’t get them.
“Chris Regis was fantastic for his late goal. There was a bit of skill and a great finish.
“That gave us the lead back with two-and-a-half minutes to go. We do a lot of work on game-management and seeing games out. We gave away a poor penalty in the last 30 seconds of the game.
“To be honest, Stoke deserved a point with the way they played in the second half. We were in control at half-time. We’re disappointed to pick up just a point after being in that position.”