Southampton Under-21s suffered a third Barclays Under-21 Premier League defeat in a row as they lost 7-2 to an experienced Norwich City outfit at Carrow Road.
The evening started positively as Ryan Seager grabbed his fourth of the campaign inside ten minutes.
But a brace from Cameron King soon after put Norwich in control, before a three-minute double from Jamar Loza gave the hosts a 4-1 lead at the break.
Radhi Jaïdi’s young side worked hard to get themselves back in the game, finding a second through Seager, but Loza added a trio of late goals to hand the Canaries all three points.
Over a month on from their lasting league outing, there were four changes to the Saints starting line-up at Carrow Road.
Richard Bakary came in for his under-21 debut, while Armani Little, Harry Isted and Josh Sims also came into the starting XI. Bevis Mugabi, Paulo Gazzaniga, Harley Willard and Stuart Wilkin were the four to make way.
For the hosts, first-team captain Russell Martin started at the heart of the defence, while Steven Davis’s international teammate Kyle Lafferty was leading the line.
Despite the hosts having plenty of experience, it was Saints who started the brighter and after Josh Sims had seen a low strike go narrowly wide of the far post, they took the lead.
Jake Hesketh picked up a loose pass and played in Seager, who showed plenty of composure to curl the ball beyond Jake Kean in the Norwich City goal from the edge of the box.
But the hosts quickly turned things around, with King finding the net twice in seven minutes. His first was a near-post header from Arinse Uade’s cross, before smashing beyond Harry Isted on the volley soon after.
Things went from bad to worse for Saints as Loza added a quick-fire double of his own. The winger’s first was a long-range strike that left Isted with no chance, and while the Saints stopper got a touch on his next effort, the ball found its way into the far corner.
Jaïdi’s men had clearly been rattled, but regained their composure and almost got themselves a second of the night five minutes before half time.
A ball in from Hesketh was only cleared as far as Harrison Reed, but Martin superbly blocked the midfielder’s effort. Little then saw a free-kick go narrowly wide as the visitors ended the half strongly.
Saints were much improved after the break, limiting Norwich to strikes from distance before grabbing themselves a lifeline through Seager.
The striker’s hard work was rewarded as he robbed goalkeeper Kean of the ball after a loose touch and tapped into the empty net for his fifth of the season.
With the game wearing on and Saints pushing forward, the hosts took full advantage as Loza fired in three goals in the space of eight minutes to make it 7-2.
Norwich City Under-21s: Jake Kean, Michee Efete, Russell Martin, Adel Gafaiti, Arinse Uade, Reece Hall-Johnson (c), Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, Conor McGrandles, Jamar Loza, Cameron King (Ray Grant 79), Kyle Lafferty (Jamie Eaton-Collins 73).
Unused substitutes: Ben Killip (GK), Todd Cantwell, Glenn Middleton.
Goals: Cameron King (20 & 27), Jamar Loza (29, 31, 82, 86 & 89)
Southampton Under-21s: Harry Isted, Richard Bakary, Ollie Cook, Will Wood, Josh Debayo, Dominic Gape, Harrison Reed, Armani Little, Jake Hesketh (Tyreke Johnson 76), Josh Sims (Yan Valery 76), Ryan Seager.
Unused substitutes: Harry Lewis (GK), Stuart Wilkin, Alfie Jones.
Goals: Ryan Seager (10 & 65)
Booked: Richard Bakary (38), Jake Hesketh (44)
Referee: C Brook