BURTON Albion Youth Team made history tonight by beating Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at St Mary’s Stadium.
Ben McLean’s 62nd minute header from a corner routine was enough to see Sam Rose’s side progress into the fifth round.
The Brewers had previously played in the fourth round of the cup in the 2012/13 season, losing to Leeds United at Elland Road, but had never progressed further until this evening's result.
Albion’s first threat of the game came through Callum Niven, who picked up the ball on the edge of the box and forced Saints’ keeper Oliver Wright into low saves at his left and then right inside the first 15 minutes.
Chances for Mitchell and Smith were to follow for the Saints, but Greg Lewis was in fine form to twice deny the youngsters and make his first saves of the night.
Before the half was out Lewis was once again called into action, tipping behind Olaigbe’s long-range effort.
But it was Albion who had the final effort of the first 45, Charlie Williams looking for the spectacular into the far, top corner and almost finding it as Wright scrambled back.
HALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 BURTON ALBION
52 minutes on the clock saw the chance of the game which fell to the Saints; Olaigbe skipped down the left-flank, firing the first effort at Lewis.
The Brewers’ keeper then straight away saved from Smith and then once again from Mitchell, making the best saves of a night in quick succession.
That triple save seemed to lift the Brewers, who were in the ascendancy for the next ten minutes, managing to push Saints back and win dangerous set-pieces themselves.
Williams stepped over a free kick on 56 minutes and tried to catch Wright out with an effort at the near post, which just failed to hit the target.
Much like the first the second half started to have more of an end-to-end feel to it as it grew older; Mitchell carrying the ball forward for Saints again before the stubborn Burton defence launched a counter of their own in response.
Saints’ defence proved to be as resilient as their visitors’, as Lewis Payne made a great challenge to deny a certain chance inside the penalty area, before Wright did well to tip over a fierce left-sided shot.
But this resilience fell in the 62nd minute, as Burton took the lead at St Mary’s.
Idouarab’s lofted in a deep ball to the back post, which was nodded home by Ben McLean.
Moments later Idouarab’s free kick scraped the crossbar on its way over.
Olaigbe was involved again at the back post in the 85th minute for the Saints, unmarked and with time to shape his effort he went high and saw his shot blocked behind for a corner.
The Brewers managed to hold out though to reach the fifth round for the first ever time, sparking joyous celebrations on a memorable night for the academy youngsters down on the south coast.
FULL TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 BURTON ALBION
Photo Credit: Southampton Football Club