Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Thursday February 12 2009
New signing Zoltan Liptak scored on his debut as Saints' reserves recorded a 2-0 friendly win at Staplewood.
Playing alongside Olly Lancashire, the Hungarian defender impressed as Southampton took on a senior side from former Saints boss Glenn Hoddle's academy.
With Saints' reserves without a fixture for almost three weeks, it was a useful workout for some of Southampton's fringe players, and the behind-closed-doors friendly gave Head Coach Mark Wotte plenty of food for thought.
Tommy Forecast started the game in goal, with Lee Molyneux at left back and trialist Ronayne Marsh-Brown on the right of Lancashire and Liptak.
Anthony Pulis, Ryan Smith and Oscar Gobern were all involved in the first half, which ended goalless.
With the main aim of the game to give as many players as possible some much needed playing time, Wotte made several changes at the interval.
The versatile Marsh-Brown switched to right back, Michael Poke replaced Forecast in goal and Kayne McLaggon came on for Romain Gasmi.
It was Liptak who gave Saints the lead after an hour of play, nodding home from close range after a Ryan Smith free-kick. Jack Boyle then doubled the lead with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The Jersey-born youngster cut inside from the right and struck a sweet shot with his left foot to seal the win.
Speaking to the club's official website, Wotte said how the fixture was a useful exercise and that he was happy to be able to try out a few different options.
"They were a decent side to play against with 19 and 20-year-old players that had all been released from various clubs' academies," he said.
"They had some good opportunities in the first half, but Tommy Forecast made some good saves in an open game.
"I was pleased with the performance of Zoltan Liptak," added the Dutchman. "He did a good job and scored a good goal which showed his threat from set-pieces and that he's very decent in defence.
"He made a good impression on me and I think he could be of use for us if something happens to Chris Perry or Jan-Paul Saeijs.
"I saw alot of good performances today, so that pleased me," he continued. "I liked Kayne McLaggon and the power that he has and the explosiveness.
"He's not only quick, but he's also strong and competitive. For a young boy he has a great spirit and is like a predator."
Talking about trialist Marsh-Brown, Wotte hinted that he will feature in the next reserve game before any decision is made on the players' future.
"He played a decent game as well," said Wotte. "He can play either right or left back, he's quick, he has good defensive skills and I think so far so good."
Former England boss Glenn Hoddle also had some words of encouragement for Saints and their current situation.
"I spoke with Glenn and he was very supportive," Wotte said. "It was good to see him back at Staplewood and he wished us well for the rest of the season."
Date:Thursday February 12 2009
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