Saints under-18 boss Jason Dodd was left to rue the lack of a killer instinct in the final third as his charges was sent packing in the FA Youth Cup by Charlton.
Dodd’s team dominated the ball for long periods of the game but struggled to create the chances to bag the win as the Addicks ran out 3-1 victors at St Mary’s.
Charlton were a physically strong side with Dodd’s team have several youngsters in their ranks thanks to several of his potential stars being fast tracked through to the development squad and even the first team.
But even so the Saints legend was typically not seeking any excuses.
“We didn’t do as well as we thought we were going to do,” said Dodd.
“The previous round was the best performance that I’ve certainly had and fair play to Charlton they came with a game plan and it was up to us to break them down and we struggled to do that.
“We had plenty of the ball but did we really test their keeper enough? I think the bottom line is no.
“We asked them to be brave, which they were in our half and in the middle but were we really brave enough in the final third?
“When you watch the first team you get the likes of Adam who will try things and is looking for those pockets to play in but we just didn’t have that quality which was a little bit disappointing for us.”
Saints went behind after just three minutes, a setback that had them on the back foot from early on in the game.
“It wasn’t in the plan for us, put it that way,” joked Dodd.
“It was a soft goal and Harry (Isted) the keeper thinks it was a foul but we need to be braver – we knew they were going to be physical and maybe a little bit stronger than us but we needed to get the ball technically and play.
“In areas maybe back half and middle half we moved the ball quite well but we didn’t have that killer and final pass to open them up and that’s the disappointing thing.”
Saints bagged a second half equaliser through Jake Hesketh but just as it looked as though they might be able to take the game to Charlton they leaked two goals in a minute and were knocked out.
“We got the bit of luck with the deflection and you think ‘come on, let’s get a bit of belief in the final third’ but where we were getting tired we made two poor mistakes,” reflected Dodd.
“We knew that were going to be physical and for the third goal young Isaac (Nehemie) got too tight for the first time in the game and the big strong lad pulled him and put it in the corner.
“Those were areas that we had spoke about and it just happened to be when the players were getting tired they made the wrong mental decisions.”