Three late Southampton goals saw City throw away a 3-1 lead to lose our opening Premier League 2 game of the season in dramatic fashion.
A double from Jayden Braaf and a spectacular drive from Morgan Rogers had put City in total control, but three goals in the final five minutes saw the visitors travel back to the South Coast with all three points.
City made a dominant start but we struggled to create clear-cut chances in the opening half an hour. Ian Carlo Poveda stung the hands of Jack Bycroft early on, and Tommy Doyle curled one past the upright from distance, but our possession wasn’t translating into too many dangerous openings.
But we eventually went ahead on 32 minutes, Jayden Braaf producing a tidy first-time finish after a well-worked period of possession from City that saw Poveda provide a perfectly-weighted assist.
That goal settled City, our passing suddenly sharper and more incisive. And right on half time, we were two up, new boy Morgan Rogers firing home off the underside of the bar after Adrian Bernabe’s inch-perfect throughball. A brilliant, emphatic finish and the first example of his quality since joining from West Brom in the summer.
Southampton, against the run of play, halved the arrears after an error by Gavin Bazunu. With City guilty of overplaying at the back, Bazunu found himself closed down by Kornelius Hansen. The City ‘keeper tried to clear, but the ball hit Hansen and went straight in the back of the net.
Morgan’s enticing ball across the box was almost turned in by substitute Nabil Touaizi, but he couldn’t get stretch to connect, before brilliant play from Braaf down the right saw him cross to the back post, only for Morgan to miscue the finish from a tight angle.
City’s were far from at our free-flowing best, but the quality of Braaf restored our two-goal lead as he cut inside from the right and unleashed a powerful low drive past Bycroft. City 3-1 up and cruising.
But then the game unravelled, with a chaotic, unfathomable finish that saw City turn a dominant winning position into defeat.
Tom O'Connor headed home from close range with five minutes remaining, and seconds later Dan N'lundulu fired home from close range. City looked rattled but worse was to come as N'lundulu scored a quite brilliant looping effort from the corner of the 18-yard box out to seal the win for Saints.
City team: Bazunu, Garcia, Frimpong, Harwood-Bellis, Ogbeta, García, Doyle, Bernabé, Rogers, Poveda-Ocampo (Touaizi 46'), Braaf
Man of the Match
No doubt about City's star man: 16-year-old Braaf.
With two goals and some dazzling wing play to his name, he was our man of the match.
We travel to Tottenham on Friday night for our next Premier League 2 game. Kick off is at 7pm.
And the next chance to see us in action at the Academy Stadium comes on Friday 23 August when we host Chelsea. That one also gets under way at 7pm.