Shane Long’s 19th-minute strike proved enough for Southampton to edge past a resilient Ipswich Town in Wednesday night’s FA Cup Third Round replay at Portman Road, having been held 1-1 in the first game.
Ipswich’s Stephen Hunt had an effort in the opening stages ruled out for outside, before Long’s instinctive finish from a loose ball put the Saints in front for good.
There remained little difference between the two sides over the course of the match but, with the Championship promotion hopefuls giving his team a tough contest, manager Ronald Koeman was pleased overall with the result.
“It was a serious performance from us. We were lucky we scored from our first chance in the game,” the Dutchman told the BBC.
"After that we defended well, with good organisation. We had good opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the second half to create something out of our counter attacks.
"But I'm proud of the team. It was a typical English cup game with long balls. It was very positive."
With five changes made to the team that won 1-0 at Old Trafford at the weekend, Koeman’s midfield featured a pair of 19-year-olds in Matt Targett and Harrison Reed, with the latter looking particularly impressive on the night.
The England Under-20 international had made just four senior appearances this season prior to the match, but he didn’t look at all out of place, stepping up his performance after a limping Victor Wanyama was forced off in the closing stages of the first-half with a suspected hamstring injury.
With the former Celtic star now facing some time on the sidelines, that could hand Reed the chance of a run on the line-up, and fans appear eager to see what he can do with some regular minutes judging from the reaction.
Looks a player Harrison Reed— Jack Hawkins (@JackHawkiins) January 14, 2015
Harrison Reed has really impressed me so far, closing down very well and settling into his role with bucket-loads of energy— Daniel Raza (@dhraza) January 14, 2015
Reed bossed Everton I'm sure he can handle Newcastle #saintsfc— JustAnother (@SaintsOpinion) January 14, 2015
SFC_Jamie) January 14, 2015
Think reed has been class and can step up now for Saturday #saintsfc— Tom Pointing (@pointingsaint) January 14, 2015
@_PhilS best english player on the park tonight mate, Harrison Reed by a mile— Harrison Harding (@Harrison_4) January 14, 2015
Perhaps it's a lazy comparison due to hair colour but Harrison Reed holds himself and runs an awful lot like Paul Scholes did.— Match of the Dave (@MatchoftheDave) January 14, 2015
Harrison Reed is a quality player. Simple but affective #saintsfc— Joshua Harvey (@Josharvey23) January 14, 2015
@HarrisonReed You were terrific again tonight and grew with every minute you played. Hoping you will retain your position.— Art Birchell (@ArtzLine_FR) January 14, 2015
i'd love to see Harrison Reed play more for the Saints, he's been decent everytime i've seen him— Simon Meredith (@SimonMeredith94) January 14, 2015