Josh Sims enjoys dream debut as Southampton prevail against Everton

Southampton 1 Everton 0
Southampton teenager Josh Sims relished a dream Premier League debut after his header across goal allowed Charlie Austin net the winner in the first minute.

The 19-year-old produced a man-of-the-match performance, earning a standing ovation from the St Mary’s crowd when he was substituted in the 84th minute.

It was an unhappy return for former boss Ronald Koeman to the south coast, but Sims explained what it meant to make his senior debut for a club that has become renowned for bringing through young players.

“As a kid, I came through the academy at Southampton so playing in front of all the fans and them singing my name was a dream. It’s everything you wish for,” he said.

“It was a mixture of nervousness and excitement but I was really excited. I knew I was in the squad, but as soon as I found out I was starting I got tips from the lads and they told me to do what I do best.”

Austin said: “He had no fear, go out there and do what he does best. He deserved (man-of-the-match) for what he did but it was a great performance by Josh today.

“After a poor performance on Thursday night (losing to Sparta Prague in the Europa League), we can all say we needed that. It was a big game for us today, we needed to get three points today.”

Everton boss Koeman lamented his side’s poor start and impotent attack: “The start of Southampton in the game was better than our start, 1-0 so fast in the game makes it difficult. In my opinion, (we had) a good second half, much better than the first but that’s the problem, it’s how we start the game.

“It’s sometimes difficult to explain why. It was the kick-off of Everton and I think after 10 seconds we lost the ball and then they scored, 1-0.

“I can’t complain about our second half. We put a lot of effort on the pitch but it’s difficult to score the goals at the moment.

“We need to work hard and start better, keep focused on improving and to have a performance like the second half and also have a bit of luck.”

SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Soares, Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand, Højbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond (Clasie 79), Austin (Long 89), Sims (McQueen 84)

EVERTON: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Baines (Valencia 83), Gueye, Barry, Lennon (Deulofeu 65), Barkley (Mirallas 71), Bolasie, Lukaku

Referee: Craig Pawson

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