Che Adams nets another brace as Southampton ease past Cambridge

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Che Adams’ brace and a late debut strike by teenager Dominic Ballard helped Southampton FC win their first-ever meeting with Cambridge United 3-0 to book a place in the Carabao Cup third round.

Saints forward Adams continued his strong start to the new campaign with a goal in each half to back up his weekend efforts where he netted a double to inspire a comeback victory away to Leicester.

Substitute Ballard added a third late on to ensure Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men made it back-to-back wins on the road having gone six months without tasting success away from home prior to Saturday’s triumph.

With Saints captain James Ward-Prowse and Kyle Walker-Peters given the night off, it opened the door for teenager Lewis Payne to make a full debut.

The right-back made a quick impression when he showed his composure in the 16th minute with a fine centre across goal for Adams to poke home.

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Adams had already been denied an earlier effort for handball while Mohamed Elyounoussi tested Cambridge’s back-up goalkeeper Will Mannion during a frantic opening.

Both teams continued to play at a high intensity but Southampton were the dominant force and only George Williams’ excellent goalline clearance to deny Adam Armstrong kept it 1-0 at half-time.

Sam Smith dragged wide for the Sky Bet League One outfit immediately after the break but the clincher soon arrived and it was Adams who again made the difference.

He fired home on the half-volley after a Oriol Romeu’s pot shot had been parried but Cambridge were unhappy the 55th-minute effort counted after the ball hit Adams’ elbow in the build-up.

Numerous substitutions were made soon after and forward Ballard wrapped up the scoring two minutes from time when he rifled into the roof of the net at the second attempt to cap a memorable cameo.

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