Leyton Orient’s Papa John’s Trophy campaign began with a win, as debutant Antony Papadopoulos fired home the winner in the second half.
Competitive debuts were handed to Rhys Byrne and Antony Papadopoulos, whilst Callum Reilly and Tyrese Omotoye also started the game.
Omar Beckles captained The O’s, on a night which also saw academy players Dan Nkrumah and Jephte Tanga make their competitive debuts.
After a slow start to the game, in which Kyprianou went into the book for two late challenges, it was the visitors who found the first sight of goal.
Kami Doyle latched onto a heavy touch, and thundered a right footed effort goalwards – but his strike was too powerful and he couldn’t keep it down.
Not long after, it was Alex Mitchell to the rescue of his defensive partner Dan Happe, who had let the Southampton attacker get goal side of him.
The on-loan Millwall defender recovered to make a brilliant block, and deny a great chance.
Southampton continued on the front foot, this time Ramello Mitchell looking to finish off a well crafted move – but his bending strike was just the wrong side of the post.
Orient soon came to life though, and after good work from Hector Kyprianou on the edge of the box, he swiveled to find his compatriot Ruel Sotiriou.
Sotiriou’s strike was a powerful one and forced Bycroft into a smart stop, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.
The game levelled out, with a battle unfolding within the midfield – Callum Reilly impressing, winning the ball on multiple occasions.
A set-piece gave the perfect opportunity to then open the scoring, as Beckles’ cushioned heard found Sotiriou at the back post, but the striker couldn’t guide his volley goalwards.
With thirty minutes gone, Orient’s best chance of the half fell to Hector Kypiranou, after Sotiriou’s cut back deflected to him, but the midfielder’s strike was high over the bar.
The tempo of the second half was somewhat restrained, as The O’s looked to find a winner.
Good work from Tyrese Omotoye saw his marker Simeu booked, but Orient couldn’t make it tell from the resulting set piece.
Southampton had to resort to breaking at pace, and perhaps should have broken the deadlock, when the cutback to Olaigbe was perfect – but his resulting shot was far from it.
The introduction of Jephte Tanga injected some pace into the game and he looked to make an instant impact, winning a corner – but Dan Happe’s knock down was scooped up by Bycroft.
Still The O’s pushed on, and soon found a way to make the difference, as the hard work from Dan Kemp set up a golden opportunity for a debutant.
Kemp’s endeavour saw his low drilled pass find Papadopolous, who was perfectly poised to thump home what turned out to be the winner.
Despite a late scare as Lewis Payne fired over in the box, The O’s saw out a comfortable win, and the first three points of the competition.
Leyton Orients: Byrne, Reilly (Tanga 71’), Happe, Kemp, Mitchell, Omotoye, Beckles ©, Sotiriou (Nkrumah 40’), Papadopoulos, Sweeney, Kyprianou.
Subs unused: Phillips, James, Wood, Clay, Young.
Southampton B: Bycroft, Lancashire, Simeu ©, Watts, Chauke, Mitchell (Smith 68’), Olaigbe, Otseh-Taiwo, Payne, Doyle, Lett.
Subs unused: Wright, Davey, Ballard, Carson, Bragg, Hewlett.
Referee: Trevor Kettle