Kelvin earns Saints a point they didn’t deserve
Brentford 1, Saints 1
Saints brought back all three of their cup-tied players for the match at Brentford and kept faith in non-cup-tied new signing Barnard.
An impressive opening from the visitors resulted in another spectacular opening goal, and from as unlikely a source as Thomas’s strike in the previous game – this time it was Lloyd James who produced the fireworks, but I will admit it took until half time for me to be convinced of that. Although Brentford held a lot of possession in the opening half, Southampton were always the more incisive, with Lallana hitting the bar and Szczesny (“another consonant please, Carol”) forced into the more difficult saves. Having scored his goal, James tried unnecessarily to carry on after picking up a knock and was eventually replaced by Schneiderlin, but that had little effect on Saints’ tactics.
The 4-4-2 formation continued after the break and Barnard soon had a chance to put more daylight between the two sides, but he missed a great opportunity. It was a turning point as the Bees came back strongly, only to run up against an inspired Kelvin Davis. The keeper’s efforts included a save from O’Connor’s penalty, but unfortunately Saints never seem to go on to win a game after Davis saves a spot kick – and he does have quite a high success rate.
Despite plenty of close calls, it looked as though this might be an exception, but when a cross was partly cleared, Saints defence pushed out and were caught flat footed when the ball was returned into the area: Legge scored, but it looked as though one of several Brentford players could have done so, and again it was a disappointing end that we can’t really complain about.
LSSC Man of the Match: Kelvin Davis. Not really a lot of doubt about this one.