Back to winning ways
Saints 2, Stockport 0
With Stockport rapidly losing touch at the foot of the table and Saints hoping to continue a string of home wins, there was a lopsided look about the odds for the meeting between the two sides at St. Mary’s. However the visitors organised themselves well while Saints were soon shown to be missing Lallana and Connolly, although not much change there in the latter’s case. In fact Davis was the only goalkeeper to have been troubled in the first 41 minutes, but then Fon-Williams saved a header at point blank range from Barnard; the only moment of note for the home side in an unmemorable half.
According to Mr. Pardew’s utterances, Barnard seems to be expected to take the pressure off Lambert, but he’s struggled to be part of his three part-games so far and despite a more promising start to the second period from Saints in general, he again failed to make it much past the hour mark as the obvious tactical change of introducing Papa Waigo N’Diaye was made.
Within 10 minutes Saints were home and dry, and Papa could have been well on his way to a hat trick. The forward’s first touch was to win a corner which somehow ended up in the net and, just as confusingly, seems to be credited to Lambert, whereas my viewing of the TV replays suggests a more crucial touch by a visiting defender. Stockport may be used to chasing games, but it still doesn’t come easily to them and now the chances began to appear for Saints. N’Diaye headed wide before converting a deep cross by Ostemobor for 2-0 and he was later denied by Fon-Williams in the sort of one-on-one situation where he has hitherto been so sure.
People’s attentions on and off the pitch seemed to be turning to forthcoming cup ties well before Stockport mounted a late rally, but Saints were just about secure enough at the back to keep a clean sheet.
LSSC Man of the Match: Rickie Lambert. Even when his colleagues are struggling to provide the right sort of service, he still carries a threat.
Alan Pardew: “We lost our way in the first half.
“We just put some more energy into the second half. We were much better, much more like us.
“I thought the half time response from the players was excellent.”
17 Barnard (Papa Waigo 62)
09 Papa Waigo