Frustrating night for Saints
Saints 0, Swindon 1
It may be difficult to come to terms with, but Swindon are well placed to at least play a role in the play-offs, while Saints… well Saints aren’t really, are they? So in that respect, it was a good performance to thoroughly outplay our most recent visitors in a first half when Saints did everything but score, at least legally.
Many of us thought that Lambert had secured an early lead with a trademark free kick but the ball had landed on the roof of the net, while Smith’s handling ensured no mishaps from several other sharp shots. He was eventually beaten by Hammond, but the ball came back off the post and although Barnard finished off the move, he was offside.
Swindon were like a boxer hanging on for the bell and a chance to return to the corner, or in this case the dressing room – even in added time Saints almost forced the ball home but Thomas’s effort was kicked off the line.
Danny Wilson must have had scouting reports showing that an in-your-face approach can unsettle Southampton (Brentford, Wycombe, Tranmere, etc.), and his team emerged well ‘up’ for the second half. Former Poole Town striker Austin had put a great chance wide in the first period but he almost beat Davis with a close range effort and then raced clear (and possibly offside, but TV shows it was close) to give his side a 55th minute lead.
Southampton’s play and tactics now had an air of desperation and substitute James wasted a lot of what assured possession they had with a succession of poor crosses, but Lambert still managed to crash a shot against the bar. In the end, and despite a late sending off, you had to concede that the visitors’ promotion chants had some substance, and if they are right, Saints will be one of those left waving them goodbye.
LSSC Man of the Match: Rickie Lambert, at least as good as he had been to win MotM at Tranmere.
03 Thomas (James 71)
14 Hammond (Connolly 71)
17 Barnard (Papa Waigo 61)