So frustrating for Saints
Saints 0, Oldham 0
Now I’m a Barnard-sceptic: for all his goals, some vital and timely, I don’t see him contributing enough from general play. Thus I did feel some concern when Barnard was picked to start against Oldham, in the latest ‘must win’ game as the team battle on in the hope that someone above them slips up.
Elsewhere, Wotton replaced Schneiderlin as the club suffered as well as the midfielder’s pocket for his lack of control at Yeovil. Oldham can see safety just a few points away, and they weren’t concerned about how they picked one of them up at St. Mary’s – and, indeed, why should they be?
Saints didn’t play particularly well in the opening period but still had chances enough to have built up a lead, with Lambert’s dominance of his marker counteracted by former Saint Daryl Flahaven having one of those everything-goes-right days in goal and referee Wright having one of those when he didn’t live up to his name.
James replaced Wotton at the break, which seemed a wasted substitution at the time, as was proved by his withdrawal in favour of Connolly less than half an hour later. Barnard too was replaced, this time by N’Diaye who livened things up for the last third. But not much changed in front of goal, with the goalkeeper and his colleagues managing to get something behind all of Saints’ best endeavours and Mr. Wright turning down a very credible penalty appeal.
By the end, Oldham’s goal was under the sort of siege not seen since the Alamo, the only difference being that the citadel didn’t fall and Flahaven in John Wayne’s Davy Crockett role didn’t succumb to overwhelming odds.
LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana, who often looked the most likely to breakthrough.
Alan Pardew: “They made it very, very difficult for us and the referee never helped us. “We put in an fantastic effort. I feel sorry for the players, they couldn’t do any more. “I’ve got a first-class team in front of me now who’ve put in an incredible effort and they should be very proud.”
10 Wotton (James 46) (Connolly 73)
17 Barnard (Papa Waigo 65)
Ref Ref: Wright