Rickie’s return fails to deliver 3 points
Saints 1, Leyton Orient 1
Once again Saints fans were desperate for good news following a difficult time. The statement that the Liebherr family were to continue to invest in theSFC enterprise following the untimely death of Markus was a boost, and on the pitch we had Lambert’s return to starting action. As they had against Plymouth, Saints began well against a Leyton Orient side that should always struggle against our line-up – however, they gave us two tough games last year, and this was to be a frustrating afternoon under unseasonably leaden skies. That was despite the fillip of a rather fortunate early goal, with Lambert firing home a free kick that took a very kindly deflection off the defensive wall. But some ropey old defending at the other end meant that the game was soon level, with centre back Forbes allowed to head home a corner. Barnard had already hit the post, and Southampton could well have restored their lead, but Jones made some acrobatic stops to prevent them. He was beaten by Barnard for a second time after the break, but once more the ball rebounded into play off the post, and both players and fans became more and more frustrated as the game wore on. Southampton would obviously like to use Fonte to supply forward passes out of defence, but they must realise that opponents know this as well, and will apply pressure accordingly. We need to find a better solution to that problem than the alternative ploy of a hopeful but rarely accurate punt from Jaidi. Elsewhere, things tend to become very predictable, and for this game Lallana failed to cope with tight marking while Lambert looked strangely subdued. Young Chamberlain could provide that extra spark, but it’s a big ask of the youngster who was given a chance ten minutes from the end.
LSSC Man of the Match: Lee Barnard, who for once outshone his illustrious strike partner.
14 Hammond (Oxlade-Chamberlain 81)
09 Barnard (Connolly 80)