Klasnic strike sends Saints out
Saints 0, Bolton 1
The return of a top tier outfit to St. Mary’s was greeted by barely 10,000 fans who in any case were expecting a less than Premier League line-up from our opponents.
Yes, it’s time once again for the Carling Cup Round 2, and in fact only two of Bolton’s starters from Saturday retained their places for the latest game in this unloved competition that is now in its 51st year! Southampton were much nearer full strength, and in fact it’s not unreasonable to assume that the only seasonal debutant, Aaron Martin, was in on merit anyway. That would suggest a couple of well matched sides, and Saints gave a good account of themselves in most departments – but they won’t often come up against a defensive unit as strong as Taylor, Knight, O’Brien and Ricketts in League 1, even if most of them were reserves. A familiar story ensued with Barnard denied by a good save from Bogdan while Lallana always looked likely but only ended the first half with a booking for ‘simulation’ and reflections that he may have done better with a late placement shot that went just wide. But by then the visitors were ahead after Kevin Davies knocked down a cross for Klasnic to score from close in. It’s never easy marking Davies, who ‘won’ the title for most Premier League fouls last season, but other than this lapse, Martin can be pleased with his efforts.
The game was scrappier in the second period, and Lambert had few chances to improve his form and fitness before firing a free kick into row Z and being substituted straight after. A succession of corners gave Saints some hope but poor deliveries from the flag made their task difficult, while Bolton emerged from their shell to threaten on the break. In the end, it took good saves (Davis from Elmander and Bogdan from Connolly) to mean that Klasnic’s strike was the only score.
LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana, but he was much more effective before the break.
12 Butterfield (Mills 82)
17 Aaron Martin
04 Schneiderlin (Oxlade-Chamberlain 75)
07 Lambert (Connolly 78)