Rudderless Saints succumb to ‘dale
Saints 0, Rochdale 2
Dean Wilkins had a few more days to prepare for his second game in charge, with Rochdale visiting St. Mary’s.
As a result of his deliberations, Martin was back, Puncheon operated on the left while Chamberlain filled the gap on the right flank. No Barnard thanks to suspension, so in came Connolly, but there was also no place for Dickson or Do Prado: odd, given the fuss we made about signing them.
Connolly shot wide with the team’s only first half opportunity of note, and with the player in best form banned and Lambert still stuck in 3rd gear, the game was following a familiar pattern. And then Rochdale scored, deep into the mere one minute of added time and with a move that started with a hurried clearance from within their own penalty area: left winger O’Grady provided the coup de grace with a low shot that did not produce Kelvin Davis’s finest hour.
We really do need to score first in matches, more true than ever with confidence low, but the next best thing would be to get back on terms quickly. Puncheon had that chance, but fluffed his lines at the end of a rather good move that was increasingly out of place as Saints’ approach play became ragged. It wasn’t too clever at the other end either and although Martin’s own goal attempt was freakish, there were players who could have prevented the loss of possession that led to Jones firing in Dale’s second on 67 minutes; this time Davis is exonerated as it was a terrific strike. Guly and Mills came off the bench and both had opportunities to set up what might have become a frantic finish rather than a tame ending for the one club in the country that doesn’t seem to have heard of the ‘new manager’ effect on team performances.
LSSC Man of the Match: Aaron Martin, but there wasn’t a lot to be proud of.
- 01 Davis
- 03 Harding
- 06 Fonte
- 12 Butterfield
- 17 Martin
- 04 Schneiderlin
- 10 Puncheon
- 14 Hammond
- 26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Mills 71)
- 07 Lambert
- 22 Connolly (Guly 61)