Chamberlain shows the way
Saints 2, Oldham 1
The most pressing reason for the acquisition of Chaplow on loan was to cover Schneiderlin’s enforced absence through international call-ups. But manager Adkins was also aware that both Hammond and Schneiderlin were approaching suspensions, and Hammond duly obliged immediately with another caution, one of several at Huddersfield. That left a simple swap in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up to face Oldham, although there would have been a few on the bench or not even in the squad who might have fancied their chances if the first-teamers again performed as they had in Yorkshire.
Puncheon hit the post from some way out early on, but it was the visitors who drew first blood, with Furman finishing a well worked move that upset Nigel with the technicalities of our defending. I was more inclined to put it down to good attacking play, and Southampton responded by creating a chance that the luckless Lambert smashed over the bar.
An equaliser just before the interval will have lifted spirits in all parts of St. Mary’s except the miserable corner that we inhospitably leave to our visitors. It came after Lallana was fouled near the by-line, and his own free kick was matched by a powerful header from Fonte.
Guly had the best chance to put Saints in front, but he was either felled for a penalty and defensive sending off, or stumbled at the crucial moment. Referee D’Urso chose the latter option and Guly eventually ended up joining other attacking options Lambert and Puncheon on the bench.
The first set of substitutions was crucial as it introduced Chamberlain, and the youngster showed a lot of maturity as he manufactured a goal for himself after picking up a loose ball on the edge of the box. Quite a bit of excitement was packed into Mr. D’Urso’s five minutes of added time, with Chamberlain capping a mazy run with a shot against the post at one end, while a flying save from Davis was needed to prevent Oldham’s late aerial assault from paying dividends.
LSSC Man of the Match: Danny Butterfield, who continues to look unflustered in an often panicky defence. How he fits in when Richardson is fully recovered is an interesting question.
10 Puncheon (Chamberlain 66)
11 Guly (Wotton 82)
07 Lambert (Barnard 67)