Chamberlain double helps see off Daggers!
Saints 4, Dageham & Redbridge 0
Fans of Dagenham & Redbridge must still be pinching themselves to find their team playing in the third tier of English football… and there are a few Southampton followers not quite able to believe that we are competing in the same league. But, administration penalties aside, the clubs are where recent seasons’ form has put them, and the Daggers had to be beaten just like anyone else if Saints are to progress.
The visitors were dealt a blow even before the kick off with veteran goalkeeper Tony Roberts managing to injure himself and handing a debut to Lewington. It wasn’t the night he would have been hoping for as a nicely weighted cross from Chamberlain didn’t appear to be goal-bound but nevertheless found its way into the net, probably thanks to Lewington’s flap at it.
Chamberlain’s mastery of the right flank should have given Saints a more orthodox second goal, but Lallana fluffed an easy headed chance. Chaplow, starting ahead of Schneiderlin, isn’t a natural goalscorer and it showed as he too missed an opportunity to increase the lead before Chamberlain and a gusty wind found Lewington unable to cope with another cross – this one going straight in.
Lallana on the left proved to be as big a problem as Chamberlain on the right, and his cross killed the game off on just 56 minutes when Barnard swept the ball home. In fact Southampton’s key forwards, Lambert and Barnard, didn’t stay around for much of the remainder as they were both substituted and it was left for Fonte to head an easy fourth from another Chamberlain cross, the defender rightly thinking it wasn’t worth his retreating back to his proper position after Dagenham had cleared a corner.
A comfortable win, then, and not even a booking for Hammond. Surprisingly, though, the stats show that Dagenham managed 53% possession, albeit mostly in their own half.
LSSC Man of the Match: Alex Chamberlain, the clear star of the show with either one goal and two assists or two goals and one assist.
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Schneiderlin 81)
07 Lambert (Guly 64)
09 Barnard (Bignall 63)