Davis shines in close encounter
Saints 0, Brighton 0
The visit of table-topping Brighton attracted a big evening crowd, but I doubt whether many were anticipating the game that ensued.
The extent to which Albion have adopted a style of play that can only be described as “Latin” came as a surprise, and although it has its downside (Barnes cautioned for strolling across the pitch from the far touchline when substituted and Ankergren apparently failing to understand the many warnings he received about time-wasting), it did produce an intriguing, if goal-less, encounter.
Southampton had chances enough to have at least tempted the visitors out of their first half shell, but Ankergren did well to keep out Lambert’s early free kick and there were always plenty of blue shirts around to prevent Saints turning a huge territorial advantage into goals.
A penalty for what seemed a clear trip on Lallana would have helped things along, but Brighton always looked as though they would be able to put some sudden passes together and hit Saints on the counter attack. A series of corners just before the break showed how dangerous they might be, and a single home goal may not have been enough anyway.
It ought to have come just after the break, but Lambert failed to get his header on target when it seemed that was all he really needed to do. Having soaked up the best Saints could throw at them, Gus Poyet looked to take home all three points by bringing on the more direct Murray for Barnes and the striker soon won a penalty for Dickson’s trip, although there was little danger from the situation.
Loanee Wood had scored from the spot on his BHA debut days earlier, and had never looked like missing that one, but Kelvin Davis had other ideas this time round and his save equalled Ankergren’s first half effort at the foot of the same post.
Nigel made some late substitutions to win the game for our side, but I felt that Saints were losing the patience that was necessary against Poyet’s tactics, and that made us vulnerable; Richardson’s terrific goal area clearance was as vital a moment as when Guly strayed offside while Lallana led a final attack in the closing seconds.
LSSC Man of the Match: Dean Hammond. The stint by Hammond and Schneiderlin (in for injured Chaplow but substituted as the manager lost patience with his system) was critical in preventing aBrighton smash and grab.
04 Schneiderlin (Holmes 75)
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Butterfield 87)
09 Barnard (Guly 75)