Saints in the hat
Saints 3, Cheltenham 0
Schneiderlin’s booking against Brighton nearly cost a sending off as an incident shortly afterwards could have been similarly punished – but at least it was a less blatant way of managing to serve a ban during a less important game than Real Madrid’s recent manipulations of the rules.
Other players also missed out on the F.A. Cup meeting with Cheltenham Town, as can be seen by some unfamiliar names in the report. Of course a fair number of you will need to read it to find out what went on as barely 8,000 Saints fans turned out, although maybe not too surprisingly for the third home game in a week.
Dickson did well to intercept some slack passing and set Lallana up for an early strike, and it turned out to be the right game to miss as the goal set up a comfortable win that struggled to keep us alert.
Of more concern was a needless booking for Fonte that will now mean a ban, plus a few injuries as well. You had to feel for the luckless Holmes as he struggled to play on after a bad knock and was obviously distraught when forced to go off. Bialkowski got a smack in the head when saving at a forward’s feet in a rare Cheltenham break, and then Richardson went off with a strain.
Lambert failed to appear for the second half, again with an injury to blame, so Saints double shuffled an already experimental line-up. A second goal should have come immediately after the restart, but referee Attwell saw something wrong with Gobern’s seemingly clean header.
Only a couple of minutes later no-one could find any fault with Do Prado‘s header from Lallana’s cross and from that moment the match was over as a contest. Chamberlain had a chance to put the icing on the cake, but it was left to Gobern to do those honours with a looping header from a corner. The match had rather passed Gobern by in midfield, but he will be pleased to have found the net twice, and especially grateful that the second one counted for his first Saints goal.
LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana, who was clearly too good for our visitors.
02 Richardson (Butterfield 42)
21 Holmes (Oxlade-Chamberlain 26)
07 Lambert (Harding 46)