Saints triumph in Christmas cracker!
Saints 4, Huddersfield 1
Quite a few players had something to atone for following a poor all round performance against Brentford, and after a long wait due to the weather, they set about the task against Huddersfield.
Lallana must have thought he’d given Saints an early lead, but Clarke somehow headed a goal-bound shot to safety. However, Saints have twice been out-fought by the Terriers in Yorkshire over the last couple of years, and the visitors’ quick movement when going forward, plus the presence of Alan Lee who has scared off several Saints centre backs in his time, always threatened.
One would have expected Lee to have found the net with a far post header, but the warning wasn’t heeded, and Novak headed Town in front on 16 minutes with our defenders presumably looking round to find where Lee was in the mist. Goals looked likely for Saints too, and although Smithies seemed to be emulating his Brentford counterpart in goal from the last game, he could do nothing about a powerful near post shot from Lambert that levelled the scores – only the striker’s second goal from open play this season.
Within a few minutes Saints were in front, thanks to a contrasting sort of shot from Chamberlain that may have taken a deflection on its way in. Chamberlain, though, was behind much that Saints did well in the opening half, and his good play ended up presenting Lallana with a great chance that only hit the bar. The young winger also appeared to have won a penalty in the view of most people, but crucially not the officials – however, a foul on him early in the second half resulted in a free kick headed powerfully home by Jaidi for 3-1.
With Schneiderlin on a caution, the partially-fit Chaplow was introduced for the closing stages, and he took advantage by scoring Southampton’s 4th after 72 minutes to complete a highly satisfactory performance in front of a decent crowd.
LSSC Man of the Match: Alex Chamberlain, ahead of good performances from Jaidi and Schneiderlin. Now Walcott and Bale have set the standard, it’s easy to forget how young Chamberlain is – a shame he had to prove his prodigious talent in front of visiting Premier League scouts!
12 Butterfield (Richardson 46)
04 Schneiderlin yellow card (Chaplow 55 yellow card)
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Dickson 71)