London Saints

Saints spurn two goal lead – twice!

Peterborough 4, Saints 4
The BBC’s N-Power Leagues programme promised extended highlights of the Peterborough v Southampton match, but they still only had time to show the goals, albeit with a bit more build-up.
We’re strapped for space too, so straight into the thrills, spills and dodgy decisions.
After 20 minutes, Barnard did well to get in a shot that was too awkward for Lewis to handle and Chaplow was on hand to turn in the loose ball. Then Chamberlain’s run down the left was halted by a foul by Little, and Referee Ilderton awarded a spot kick that Lambert converted. This probably was indeed a foul, but it was of the sort you rarely get penalties for… but at least Mr. Ilderton was to prove consistent.
The match was played with a strong wind blowing from end to end, and although Posh had it behind them in the first half, they were being outplayed. That all changed on 40 minutes when the wind helped a long ball forward and Mackail-Smith used his speed to get past Seaborne and shoot under Davis. Seaborne won’t be the last defender to be caught out by Mackail-Smith’s pace, but he probably spent half time explaining how he was beaten after having quite a start over the forward, while the near post shot didn’t mark Davis’s finest hour.
Harding had a lot to answer for as well, as his failure to attack a cross let Whelpdale in ahead of him, and we turned round all square.
That all seemed immaterial as Saints soon restored their two goal lead, helped by another penalty as Chaplow was barged over in full view of the Saints fans. Definitely a foul, but also a bit of a surprise that it was given – Lambert didn’t mind as he buried his second, and minutes later joined in the celebrations as Hammond smashed in a short corner routine.
Southampton only had to be sensible to take all three points, but they defended too deeply, possibly being afraid of Mackail-Smith. Anyway, Seaborne was again the fall guy as he was adjudged to have ended Langmead’s determined run from the back with a foul, and McCann scored the third penalty of the evening.
The game’s longest period without a goal was marked by a series of home attacks, but Lambert managed to get clear with a chance to seal the game with a hat-trick: his hesitation proved fatal. Just as we moved into added time, Hammond conceded a free kick that Saints found impossible to clear, and Peterborough ended up with their second penalty when Chamberlain attempted to block a cross with his hands high in the air. The TV pundits didn’t think much of this decision, but to my mind the ball did strike Chamberlain’s arm, and his poor technique meant it could hardly be interpreted as accidental. Davis went the right way for Tomlin‘s spot kick, but couldn’t keep it out.

LSSC Man of the Match: Dean Hammond, with Fonte paying the price for being part of a defensive unit who let in four.

01 Davis
03 Harding (Dickson 65)
06 Fonte
12 Butterfield
19 Seaborne
11 Guly (Richardson 75)
14 Hammond
26 Oxlade-Chamberlain
30 Chaplow
07 Lambert
09 Barnard (Forte 83)

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