Stalemate at Victoria Park
Hartlepool 0, Saints 0
A 3-1 win at Hartlepool on a wet and very windy night and on a poor pitch was one of the best performances of last year’s campaign, and may have persuaded many of the 643 Saints fans (who made up almost 20% of the attendance!) to make another midweek trip to the North East.
But despite the return of Lallana and vastly improved playing conditions, most will have returned with varying degrees of disatisfaction. A draw at such a place is not the worst result in the world, but Saints controlled (although failed to dominate) a lot of the game and that gave us the impression that there was more available, if only someone had the skill to unpick the home defence.
Jaidi was forced to demonstrate an unexpected turn of pace on a couple of occasions in the first half, while a last gasp block to stop Fonte scoring was Southampton’sclosest moment.
That apart, there’s very little to report upon… well other than the rare treat of a public house lock in to make the journey worthwhile for many LSSC members at least. But back at Victoria Park, maybe Saints could have made things happen by trying something a bit different as the game wore on? As it was, we got Barnard (for Chamberlain) for the last 15 minutes, but no sign of the other attacking substitute, N’Guessan, or a change in that system that leaves Lambert spending much of his time on the flanks. Nigel knows best, of course, but a lack of ambition questions our credentials to be one of the top two teams in our league.
LSSC Man of the Match: Dan Harding as the only player to emerge with more than one vote from our panel of experts, who were clearly divided about who to reward.