London Saints

Saints come from behind to secure vital win

Bournemouth 1, Saints 3

Obviously supporters of Brighton and Bournemouth have to look somewhere for their ‘derby’ matches, but to describe anything that doesn’t include both Saints and Pompey as a ‘South Coast Derby,’ is mere hype. The ‘Hants & Dorset Derby’ sounds more like a bus race, but a game with Bournemouth doesn’t really have much additional significance for us.
Except this one, of course, with the League table showing how Southampton would be in an awkward position if they lost. That reality didn’t stop them falling behind to an early goal when Fonte’s clearance nearly decapitated Butterfield, and then the ball fell nicely for Dalla Valle to lash it home with a good finish. Fonte’s expectation that the decision would be overturned after a consultation following an offside flag always seemed misplaced as the last two critical touches had been by defenders. The home side’s confident start was worrying, but good work by Lambert ended with a cross that Barnard headed downwards and the ball squirmed under Jalal’s dive: it was probably a better goal and less of a goalkeeping error that had appeared at the time.
After that flurry of activity, the half ended all square and with opinions divided about who were the better side. I felt AFCB were ahead on points at the break, but Saints looked better in the second period and, crucially, went ahead midway through when Chamberlain’s whippy free kick eluded everyone except Hammond sliding in, Martin Peters style, on the far post, and the skipper’s connection sent the ball back across Jalal and into the corner.
Just as important, though, was the moment of good fortune that went Southampton’s way, with Robinson’s volley looking certain to score until it came back off the bar. TV’s coverage gave Davis credit for a save, and if he did get a touch, then it was a vital one.
Lambert sewed the game up near the end by at last being on target with a trade mark free kick. There was plenty of time left for Gobern to get himself sent off after an unfortunate incident involving a high bouncing ball – the typical footballers’ shoves that followed went unpunished, but were no less than the one Colchester’sluckless player had been dismissed for 7 days earlier.

LSSC Man of the Match: Rickie Lambert, with a nice goal, but his first half assist was more important.

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