Supersub Forte sets up Saints
Saints 3, MK Dons 2
Saints are now without Chamberlain for at least a few games, but a week off enabled Lallana to recover from his own knock suffered at Charlton, and of course the unpredictable
Do Prado was available again to face Milton Keynes Dons. Do Prado was well placed to turn a positive opening into a clear advantage, but he elected to take an additional touch and that touch showed why he is plying his trade in the third tier of English football.
Instead, the MK franchise went ahead from their first serious threat, with centre back MacKenzie heading home from a 34th minute corner. Southampton struggled to recover from this setback against a team who started to demonstrate that they could knock the ball around on the St. Mary’s surface as well as the home team.
That passing approach paid dividends early in the second period, with the ball eventually reaching Baldock who drilled his shot inside a near post gap embarrassingly left open by Davis. With Huddersfield ahead in their away game, the push for the coveted second place spot was looking sick, but then Forte was brought on for Chaplow.
I think it’s safe to say that the striker’s first touch was to control a cross, and his second was to hit it into the net. The game really swung Saints’ way with Forte‘s third touch; another close range finish after Martin could only push Harding’s cross into his path.
Newcomer Stephens came on for Do Prado, and encouragingly got involved immediately, but it was a link up between Lambert and Barnard that brought what proved to be the winning goal for the latter in the 76th minute.
With the crowd warming to one of the best games of the season, MK had one last opportunity with a free kick from just outside the box; Leven’s shot beat Davis, but to the relief of all but around 600 visitors, it came back off the bar.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jonathan Forte. I’ve consulted quite widely for this, but with no clear outcome. Can Forte really be MotM on the basis of three touches? Saints fans who text their votes to the official hotline thought so.
12 Butterfield (Richardson 72)
11 Guly (Stephens 66)
30 Chaplow (Forte 63)