Saints blow up at Bristol
However affairs didn’t proceed as we expected, and it could well be that the turning point was seemed to be a serious 7th minute injury to Chaplow, our best player in recent weeks. Schneiderlin was the obvious replacement, but this was not quite a like-for-like move, and Saints lacked their usual fluency. Lallana forced a brilliant save from James, but from then onwards you felt that the ascendancy was with City, and they might well have been ahead at the end of the first half, but Pearson was forced just too wide by Davis and was unable to pull his shot back into a now open goal.
As at Coventry, Southampton’s start to the second period was sloppy and they soon went behind to an ugly sort of goal when Adomah‘s shot bobbled over the line after hitting Fox. The lead could have been short lived, but Fonte failed to get his header on target after a free kick, and from then on the Robins did everything right to preserve their lead.
That included keeping the pressure on the Saints defence, and it wasn’t really a surprise when they scored a second goal – although again not the prettiest as Hooiveld escaped a caution for a foul on Adomah because the forward had found Maynard whose low shot ended up looping over Davis thanks to a deflection off Fonte. The introduction of De Ridder and Barnard failed to ignite any spark for Saints and a generous helping of six minutes added time was academic really.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Cork, but on a day when everyone seemed to be a bit below par.